The Best Beach Vacations for Relaxation

I love active vacations - sightseeing, walking, learning new things about the places we visit - but sometimes you just need to relax on the beach with a good book.

The best beach vacations offer more than that, though. Water sports, from surfing to scuba diving, are a must-do on great beach vacations.

A beach getaway doesn't have to be on the ocean, either. Water-skiing at the lake has always been a favorite of my family, but just splashing around and building sandcastles is a great way to spend and afternoon, too.

And while I've never learned to swim and am, in fact, terrified of water that's over my head, I love to snorkel! I just learned to do it with a floatation device around my waist.

If you're not that active but love getting out on the water, whale-watching cruises or sunset dinner cruises are another way to enjoy the ocean without getting wet.

Many beach locations have sightseeing tours on the water; it's a great way to spend an afternoon.

Or just lounge on the sand with a good book - I get a lot more reading done on a beach vacation than any other!

Beach vacations in Hawaii, Mexico, or the Caribbean are all excellent vacation ideas, of course - especially if you're escaping the cold of winter.

woman relaxing in a chair on a beach vacation

They're not that far from most parts of the US, and in many cases, you don't need a passport to get there.

But if you're looking for more exotic beach vacation ideas, what about Fiji or Thailand?

You don't need an ocean - or even sand! - to enjoy a beach vacation.

On the other hand, a quick summer getaway close to home offers a nice break from your routine. Visit one of the great beaches on the continental U.S. and rent a cozy cabin on a lake. Beach vacations are some of the best vacation ideas around, any time of year!

Hawaii Beach Vacation
Caribbean Beach Vacation
Mexico Beach Vacation

Sometimes the beaches don't lend themselves to comfortable sunbathing, such as the rocky north Pacific coast. Those may not seem the best beach vacations, but they are still great vacation destinations with water activities and wonderful seafood! And a scenic drive along the coast is breathtaking.

You don't need an ocean to spend time at the beach, either. A weekend at a Midwestern lake is fun, too - and relatively inexpensive!

Growing up, my family's cottage on a lake in the middle of Wisconsin was one of our cheap beach vacations, but it was wonderful nonetheless. We spent every vacation and a lot of weekends there - along with extended family and friends. Relaxing at the beach - ANY beach - is a great bonding experience.

You don't have to go far to have find a beach and some water to splash around in. If you're not near the ocean, a lake will do nicely!

Get together with your friends, mom or daughter, or your sisters, find a cottage by the lake or a condo in Hawaii - and have some fun!

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