We usually picture beaches with expansive stretches of sand and views for days but sometimes, there are some real gems tucked amidst skyscrapers and concrete. From postcard-worthy Brazilian stunners to tiny Toronto treasures, we’ve rounded up some of the world’s best city beaches.
Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, HawaiiSet amidst bustling hotels and gleaming buildings, Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach is an urban paradise that ought to be on every traveler’s itinerary. White sand beaches, blissfully warm water, and plenty of action, it’s impossible to run out of things to do here. Should you need a break from the sun, grab a bite at a nearby restaurant or duck into a shop or two for some souvenirs.
Sugar Beach, Toronto, OntarioToronto may not be known for it’s beaches (it is, after all, situated in the Great White North) but to miss out on Sugar Beach would be a real shame. A relatively recent addition to the city, this spot is beautifully landscaped and offers a much-needed reprieve from the frenetic urban pace. Take in one of the many concerts hosted in the space or just spend some time relaxing under one of the cheerful pink umbrellas.
Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, BrazilIf an unforgettable Brazilian experience is what you seek, look no further than Ipanema Beach. Despite its popularity, it manages to maintain a peaceful vibe and offers tons of great perks like umbrella rentals, food and drink vendors, and people watching beyond compare. Whether you’re the type who likes to set up camp for a busy day of sunbathing or you’d rather take leisurely strolls along the water, you’ll find your groove at Ipanema.
Kitsilano Beach, Kitsilano, British ColumbiaBlocks from a busy main drag, Kitsilano Beach (Kits Beach to those in the know) is what makes British Columbia so ridiculously beautiful. Giant logs provide the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee while taking in the breathtaking view of the mountains or to lean up against while you lose yourself in a good book. There’s tons of space to play games, cycle, swim, or just relax. If you’re an animal lover, it’s worth heading to the nearby dog beach. Puppies, sand, sticks… need we say more?
Paris-Plages, Paris, FranceA beach in the heart of Paris? Mais oui! Every summer, the city of Paris welcomes tourists and holiday-going locals alike to the shores of the Seine by carting in sand, lounge chairs, and ice cream vendors—all the necessary accoutrements for the perfect plage. Pack a picnic and spend the afternoon sipping a chilled rosé with your toes in the sand. You can’t get much chicer than that.
Clifton Beaches, Cape Town, South AfricaThe water may not be the warmest but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Cape Town’s Clifton Beaches are some of the most beautiful stretches of coastline out there. Unlike some of the nearby beaches, Clifton offers a truly tranquil experience, far removed from the noise and hustle that one would expect to be part of the urban beach experience. It’s the perfect spot to marvel at the views, either from your towel or while on a highly recommended stroll.
Jumeirah Beach, DubaiGiven Dubai’s track record of providing experiences that are second to none, it should come as no surprise that Jumeirah Beach and Park is absolutely incredible. Dazzling sunsets are so beautiful that it’s hard to believe they’re real and a view of the Burj Al Arab hotel is nothing to sneeze at either. Meticulously maintained public facilities (including showers and changing areas), picture-perfect palms, and crystal clear waters…score another point for Dubai.
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