25 World Class Beaches Worth Getting in Shape For

February 5, 2009

It is the simple things in life that make me happy. Give me a sunny beach, a beach towel, and a cold beer and I’m good.

I’m at my happiest when I’m taking a nap on the beach next to my girlfriend and listening to waves crash on the shore. What does this have to do with fitness? Well, it is more enjoyable when you look and feel good in your swimsuit (or lack of swimsuit).

One of my major goals is to travel to as many different beaches as possible in my lifetime. My hope is that other beach lovers will comment and add beaches to this list that I may have missed.

natadola beach fiji islands

[This photo was taken on Natadola Beach on the Fiji Islands. My favorite activity on the beach is to take a nap on a beach towel until I get hot, then I cool off in the water…and basically repeat the process all day long…with a few ice cold beers mixed in.]

In No Particular Order…

Vik Beach – Iceland
I had to throw you guys off a bit and start with a cold beach. I wanted to put this in here, because I like cold beaches as well.

This particular beach has black sand and many claim it as one of the prettiest beaches on the planet. I never thought of Iceland for a beach vacation. I have a feeling I would want to drink a few beers before jumping in the water…brrr! Here’s a photo.

vik beach Iceland

Pink Sand Beach, Harbour Island – Bahamas
Okay, so the rest of the beaches are warm destinations. Pink Sand Beach is a 3 mile long beach in Harbour Island that actually has pale pink sand. The sand is a mix of coral, broken shells, and calcium carbonate. The pink color comes from a microscopic shelled animal called Foraminifera.

Laguna Beach – California
I had to throw in a California beach. This is the beach where I wish I would have grown up. I’m jealous of all of the kids who got to spend their summers playing on this beach. California is an amazing part of the world and is expensive for a reason…it is hard to beat.

laguna beach california

Emerald Bay, Pangkor Laut – Malaysia
“Emerald Bay is frequently listed in the top ten world’s best beaches. It sits on a tiny island off Malaysia’s west coast and is privately owned by the luxury Pangkor Laut Resort, where only clients of the resort can indulge in its elegant facilities, so it is totally vendor-free.

The bay is crescent-shaped, and it boasts of soft golden sand and serene emerald-green water.”

Paradise Beach, Mykonos – Greece
This is the big party beach in Greece. This looks like a place for the younger college crowd to get nutty. It appears that the party starts around 2:00pm and goes until sunrise the following day. You are likely to see celebrities on this beach as well.

paradise beach in greece

Camps Bay, Cape Town – South Africa
This is a big beach with a lot of activity going on. The beach is lined with bars and shops. There are different beach sports going on during the day and at night it is just as alive with bonfires, fire dancers, etc. Definitely a party beach.

Cabo San Lucas – Mexico
Cabo is on the tip of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. It used to be a fishing village and is smaller than a lot of the beach destinations in Mexico.

For many years it was a place where only very wealty private yatch owners had access to.You have your choice of hanging out on beaches on the Pacific ocean or Sea of Cortez. Nice to look at as well…

cabo san lucas beach

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
Rio isn’t the safest place in the world at this time, but at some point I need to visit this beach. I’m not a huge Barry Manilow fan, but that is a great song. Pretty corny, but unforgettable lyrics. “Here name was Lola, She was a showgirl”

St. Vincent and the Grenadines
These are islands located in the East Carribean about 90 miles west of Barbados. St Vincent is the big Island and The Grenadines are 32 Islands that stretch south of St. Vincent.

Every beach resort I looked looked incredible. Here is a breathtaking picture of what the water looks like.

the grenadines beach resort

Natadola Beach – Fiji Islands
From Forbes Magazine – “Fijians are legendary for their friendliness as well as natural beauty, and Fiji features white-sand beaches, lagoons, palm trees and world-class scuba diving.

Some travelers consider Natadola Beach, located on the main island of Viti Levu, to be the most beautiful beach there, but visitors can’t go wrong with any of the beaches.”

Arambol – Goa
This is actually a small village with an amazing looking beach. Many of the people who come here decide to live here for the winter months. Her is a quote from the website I’m linking to…”I’ve lived here for three seasons now and really enjoyed it. It’s still reasonably cheap (although prices are rising quickly), Arambol Sunsetthere’s loads of great restaurants and places for a drink and the locals are friendly and welcoming.

