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The Best Spots to Spend Your Summer Beach Vacation in North America

Make the most of the summer and plan a summer beach vacation. To help you choose the right place for your next adventure, we've rounded up some of the best coastal destinations for you to explore this summer in North America. From the coastal rainforest in British Columbia, down the California coast and to the red sand in the Maritimes; here are the best spots for your summer beach vacation.

Tofino, British Columbia

Plan a west-coast summer beach vacation on Vancouver Island in Tofino. This small village is known for its natural beauty and wilderness areas. Catch a surf break on a hot summer day or explore the eclectic shopping in the quaint downtown..

What to do in Tofino

For the perfect couple’s getaway, book your stay at the famed Wickaninnish Inn nestled in the rugged nature of the Pacific coast. As soon as you book your flight, make a reservation to dine at the Wolf in the Fog which can book up months in advance fr dinner.

If you’re looking for some outdoor adventures, there are a number of surfing schools for all levels based in Tofino or hikes through nature that vary in difficulty.

For a coastal drive, fly into Victoria, British Columbia and then travel to the eastern coast of Vancouver Island to enjoy a few days in Tofino.

The California Coastline

Plan your summer beach vacation at Muir beach near San Francisco, California. Enjoy your days lounging on the sand or take a hie past wetlands and ponds and enjoy the bird watching.

The Best Beaches in Los Angeles

Head south to Los Angeles a spend your summer with the locals in Santa Monica, trying to snag a celebrity sighting in Malibu or skateboarding along Venice Beach. If you’re looking to explore one of the best beaches in L.A., travel north of Malibu to El Matador to explore the secluded pocket beach has rocky shores, robust waves and some of the clearest water in the area.

The Best Beach in California for Families

If you’re travelling with a family, Cabrillo Beach near San Pedro is popular because you can take a break from a day out in the sun at the nearby Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

Explore California’s Lesser Known Beaches

California is also home to some lesser known beaches where you can escape the crowds and hang with the locals. In the San Bernadino Mountains east of Los Angeles, Big Bear Lake is a popular spot for summer activities on the water including paddleboarding, kayaking, boating, or fishing.

Travel to Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands to see the rugged coastline and dramatic seascapes in Mendocino County. This area is also home to the tallest lighthouse on the Pacific Coast soaring up to 115-feet alone Point Arena where, depending on the time of year, you can see whales migrating between Alaska and Mexico.

Muir Beach, San Francisco, California
Muir Beach, San Francisco, California

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island is home to eleven hundred kilometres of shoreline for you to discover. This Maritime province is ideal for your summer beach vacation because the island is small enough that you can either rent a beach house as your home base and plan day trips or explore a new spot every day without driving for too long.

The Best Beaches on Prince Edward Island

When planning your trip, be sure to add Cavendish Beach, Greenwich National Park and Basin Head Provincial Park to your summer bucket list. When planning your route, consider adding a few scenic heritage roads to the plan to travel down trails that remind you of Prince Edward Island lush countryside of yesteryear.

Where to Stay on Prince Edward Island

For families visiting Prince Edward Island, consider renting a small cottage instead of booking your stay at a hotel. Not only can these cottages accommodate a family or larger group, but they are also often located in natural areas with beautiful grounds and views to explore.

Iles de la Madeleine,Quebec

Only a ferry ride from Prince Edward Island or a short flight from Montreal or Quebec City, the Iles de la Madeleine in Quebec are a beautiful archipelago in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence with 300 km of beach coastline.  

Visit the Best Beach on Iles de la Madeleine

Havre-Aubert Beach is often on the list of Canada’s most beautiful beaches boasting 12 km of sandy beach to explore. Havre-Aubert Island is also home to the rich Acadian culture and history which can be found in the fine restaurants, cultural activities, shops and cafés.

Every August, there is also a sand castle building competition along the beach which just as fun to watch as it is to participate in.

