10 Best Beach Vacations for Sun-Seekers in 2024

by | 4 Jun 2024

Warm sand, cool water, and endless rays of sunshine — envisioning the perfect beach vacation is easy; choosing which beautiful beaches to stroll on your vacation is the hard part. Do you choose a secluded stretch of sand that’s powdery soft or find a bustling public beach where sunsets over the turquoise water draw in crowds from around the world?

We’ve narrowed down ten of the best beach vacations that are soaked in sunshine, offer phenomenal views, and are simply unforgettable places to stay. 

Whether you’re looking for the best beach resort on your closest coast or searching for a new stretch of sand abroad, these sunny getaways will leave tan lines on your itinerary. 

Junipero Beach, Long Beach, California

Best for: Maximum sun


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There are 365 days in a year and nearly 345 of them see sunshine in Long Beach. High temperatures range from 67 to 80 throughout the year, making it almost impossible to visit the Golden State and not return with an equally golden tan. Long Beach is approximately four miles long but Junipero Beach is one of its main hot spots for sun-seekers. With volleyball dominating Alamitos Beach and tail-wagging filling Rosie’s Dog Beach, Junipero Beach sits in between, drenched in sunlight and safely under the watch of the lifeguard headquarters.  

Long Beach has plenty of vacation rentals within walking distance of Junipero Beach. For those who desire more than a self-catered stay, Hyatt Regency Long Beach near the convention center is an excellent spot to embrace the Long Beach lifestyle. 

Discover it on: Best of California

Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Best for: Living in the moment

Copacabana beach, Brazil

Copacabana Beach is the epicenter of Brazil’s beaches. It’s impossible not to get whisked away in the electric energy that outlasts the sunshine. The curved shoreline is nearly three miles long and nearly every spot on the sand has a lounger, umbrella, or smiling suntanner. You can swim, and you can snooze, but the best way to experience this beach is to mingle with the many locals and tourists that spend their time drinking, dancing, and dining along Rio’s world-famous praia. 

Get wrapped up in the excitement of one of Rio’s best beaches during your visit to Copacabana Beach on our Argentina, Uruguay & Brazil Discovery tour. Spend a full day of your vacation soaking up the rays on Copacabana Beach, yet miss nothing thanks to guided tours to the Christ the Redeemer statue, the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden, and Sugarloaf Mountain.

You might also like: Where to Enjoy the Warmest Ocean Temperatures in Europe this September

Agios Stefanos Beach, Mykonos, Greece

Best for: Watching the boats sail by

Agios Stefanos Beach, Mykonos, Greece

Sit on the shores of Agios Stefanos Beach and watch the ships get smaller and smaller as they leave Mykonos port. This small public beach is a great choice for simple swimming and sunset views, thanks in part to its ease of access via bus and sea bus from Mykonos town.  

We invite you to discover Agios Stefanos and other beaches in Greece during our 10-day Greek Island Hopper tour. Sail from Athens to Mykonos and Santorini, slathering on sunscreen as you swim in the sparkling Aegean Sea. Explore the rock beaches of Santorini after learning about the island’s landscape from a local geologist then spend hours on the shoreline of Mykonos, leaving your beach towel behind only to cruise around the island on a traditional caique.  

Discover it for yourself on our Greek Island Hopper tour

Surfside Beach, Surfside, Florida

Best for: Sunrises

Surfside Beach, Surfside, Florida

Wake up with the sun rising over the Atlantic in Miami without fighting crowds for a spot on the sand. Surfside Beach is considered the uptown beach neighborhood for Magic City, which means fewer beachgoers around the year. Family friendly and reminiscent of the Old Florida-style beach vacations of yesterday, Surfside Beach balances the luxury you expect from the South Florida shoreline with the close knit community you’d find in a laid-back Panhandle beach town. 

Miami receives almost 250 days of sunshine throughout the year; spend as many as you can with an unforgettable stay at the Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club. A world-class spa, oceanfront cabanas, and an incredible Sunday brunch brings one of the best beach vacations right to your luxury ocean bungalow. 

Gulf Shores Beach, Gulf Shores, Alabama

Best for: Dolphin spotting


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It’s not hard to see why Gulf Shores, Alabama, is a hot spot for sun seekers: clear waters catch the rays, twinkling with each wave and making you do a double-take every time a wave crest leaps into the air. Dolphin pods are not shy about making themselves seen on the Gulf Coast’s beautiful beaches. Sit on the sugar white sand beaches or wade into the warm waters and you’re almost guaranteed to see at least one porpoise breach the surface. 