Apart from the embarrassing hippy element, the expat crowd are a good laugh. If you want guaranteed great weather, a sea that’s the temperature of your bath and a decent crowd of people to enjoy it with, Arambol’s ideal.”

arambol beach goa

Bondi Beach – AustraliaThis is where you go if you want to be around a lot of people.  I have honestly never seen a beach so big and so packed with people. It looks like great surfing as well. A few of the regular readers on this site from Australia, say this is an outstanding beach. I am guessing there is great nightlife right off the beach, since it is next to the city.

Palawan – Phillipines
Jacques Cousteau claimed that Palawan was the most beautiful place he ever explored. If Jacqus Cousteau says that, then it has to be good. He was fortunate enough to explore some of the most beautiful places on the planet. What a life that guy had. Here is a picture of what he was talking about.

palawan beaches

Teahupoo – Tahiti
This little town in Tahiti supposedly has the most dangerous wave to surf in the world. While some places have slightly higher waves, Teahupoo has a “heavy” thick powerful wave. It has a perfect, yet deadly break. Pictures won’t do this justice, I will throw in a video…and “no” I don’t plan on getting anywhere near this wave!

Hurghada Beach, Al Bahr al Ahmar – Egypt
Hurghanda Beach is located on the Red Sea about a 6 hour drive from Cairo. The Red Sea has some of the best scuba diving in the world…and this particular beach has some amazing high-end all inclusive resorts.  It is also a place that is great for windsurfing, which is something I’ve always wanted to learn.

Click the link to see how beautiful this beach looks.

Azeda Beach Buzios, Rio De Janeiro – Brazil
This is a hidden gem I found on a blog about South American beaches. You need a fold up map to get there. It seemed like such an amazing hidden place, I had to include it.

I also want to put up a picture from that blog so you can see how unusual this beach is (jungle and rock, next to soft sand).

azeda beach buzios

Papohaku Beach, Molokai – Hawaii
There are  so many beaches in Hawaii. I will have to list a few. This one looks great because it isn’t crowded, is great for surfing, skimboarding, and boogie boarding. It is a 3 mile long beach that is often deserted and it looks like you could have a lot of it to yourself. Great place to learn how to surf or a good place to skinny dip.

Nice, Cannes, Monaco – The French Riviera
This is the vacation to take, once you have a bit of money. Whenever I think of the French Riviera, I think of James Bond movies and Yachting. My goal is to get here with my girlfriend within the next 5 years. It looks like luxury travel at its best and I want to bring enough money to go “all out”.

You only live once, so I want to splurge on this trip.

the french riviera vacations

Cancun – Mexico
Cancun is one of those places you need to see at least once in your life. It is best to when you are young so you can enjoy the wild nightlife. If you are past that stage, then go to Playa Del Carmen (my preference). It is hard to explain how soft and white that sand is until you experience it for yourself.

Golden Horn Beach – Croatia
I have to admit, Croatia isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when I’m thinking beaches. After a bit of research, it looks like a place I must visit.

This beach looks outstanding (click the link to see other amazing beaches in Croatia). This place is great for surfing, volleyball, has cafe’s and restaurants right on the beach. I want to put up a picture of a nearby beach that shows how clear the water is. It looks like those boats are hovering above the sea floor, the water is so clear.

 brela berulia beach croatia

Sousa Beach – Dominican Republic
I only know about this place, because my buddy Brett went there with his wife a few years back. This is one of those  places I would not have heard about unless a friend told me. I’m hoping to find more “secret” places like this in the comment section.

Manuel Antonio – Costa Rica
When I took a cruise to Mexico a few years ago, many of the people we ran across kept talking about Costa Rica. I didn’t really know what the big deal was until I did some research. Costa Rica is made up of a dense jungle and gorgeous beaches. It has a less “tourist” feel when compared to a lot of the beach towns in Mexico and Hawaii.

A good friend of mine went there with his wife and recommends Manuel Antonio. Take a look at these brilliant colors!

costa rica beaches

La Nova Mar Bella, Barcelona – Spain
I really want to visit a beach in Spain that is near the city. Spain is known for its food and nightlife, so I would want to be close to both of those. Out of the beaches I researched, this one looked like one of the best. The good thing is that there are several beaches all within walking distance.