Fort Myers, Florida

If you’re looking to escape and unwind, look no further than the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel. Only a two-hour drive from Tampa or just under three hours from Miami, this beachfront community feels like a world away. Set along southwest Florida’s sunny Gulf Coast, this region has miles of undeveloped coastline to explore.

Where to Stay in Sanibel

Families flock to the beachfront cottages in Sanibel where the only thing you can hear is the crashing of the waves. For the adventurous, consider a vacation on the sea sleeping in a houseboat and exploring different areas of this region.

Where to Eat in Sanibel

If you’re looking for romance, spend your dinners watching the sunset from a beachfront restaurant in Sanibel. Local favourite include Thistle Lodge, Sea Breeze Cafe and Traditions on the Beach but you’ll want to reserve a table early to get the best view.

Find somewhere to stay in Florida

Maui, Hawaii

All the shorelines in Hawaii are gorgeous, but few outrank Ka’anapali Beach on Maui. It sits on the west side of the island and has excellent places for surfing, snorkelling and even scuba diving. With 6- to 8-foot waves, this spot draws both new and experienced surfers. If you fly to Maui, you can also go on a whale watching expedition.

How to explore Maui

If boating is your passion, look no further than Ka’anapali Beach; you can go sailing, rent kayaks or board a catamaran. The north side of the beach has Black Rock, the perfect site for snorkelling. If you’re there at sunset, then you’ll see a cliff diver do a daring swan dive just as King Kahekili did in days gone by.

When you’re ready to retire from the beach for the day, you have plenty of restaurants and bars to visit in nearby Lahaina during your relaxing summer beach vacation.

Ka'anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Ka’anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Prince Edward County, Ontario

While Prince Edward County in Ontario sounds awfully similar to the province of Prince Edward Island in name, your experience in the country will be quite different. Located in the middle of Toronto and Ottawa in Ontario, Prince Edward County is comprised of a number of small towns surrounded by Lake Ontario.

The Wineries in Prince Edward County

This destination has become a getaway for couples wanting to stay at one at a small Inn and explore the wine region. Some of the best wines in the area can be found at Hinterland Wine Company, Rosehall Run or Closson Chase Winery.

Spend a day at Sandbanks Provincial Park

But, a trip to Prince Edward County isn’t complete without a stop to Sandbanks Provincial Park. This beach is ideal for families because the water is quite shallow and is home to the World’s largest baymouth barrier dune making filling the beach with soft sand.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Best known for the lavish golf courses, Hilton Head Island is also home to some of the most pristine beaches in the U.S. All of the beaches on Hilton Head Island are public but some of the most popular spots you’ll find for summer beach vacations are along Coligny, Driessen, Folly Field and Islander Beaches.

Hilton Head Island is also a popular sport destination with more than 24 public and private world-class golf courses on Hilton Head Island .

How to get to Hilton Head Island

Even though Hilton Head Island is in South Carolina, the easiest way to get there is to fly to Savannah, Georgia and then drive to your hotel.

St. Martin-St. Maarten

You can find plenty of islands to visit in the Caribbean, but flying to St. Martin-St. Maarten should be near the top of your list for your summer beach vacation. In addition to turquoise ocean water, white sandy shores and limestone hills, this island has two distinct cultures thriving side-by-side. You can party on the French side beaches and then head to the Dutch side for tranquility.

How to explore St. Martin

Spend a day on a mountain at Pic du Paradis. The beach at Friar’s Bay is a favourite for families; it has Happy Bay nearby for snorkelling. Several clothing-optional beaches can be found on the island as well; the most popular one is Orient Bay on the eastern coast.

You’ll have no problem finding accommodations and places to eat on the island. On the French side, try the Grand Case area for some excellent food options.

St. Martin Beach,  Caribbean
St. Martin Beach

What are you waiting for? Start searching for the best deals on your summer beach vacation to relax with a bit of sun, surf and sand.