Walking through Dublin yesterday, for the first time this season a yellow and orange leaf fell from a tree into my path. It is true, summer is over.
I like autumn, but I also like sundresses and flip flops (not that I got to wear them much in Dublin this year.) As those of us in the Northern hemisphere are folding away our beach towels and returning to more serious endeavors, I thought this would be a good time of year to revisit some of my favorite beaches.
1. Zlatni Rat, Bol, Croatia: It is just as beautiful as it looks it photographs, and just as empty if you arrive in the shoulder season. In Croatia, soak-up-the-sun weather arrives in late April, and stays until the beginning of October. You may not want to be jumping in for a swim during the shoulder season, but the peace and quiet of the stroll through the pine forest to this beach will reinforce why you didn’t arrive in the height of summer. Windsurfers provide entertainment for the afternoon, and bakeries / shops in town provide great picnic supplies. You can’t tell from the photos- but Zlatni Rat isn’t made of sand. It’s pebbles, which requires a soft foamy cushion or beach chair to enjoy your day in the sun.
2. Top Beaches in Miami: Living in Miami for 4 years, it would be impossible for me to choose just one favorite beach. It depends on your mood, and when you live at the beach, you have the luxury of choosing a specific beach according to your mood. Key Biscayne is a national park where you can plant your beach chair under the swaying shade of a palm tree. These trees provide beautiful, natural umbrellas. If you’re looking for quiet and are planning a beach trip on a week day, then head to Key Biscayne.
South Beach is where the action is. Think stereos, cold coronas on the beach, beautiful tanned people tossing a frisbee or a football. The water here is spectacularly beautiful, and not as effected by storms as Key Biscayne (which can become cloudy as a result of storms.) The rest of famous South Beach is a short stroll away, whether you venture from the white sand for a snack, shopping, or just a walk to see the glitz or watch a volleyball game.
Matheson Hammock is the least known of these three beach options in Miami. It will take a bit more navigation to get to, but is worth the effort. This park in Miami hosts beautiful old trees and picnic spots, and once you pass the guard and pay your small entry fee, one of the most spectacular and isolated beaches in south Florida awaits. The shade of palm trees is also attractive here, along with the protected environment, and glistening boats sailing by.
3. Illetas, Mallorca, Spain. I have never been so refreshed by the sea as when I dove off a rock into the water of Mallorca. Some areas of the island are a bit built up, but this doesn’t detract from the areas that got it right. Illetas has small islands jetting out of the water just off the coast, and my favorite part, ladders leading from the rocky edge of the land into the sea. It is like a photograph on the cover of the New York Times magazine: colorful boats bobbing gently, just enough people, and that one kid who repeatedly jumps off the ladder into the cool ocean.
Anybody else ready to book a flight to beach paradise? Luckily there’s the Caribbean, and if winter becomes too unbearable, we can head south for a necessary dose of sun, sand and surf.