Whitehaven Beach, Queensland – Australia
I saw this picture and immediately knew I had to visit this place! This is the opposite of the other Australian beach I listed, Bondi Beach. Whitehaven is scenic and tranquil. Every picture I see from this place makes it look like pure paradise. Take a look at this photo.

whitehaven beach australia

Benagil Beach, Algarve – Portugal
From the website…”Coves, caves, grottos, sandy beaches – the Algarve has it all. With so many to choose from, it’s difficult knowing where to start.

For the prettiest secluded coves, widest sandy beaches and most dramatic honeycomb cliffs, head west from Albufeira.” Great description, but check out this picture!

benagil beach portugal

 

 

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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam Steer - Better Is Better February 5, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Man does this get me in the mood! I’m headed to the beach in just over three weeks. And I’ve been on the war path for the beach body for the last two… 😉 Lot’s of Intermittent Fasting and high intensity bodyweight exercise!

Great compilation Rusty!

Cheers,
Adam

Adam Steer - Better Is Better February 5, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Now I just have to figure out how I can come up with something as brilliant as this list to do on my own blog!! Big shoes…

ally February 5, 2009 at 8:24 pm

If you can only go to one Greek Island, I’d pick Santorini over Mykonos. Or if you can do both it’s just a ferry ride. Santorini has a black beach, a red beach, and a “regular” beach–not to mention breathtaking views, delicious food, and inexpensive accomodations. It and the beaches in Southern Spain are some of my favorites.

David at Animal-Kingdom-Workouts February 5, 2009 at 9:15 pm

You’ve obviously done your homework on beaches. They all look amazing. Sitting here in cold, dreary Vancouver, it’s hard not to daydream about places like this. I’ll just add that in Vancouver during the summer, wreck beach is considered to be world class. It’s also clothing optional …

– Dave

Al February 5, 2009 at 10:40 pm

I can say as a witness to Croatian beaches that the water is really, really clear. You can see straight down to the bottom even when it is 25 feet deep or more! Only problem, they have rock beaches, not sand beaches. And oh yeah sea anenomes(sp) those black spikey, round creatures.

Still another 24 beaches to go.

Brad Miller February 6, 2009 at 1:35 am

Rusty- as an avid surfer who has spent most of my life at the beach let me name a couple good ones here:

Big Beach Makena- Maui, HI-

Wind n sea La Jolla, CA –

Tavarua Island, Fiji. 5 stars, just go!!!

Carmel by the Sea, CA

Pacific Beach Drive, San Diego, CA

Nate February 6, 2009 at 2:46 am

Glad to say I live in Hawaii right now!

Thomas February 6, 2009 at 2:56 am

This is a fantastic list of gorgeous beaches. I am only a little surprised that there aren`t any beaches in Thailand and Saipan included in your list. I don`t know the name of this magnificent beach in Saipan anymore but when you come to Thailand go further down south and check out Koh Lipe, Koh Pipi (but not on the island, rather among the rocky islands close to it, where “The Beach” was filmed), even the Emerald Beach in Phuket is great.

Exercise Ed February 6, 2009 at 5:47 am

Where is Vero Beach? One of the best and our trainers who have moved from Hawaii think so too! Just a though!

HannahMay February 6, 2009 at 6:34 am

Siesta Key Beach, Siesta Key, Florida is beautiful!! White sand and clear water!! I live 25 minutes from there!

Ben February 6, 2009 at 9:38 am

growing up in hawaii and doing alot of surfing…you missed the best beach in hawaii. i wont be telling where it is either. better beach for me and my friends. just so you know teahupoo isnt a beach its a surf spot and its pretty far from the shore. pretty much everyone that surfs it takes a boat out there.

Christine February 6, 2009 at 9:44 am

I can think of two beaches that aren’t on your list that I hope I can get back to someday.

The first isn’t far from where I live in Canada. It’s outside Liverpool on the south shore of Nova Scotia, called White Point Beach. It’s a nice resort with cabins, cottages and hotel rooms. The beach is the best part though. Silver sands stretch the cove with giant limestone rocks on either end. There are also two currents that run into the cove to it makes for amazing boogy boarding (I recommend a wet suit though as the water doesn’t get much warmer then 15 degrees Celsius).

The second was a resort in Jamaica I went to for a friend’s wedding last winter. It’s at a Sandals on the south shore outside a small fishing village called Whitehouse (hence the resort is named Sandals Whitehouse). The beach is a couple miles long, secluded and soft. There’s a reef that they shuttle people out to almost ever hour for scuba diving and snorkeling. The waves break out on the reef too, so at the beach the water is almost as calm as a swimming pool.