You’ll find more wildlife viewing from The Lodge at Gulf State Park, a Hilton Hotel. This eco-resort is part of the state park, home to deer, red foxes, bobcats, alligators, water moccasins, and skinks.

Read more: Discover the World’s Best Pink Beaches and How the Phenomenon Happens

Kitty Hawk Beach, Outer Banks, North Carolina

Best for: Budget friendly 


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 A sunny getaway doesn’t have to break the bank, even in a popular beach destination like North Carolina’s Outer Banks. OBX has over a dozen beaches, but many will agree that Kitty Hawk is the prettiest. Ample waves hit this hot spot on the barrier islands so it’s a good idea to bring a surfboard or skimboard for free fun.

Vacation rentals and budget-friendly hotels get cheaper the farther inland you get, though you’ll likely always be within walking distance of the beach. Beachwoods Resort, with an indoor water park and great discount programs, is worth spending your budget on.

Nevada Beach, Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Best for: A beachy golf getaway

Nevada Beach, Lake Tahoe, Nevada

So close to the California border that its name is almost a misnomer, Nevada Beach is the best beach vacation for those who prefer backdrops of pine forests, mountains, and golf courses. Though the beach is only a half-mile long, it packs an unrivaled view of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada mountain range in its panorama. Swimming and kayaking fill the summer months, and despite the snowfall, Lake Tahoe sees nearly 300 days of sunshine, which makes a winter walk on the beach all the more stunning. 

Even casual golfers will know Edgewood Tahoe Resort is home to the annual American Century Celebrity Golf Championship Tournament. What they may not know is that this resort near Nevada Beach also has its own private beach for guest use.  

Kaanapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Best for: A dream vacation

Kaanapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

As you watch cliff divers plunge from the top of the Black Rock cliffs into the turquoise water below, you’ll know why Kaanapali Beach is such a hot spot in Hawaii. This stretch of sand on the island of Maui is filled with resorts, though the picturesque beaches lure travelers in from every end of Hawaii. The evening cliff dives that reenact a chapter in the history of Maui’s King Kahekili are jaw-dropping examples of Hawaii’s deep cultural pride.  

See why the white sand beaches of Kaanapali have received their share of “best” awards when you book our Hawaii with Oahu & Maui tour. This 7-day excursion takes you across 11 of Hawaii’s best cities to show you the diversity of the former island nation. Spend a night on Kaanapali Beach and enjoy activities like sunrise volcano views in Haleakala National Park or snorkeling to coral reefs off of the coast of Lana’i island.

Experience the Hawaiian Wonders of Oahu, Maui & The Big Island

Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Best for: Family fun

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

It’s tough to beat Myrtle Beach as one of the best beach vacations on the eastern seaboard — and even tougher to convince your kids to return home. The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade alone is packed with hours of entertainment like midway games and amusement park rides. Opposite the wooden walking beams are miles of shoreline that receive more than the national average worth of sunshine each year. 

From vacation rentals and cottages to classic motels and luxurious hotels, there’s a place to stay for every budget and desire. Hilton Grand Vacations Club Ocean Enclave occupies an ideal spot: right on Myrtle Beach and close to the boardwalk.

Grand Glaize Beach, Osage Beach, Missouri

Best for: A non-traditional beach getaway

Ozark Lake

The Midwest may not have an ocean, but Lake of the Ozarks proves that it’s not short on beach vacations for sun-seekers. Nearly 200 days of sunshine means enjoying the outdoors in the Lake of the Ozarks State Park Grand Glaize public beach. While Lake of the Ozarks may not be a classic beach getaway by traditional standards, sun worshipers will enjoy hiking, boating, and more when not splashing in the water.

It’s always five o’clock at Margaritaville Lake Resort in the Ozarks, a top-rated lakeside resort near the state park. One of the perks is the full-service marina with boats available for rent, allowing you to cruise over to the beaches when not enjoying the resort’s indoor water park, arcade, and golf course. 

About Nick Dauk
Nick is an American travel writer based in Orlando. From visiting a Mayan god in Guatemala to sand boarding in Egypt to sniffing out white truffles in Italy, Nick embraces unique cultural experiences wherever and whenever he can. When he’s not lugging his backpack between Bogota and Bucharest, he’s carrying his children through the zoos and museums of Central Florida.