There’s just something about the pungent smell of sunscreen that takes you to a happy state of mind. Beautiful tanned people walking around, big umbrellas shading families, and coolers brimming with pork links and sandwiches are what beach days are made of. This summer, squeeze into your florescent bathing suit and hit the shore. Here are some of the best beaches in North America:

Venice Beach

California, United States

Venice Beach is everything people love and hate about California. A few minutes’ walk around the shore will take you past an array of Botox® salons, souvenir shops, and medical marijuana dispensaries. There’s also Muscle Beach, an outdoor weightlifting area where local buff men and women show off their stuff in front of onlookers. The iconic Venice Beach Boardwalk is a can’t-miss attraction, with wacky street performers and colourful trinkets on sale! sale! sale! Oh, and the beach is nice too. The warm Cali sunshine is always the right kind of Hollywood bright. 

Waikiki Beach

Hawaii, United States

A Waikiki sun rising over Diamond Head, Hawaii

These days, Beyoncé and Jay Z are the ruling monarchy in the United States, but this wasn’t always the case. Many years ago there was Lili’uokalani, the queen of Hawaii. The royal family spent a great deal of time on Waikiki Beach, a lush playground of surf-friendly waves, warm swimming waters, and the sight of Diamond Head Mountain off to the east. The monarchy was overthrown in 1893 when America took over the land, but the royal spirt of the glittering sand and beautiful sights never wavered. Today, Waikiki Beach is still crowned as one of the best beaches in the USA.

Singing Sands

Basin Head Provincial Park, Prince Edward Island

With some of the warmest waters in all of Canada, Singing Sands is a popular spot on Prince Edward Island. While it’s known for the prime views and decent temperatures, there’s also something of a mystery on the shore. For reasons that scientists still can’t figure out, Singing Sands squeaks when you walk on it. Beach time plus unsolvable mysteries? Only in Canada.

South Beach

Florida, United States

Miami Beach, Florida hotels and restaurants at sunset on Ocean Drive, world famous destination for it's nightlife, beautiful weather and pristine beaches


All the rumours are delightfully true: South Beach really is a 24/7 party zone. The beach town is routinely filled with celebrities, models, and travellers looking for glory and a good tan over the weekend. This is the kind of beach where you’ll want to show off your newest bikini top, along with your Kanye West sunglasses and mom-waisted short shorts. You may not see many winter-pale folks on this selfie-obsessed beach, but it’s still a very good place to get your summer started on a high note.

Playa Caracol

Cancun, Mexico

Peas and carrots, peanut butter and jelly, tequila and lime—the last classic pairing is best served on a beach in Mexico. Well known for the relaxed atmosphere, warm waters, and free-flowing local tequila, Playa Caracol is all about leisure. Located on the north side of Cancun, this beach locale has far fewer rocks and waves than other shoreline areas, making it a premier place to swim. It’s common to see everyone from families and couples to college kids hanging out on the sand. And if you ever get thirsty, the beach is surrounded by restaurants and cantinas for a splash of rum after splashing in the water.

Summer is nearly among us. It’s time to dig out the beach tent, picnic basket, and flip-flops hiding in the downstairs closet and claim your patch of sand. See you at the beach!

Which beach do you always look forward to visiting?

Featured Image Attribution: Flickr/Creative Commons/Jeff Turner/Via/ Venice Beach.