Caleb - Double Your Gains February 6, 2009 at 10:12 am

Rusty!

Great post — I LOVE beaches — probably as much as you do!

As for my top pics for beaches:

#1: NUMERO UNO: South Beach Miami! I LOOOOVVVVEEE this beach! If you love latinas, sun kissed bodies as much as I do… AND… “top optional” then you’ll see why it’s number one on my list.

And

#2: San Clemente — California — I visited SoCal for the first time last year and this was my favorite beach of all (out of huntington, san diego, hermosa, etc) because it’s this little town. Spanish looking architecture, etc and the beach here was just beautiful, you had to walk down this giant hill with all these palm trees framing the beach — just gorgeous (plus, I met a super-tan hot surfer girl there, but that’s just a bonus!)

Thanks for taggin me Rusty… I gotta think of something really great…

Later!
Caleb

kaiser February 6, 2009 at 10:21 am

Hey Rusty,

Im from Dominican Republic and I can tell you for sure that one of the best beaches in the world is here, its called “bahia de las aguilas” translation “Eagles bay”.

There’s a lot of videos on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B

Bahia de las aguilas is situated in a Protected area, its actually part of a national park and you have to get there in a boat around the bay… its pretty cool and the best part is that here in Dominican Republic the weather is always warm. I went there this past dedember and it was pretty hot. People camp there and stay for long weekends. Its Amazing! hope you can make here too…

Nick February 6, 2009 at 11:03 am

Inspirational bro!! I am down in Biloxi right now and the beach is not that great. There is a ton of run off from the city and the beach is blocked by small barrier islands. You have to charter a pontoon and go to one of the islands – once there it is very similiar to Key West. That being said, the night life is HOT here. Casinos and dance clubs abound. If you want a cheap vacation, this is it.

Are the links you send us to your recommendations?

Thanks Rusty

joe February 6, 2009 at 11:23 am

Been to Mexico. Cancun is great. Another great spot if you go south of Playa del Carmen is Tulum, you have about a stretch of 2 miles of undeveloped beachfront property from the last hotel (Dreams) to the Mayan Ruins at Tulum . The ruins overlooking the beach are awesome. No crowds if you walk about 5-10 mins. (put all that exercise to use and you have beach all to your self(selves) to do whatever you wish :>).

The further south you go from Cancun the more relaxed and undeveloped it is. Not the place for nitelife but if you are looking to get away. thats the place.

Son of Grok February 6, 2009 at 11:37 am

2 out of 25? I better get on it!

The SoG

Fitness-siren February 6, 2009 at 11:53 am

I was going to add a beach from the Philippines but you already have one. You got a great list here. I’ve personally been to Mexico, Hawaii, and the Philippines and I gotta say that after seeing your list, I have more traveling to do…haha.

Rambodoc February 6, 2009 at 11:59 am

Santorini, as someone said, is way better than Mykonos, as is Ia, close to the former. You missed Phuket, and the Andaman islands (Indian Ocean). But, otherwise, this was some list. Drool!

Bertie February 6, 2009 at 12:12 pm

yea Whitehaven is awesome, part of the whitsundays tours, worth the trip, bondi really isn’t that great, it’s the most famous beach in the world and if you’ll excuse the expression, is totally Americanised now. Manly was a much nicer beach in Sydney imo, really nice little suburb to hit when you travel anyway. My favourite Aussie beach though was in Noosa, it’s a fair way up the coast, you walk about 20 or so minutes through a national park, really beautiful, then you hit this little bay, well you hit 2, but the second one was my favourite, Granite Bay if I remember it right, beautiful little spot, we spent a week in that bay to be honest. Lovely mellow rights swing through there as well if you can surf.

Btw

Helder February 6, 2009 at 12:35 pm

WOW i’m dreaming, beaches are just pure happyness 🙂 Nice to see that you’ve putted a Portuguese beach (Algarve), we have many wonders here 800 km of sea shores produce this type of things, i’ll send you a few pics of wild beaches we have here.

About the south of France, better than Nice is Cannes, i know those beaches, and it’s really beautiful there.

No doubt the WhiteHaven is the most beautiful one of all, i had seen that picture once in a magazine, but it was only saying Australian beach, it wasn’t saying where in Australia, when i saw it here i just couldn’t believe it, now i know where to go.

