By Gunjan Sewhani
Rarely a day goes by that I don’t feel blessed to live in New York City — whether it is the easy convenience of the grocery store down the block that is open 24/7, or the ability to hail a cab with a wave of a hand, reasons to be in love with this city unfurl at every corner. One of the very few drawbacks we do face as Manhattanites is those scorching summer days in the city — the days that no amount of time in air conditioning or cool cocktails at happy hour can help you cool off. Dotting your summer calendars with weekend-long beach getaways is always a good way to combat this: now is the time to start planning! An array of beautiful beaches is just a road trip or quick flight away. Here are our top picks for beach getaways along the Eastern Coast.
Sanibel Island, Florida
A little less on the radar than the beaches of Miami, this is an island that allows you to experience the beauty of the beaches as well as bring it back with you. Sanibel Island is known for its beautiful shells—people flock to collect shells off the beaches. Some explore the shores while others dive into the ocean with a snorkel to do so and wander about the sandbars and tide pools.
Bowman’s Beach is a favorite for catching the sunset, lounging or shelling. If you go, be sure to check out the North End--famed for a “green flash” that is said to occur right as the sun hits the horizon during sunset.
Royal Shell Vacations has fabulous rentals that make for a great short-term stay while at Sanibel Island.
Cape May, New Jersey
Cape May is a great beach resort destination for those who want to intersperse their beach time with a bit of history. A trip to the Cape is also an opportunity to revel in the magnificent architecture of Victorian times. The Victorian mansions are part of what make the New Jersey seashore town a national historic landmark.
If you want to take a break from Sunset Beach, Turdo Vineyards and Winery offers wine tastings daily from 12-5 pm until Labor Day! The Boardwalk Plaza Hotel is a Victorian-styled hotel in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware—a ferry ride away from Cape May and a fantastic place to stay. Incorporating both Rehoboth Beach in Delaware and Cape May in New Jersey is a great option if you want a slightly longer and more diverse trip.
South Beach, Miami
During the day you can get some sun, and at night you can hit the town and enjoy parties pool and beachside as well as a popping club scene. While nightlife is what South Beach is known for, it also has a fascinating Art Deco scene. In fact, you can take walking tours of the district. The boutique hotels are a great option if you really want to experience the trendy South Beach scene.
Beautiful shorelines are a given no matter which destination you choose, but you also have the option to take in a bit of history, art or nature, depending on where you escape to. •
Kennebunkport is one of the most attractive coastal towns in New England, often referred to as the Riviera of New England. The rocky shores and beautiful coastline draw people from all over the country not only because of the beach, but also the numerous art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. Gooch’s Beach is the largest part of Kennebunk Beach; Kennebunkport Resort Selection is a luxurious choice for hotel accommodation.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Clambakes, sand dunes and striking sunsets all come to mind when you think of Cape Cod. Beaches and watersports such as windsurfing are what most people escape to Cape Cod for, but there are numerous attractions. Cape Cod is one of the East Coast gems that attract people of all ages from around the country and, even, the world.
Martha’s Vineyard is just a ferry away—a perfect option for a day-trip. Visitors can also go whale-watching from the tip of the Cape, Provincetown. Kids will love the Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen, which features nature trails and jam-making workshops and tastings. The art scene is also happening—a plethora of artists and galleries have made Cape Cod their base. Meanwhile, those seeking a laidback retreat can stake a spot on the 40-mile-spread of sandy beach and simply sunbathe. Regardless of which direction you choose to take your trip, Ocean Edge Hotel is a great option.
Ocean City, Maryland
A great family destination, Ocean City allows for ample seaside lounging as well as an exciting oceanfront boardwalk.
Nearby you have Assateague Island, which is rife with wildlife such as deer and wild horses-- a haven for any nature lover. The Stowaway Grand Hotel is a great pick if you want to be at the center of it all: it is right along the boardwalk and features oceanfront rooms. •