Think Warm Thoughts: World’s Unique Beaches

As we head into Memorial Day Weekend, often considered the start of the summer season, much of the country continues to endure cold temps and even winter-like conditions in some areas. Snow is expected in parts of the Northeast.

Perhaps if we think warm thoughts we can turn around this crazy weather. Yet, keeping with the strange weather, perhaps we should plan our vacations at some of the world’s most unique beaches.

  • Anjuna Beach (Cow Beach), Goa, India – “Don’t have a cow, man!” Birds, dogs, and horses are all fairly common creatures to see on a typical summer day at the beach, but cows? Only in India!
  • Boulders Beach, Simon’s Town, South Africa – Famous for its colony of African Penguins, this beach is a sheltered cove, protected by massive granite boulders
  • Bowling Ball Beach, Point Arena, California – Sand volleyball is one thing, but sand bowling is probably not a sport that will catch on anytime soon; this beach is littered with large pre-historic boulders that have been smoothed and eroded into round shapes about the size of bowling balls
  • Champagne, Pink and Red Sand Beaches of Prince Edward Island, Canada – The brightly colored red sands are a result of the breakdown of surrounding sandstone that is high in iron-oxide and “rusts” upon exposure to the air
  • Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California – As the name suggests, this beach consists almost entirely of sea glass, while sadly created by years of dumping garbage off the coast nearby, the surf eventually cleansed the beach leaving behind the smoothed shards of glass that comprise the beach today (the annual Glass Festival is held on Memorial Day Weekend)
  • Hot Water Beach, Cormandel Peninsual, New Zealand – At this unique beach you can dig up your own personal spa pool in the sand thanks to an underwater river of hot water flows heated deep below the surface of the earth
  • Hyams Beach, New South Wales, Australia – The Guinness Book of Records reports Hyams Beach as having the whitest sand in the world
  • Lyme Regis, Dorset, UK – Dinosaur enthusiasts will enjoy a journey back in time to the Jurassic period at this beach where explorers can search the shore for fossils
  • Maho Beach, St. Maarten – If you are an avid fan of watching airplanes land or have a desire to reach out and touch one in flight, this is the place for you, as planes continually fly over the beach at minimal altitude before touching down at neighboring Princess Juliana International Airport
  • Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Hawaii – Formed from lava flows, the ‘beach’ consists of basalt. Located on the southeastern Kau coast of Hawaii Island, Punaluu Black Sand Beach is one of the most famous black sand beaches in Hawaii
  • Shell Beach, St. Barts (Caribbean) – A fortuitous combination of abundant marine life, strong currents and the odd hurricane has, over the centuries and millennia, driven countless seashells onto the sands of this eponymously named beach
  • Zlatni Rat, Brac, Croatia – Like a large tongue sticking out into the water, this sandbar beach actually changes shape and location depending on the direction and speed of the wind

A footnote to this list is what has been dubbed the “Refrigerated Beach” which is under construction as part of the Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai – The revolutionary beach will sit next to the new hotel and will include a system of heat-absorbing pipes built under the sand and giant wind blowers, designed to keep tourists cool in the searing 40-50C (104-122F) heat. Crazy!