Tahiti, most surfers say that wave is the most perfect one there is, Laird Hamilton and friends really push it with the big waves.

All very very beautiful beaches, and if we think about it, there are thousands and thousands of wonderful dream beaches all over this beautiful Planet.

About cold beaches yes i agree, there are very beautiful ones out there too, but i wouldn’t go into that water, no way LOL

I’ll invite everyone to make a search on Kvalvika, it’s a beach on Norway, i never stop being amazed with the incredible beauty of that beach in the cold Norway

I’m delighted with this post

Thanks Rusty

The Spaniard February 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Rusty, as I said on your other post, forget about Barcelona. If you want a beach near the most beautiful city (in this case inside the city) with the best food you can find and a great nightlife go to La Concha in San Sebastian. I would also recomend you check Zarautz (close to San Sebastian) for great surfing and Santander (very similar to San Sebastian). Of course you also have Mallorca and Ibiza and if you want to see money, go to Marbella…but I would rather go to the first 3. In Portugal, in Algarve, they have many beautiful beaches but i would go to the one in Quinta do Lago (there is a restaurant called GIGI that it’s to die for).

Terry February 6, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Beautiful!

I live near some pretty and not crowded beaches in Florida but I would also like to see Cabo San Lucas and the Amalfi Coast. The Greek islands too. Thanks for posting such fantastic pix.

Yash February 6, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Oh man I really want to learn how to surf. Hopefully I can find the time when I’m a doctor and move out to California. And that picture of the floating boats was extremely cool. I liked the general sentiment of this post. If you’re going to these beaches, you gotta be looking just as good as the scenery!

Harald February 6, 2009 at 5:50 pm

It’s raining here in CA today, and this post made me want to fly to the closest tropical paradise and lay out in the sun!! Thank you for sharing these beaches…I’ll have to add them to my “Places to visit before I die” list! Thanks.

Tom Parker - Free Fitness Tips February 6, 2009 at 6:10 pm

Man you are making me jealous with all these great summer beach photos Rusty. The snowy weather here in Manchester doesn’t quite compare.

John February 6, 2009 at 6:41 pm

dude, u left out the amalfi coast!

Bonnie February 6, 2009 at 7:35 pm

wow. I’m not that much of a beach person, but then, I grew up 7500 ft. above sea level. Love the sea though, so I guess I should go to one of these places and find out what the hype is all about. 🙂 I bet there’s some fantastic geology at lots of these places as well.

jenn February 6, 2009 at 9:42 pm

yay i’m going to cabo for spring break in 5 weeks!!

so rusty any advice for a pre-spring break diet/exercise regime?

i already eat pretty good (although maybe not engouh cals?)
b – light n fit yogurt (80 cals)
s – 10 almonds (70-100 cals?)
l – veggie salad with legumes, hard boild egg, feta, balsamic vinegar (200-300 cals?)
s – apple or pear (100 cals)
d – lean meat with steemed veggies (400-600 cals?)

i may be way off in my cals calculation, so pls advise. i’ve just been maintaing my weight 120lbs at 5’3 but i definitely have an untoned body with some layer of fat over my stomach, butt, and hips! for exercise i do about 3 days a week of 30 mins of weights for my chest, arms, shoulders (i’m a pear shape so no weights for my legs) followed my 20 mins of high intensity interval training on the treadmill. i also try to go to the gym 2 more days a week to do about 45 mins of cardio on the treadmill or elliptical.

right now i can’t seem to lose any fat!! i was thinking of going on phase I of the south beach diet for pre-spring break… but i don’t know what do you think??

Jack Humphrey February 7, 2009 at 12:13 am

Man – you got way more comments on yours than I did on mine! I shoulda gone with the beaches list! Nothing gets you more focused on fitness than picturing yourself on one of these beaches – except the cold one. I could go to that one now with a parka on. 🙂

joggs February 7, 2009 at 1:49 am

yo rusty great post… I am going to miami beach on spring break in about a month with some college friends. Ive been staying in my five range. I am 60 165 right now but i look my best at 6 ft 160. I was wondering what can i do to get that extra shreeded look and finishing touch.
How many days a week do you do cardio going into a vacation?
What type and how long each day?
I need your help to get there
rusty your site still rocks

jimmy February 7, 2009 at 7:31 am

hi i’m male 5’8 149 pound i was wondering if you guys have any ideas of how i can lose the fat below my belly button. tyring to get ready for beach season

Yash February 7, 2009 at 11:30 am

Harald, consider yourself lucky. It’s only rain because you’re in Cali. The rest of us have been trudging around in snow for the past couple of weeks.

