10 best beaches to beat the winter blues
Photo: Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia (Photo: Thinkstock)
Sure, snow is pretty and skiing is fun. But sometimes, deep in January and February, winter can start to seem endless. Folks dream of blue skies, days flooded with sunshine, and glorious scenery. Here are 10 places to go to escape the winter blues, in every corner of the world.
Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
For a great beach scene just 4 miles from central Sydney
Put simply, Bondi Beach rocks. It draws the rich and famous— Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman—as well as some 40,000 other visitors on summer weekends (December through February). Towering waves attract surfers from all over the world. Rent a beach umbrella, go topless if you like, and enjoy the scene. You may also spot whales rolling past, and see adorable fairy penguins toddle across the sand. Bondi is only four miles from downtown Sydney, where you can climb the iconic “coat hanger” Sydney Harbour Bridge for 360 degree views, tour the opera house, explore the shops in The Rocks, and dine in style.
Grand Cayman, the Cayman Islands
For seeing sea life
Some say that Seven Mile Beach, which lines the western coast of Grand Cayman Island, is the loveliest in the Caribbean—never mind that the beach is really only five-and-a-half miles long. Snorkelers can watch tropical fish swimming in the perfectly clear water some 15 feet below, (hint: the beach by the Marriott is one of the best for fish spotting, especially for huge tarpon). Cemetery Reef is another go-to-see-sea-life destination for snorkelers. Book one of the hotels on the beach, or stay in town and take day trips to Seven Mile. Don’t Miss: George Town shops, hiking the Mastic Trail, great nightlife.
Punta Del Este, Uruguay
For sharing the sand with the rich and famous
Before the 1950s, Punta Del Este was just a pretty place where the Rio de la Plata meets the Atlantic on the coast of Uruguay. Then Hollywood discovered it, rich folks followed, and now you stand a chance to see Brad Pitt, Madonna, or big-name CEOs strolling along the sand. Popularity equals pricey, however, with the most fabulous rentals going for a quarter of a million dollars a month in December – February. Enjoy the St. Tropez-like scene. Go to watch the sea lions play on Isla de Lobos. Make sure your swimsuit is skimpy, and, if you like, hit the hotel casinos and catch live shows that rival the best of Las Vegas.