Ben February 7, 2009 at 1:55 pm

jimmy,

just workout hard and eat healthy consistently. no trick to it.

JE Gonzalez February 7, 2009 at 8:33 pm

What a fantastic selection, especially the pink sand in Harbour Island. When I was 7, my family took me on a month-long voyage across the Bahamas. My dad and I went deep sea fishing, with a catch of up to 10 fishes a day. Those were some memorable times. Sigh… I can only hope I can go again. As for you Rusty, you should start looking into Vagabonding and Mini-Retirements. A whole 6, 12 or 15 months just visiting the world’s most beautiful beaches. That’s what I will try to do by the time I reach 35, but it will be a 5-year sailboat voyage around the world. Oh yeah, one can always dream.

Russell C February 8, 2009 at 4:28 am

Been a beach bum my whole life. I have been to the following beaches for extended beers,milkshakes,surf etc…..Thailand(Kho samui, Phuket et al), Boracay (beach bum magazine #1 and 51 different milkshakes), Costa Rica, Belize, Honduras, Panama, Martinique. Gaudelupe, Jamaica, Bali, Hawaii, Iceland (yes that beach), Gaum, Fiji, Malaysia, and Japan.

So many left to see but havent found a combination(food, history, culture,sports.price) that matches anything found in Asia. In fact am going to Thailand next month. Cant wait!!!

Cheers.

admin February 8, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Adam,

Yeah…I actually made this post as a way of researching the best beaches in the world to visit. I really just planned on getting it started and have people who live or have actually visited these places give me “insider tips”.

Ally,

Yeah…I have a Greek Calendar and the pictures of Santorini are outstanding. The white buildings with blue domes again a blue ocean are breathtaking.

David,

I don’t live too far from you. I’m in Seattle. I go to Wreck Beach 2-3 each times each summer to Skimboard (and drink beer). Love it!

Al,

Not many Americans don’t think about Croatia as a hot spot, but these pictures don’t lie. It looks outstanding.

Brad,

I’ve never heard of Tavarua Island in Fiji…I’m going to take a closer look at that for sure! Also…I want to learn to surf in an area that isn’t packed with people (I don’t want to get in experienced surfers way)…any suggestions?

Nate,

You lucky sun of a gun!

Thomas,

The Beach is one of my all time favorite movies. I love that cove. Hopefully they don’t really have a shark problem like they do in that movie.

Ed,

Not sure where Vero Beach is, hopefully someone in the know will chime in.

HannahMay,

I would love to visit Siesta Key Beach. The name makes me think of taking a nap in the warm sun. Can’t go wrong with that!

Jenny,

I’m glad you gae me a link to a beach in Sweden. I have some friends who traveled all over Europe and the picutres of Stockholm were outstanding. They told me that the people in Sweden really take care of themselves and dress extremely well. I need to visit.

Ben,

Yeah…I figured Teahupoo was more of a surfing spot, but I’d love to hop in a boat and watch some of this madness. Hawaii is loaded with amazing beaches. I’m a skimboarder, so my favorite for activities is Sandy Beach on Oahu (I’ve got my butt kicked by the shore break a couple of times, but love it).

Christine,

White point beach in Canada sounds outstanding. I love to boogie board. This is the sort of hidden gems that I was hoping to find in the comment section.

Kaiser,

My friends who have traveled to many beaches say that they loved the Dominican Republic. They loved the people they met, the food, and said the beaches were world-class. I’m sold!

Nick,

The links I put there were just to find out more information. Some of the places had bloggers who traveled there, so I tried to link to those first. Some beaches only had travel sites, so I linked to those in that case. Not recommedations on places to stay.

Joe,

I was thinking of spending an upcoming Christmas at that Dreams all-inclusive resort in Tullum. Is their a city to walk around outside of Dreams…or close to it. I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…White Sand that is!

SoG,

I’m right there with you…I haven’t been to most of these places either.

Fitness Siren,

We all need to travel more. I would rather travel the world than spend money on “things”. I love meeting people and experiencing new cultures, etc.

Rambodoc,

I hear Phuket is outstanding! Thai food is my favorite food and I love amazing beaches, so this could be a good choice for me.

Bertie,

I had to include Bondi Beach, because it was the biggest most crowded beach in the world. Not some place I would want to spend a week at, but something I would need to experience at least once. Granite Bay sounds wonderful…this is the sort of place I would spend more time at.

Helder,

So Cannes it is! I really want to take my girlfriend to France…a few nights in Paris and over to Cannes sounds like a great trip. Also…I would love to go to Norway and visit Kvalvika. I have spent many summers on the Oregon Coast, so I’m used to beaches that are only warm maybe 1-2 months out of the year. Portugal will be a dream trip for me. I was watching “Anthony Bordain – No Reservations” on the travel channel and he loves the food and culture in Portugal. I’m in.

The Spaniard,

I will go to La Concha in San Sebastian over Barcelona, then. I definitely trust your judement. Heck, before I head to Spain I will make sure and send you an e-mail and make sure I’m doing it right. I’m about a year away from going.

Terry,

Cabo looks out of this world. From what I understand it a bit mellow compard to some of the other destinations in Mexico, but that is cool with me.

Yash,

It does feel great to be in top shape when you are travelling. I’m not a shallow person who believes that everyone needs to have perfect bodies, but looking your best makes the experience more enjoyable. Plus it is fun preparing for a trip, working a little harder in the gym leading up to the time you leave, eating better foods, buying new clothes, etc.

Harald,

Seattle had its worst winter in years. I’m a big-time fan of the city, but I just need to make sure I plan at least one trip to a Sunny destination in Winter to mix it up a bit.

Tom,

I didn’t realize you lived in Manchester. Very cool! I live in a place with a similar climate. I have a bit less snow and more rain.

John,

I just did a Google Search for the Amalfi Coast. WOW. That plac does look outstanding. You really can’t go wrong with Italy, can you?

Bonnie,

I have a feeling we could turn you into a beach convert. I haven’t met anyone who didn’t like places like Hawaii or similar tropical beaches. It just feels right.

Jenn,

You will lose weight with that plan. Quick question…how long have you been eating low calories like this? If you have been doing this for a few weeks, you may need to up the calories for 3-4 days to “reset your metabolism” a bit. You will put back on 2 pounds, but once you go back to this strict diet, it will work for you again. Looks like a good aggressive plan that should work.

Jack,

Thanks for tagging me, buddy! It made me get off my butt and do a compehensive post about a topic I typically wouldn’t write about. This is a popular topic for sure.

Joggs,

Good job for staying within 5 pounds. Most people don’t do that. Funny you should ask about losing the last 5 pounds…that is exactly what I am doing. It will probably take 4-6 weeks to lose (since it is the last few pounds…people who have a lot of weight to lose can burn much, much more than that). This sounds kind of crazy, but the last two weeks before you leave you could do cardio every day. Seriously, this is just a short-term approach to get extra sharp for a special event…but I guarantee that you will look your best. The crazy thing is that your skin will look a bit more clear, your face will be sharper, etc. Drink a lot of water during this time and do a lot of cardio and you will sweat and flush out any water you are holding. No need to get obsessed, but this little 2-week push will work wonders.

Jimmy,

This is one of the most common questions I get. As a guy the last litle bit of fat you will lose will be in your lower abs. So you typically get a “4 pack” before you get a “6-pack”. You will lose this by tightening up your diet and doing HIIT or some type of interval work a few times per week.

JE,

That sounds like a plan. You only get one shot at this life, so working towards fantastic goals is a good way to spend your time. Nice Cartoons on your site by the way.

Russell,

I’m really envious of that list. That is outstanding. I really need to go to Thailand. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. As I mentioned in a previous comment…Thai food is my favorite. I can’t get enough of it. Lukily the Asian population is large where I live, so I’m exposed to tons of amazing Asian food. I’ve been really getting into Vietnamese food as well. I love how fresh everything tastes.

Wow…lots of comments…keep them coming!

Rusty

Brad Miller February 9, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Rusty: The nice thing about Tavarua is that Fijian tribes own their islands surrounding reefs. Tavarua happens to own Cloubreak and other incredible spots and they operate the most coveted surf camp in the world. They only allow 30 guests and usually include the worlds best surfers paid for by the worlds largest surf companies. Not a good learning spot.

If you live in Seattle (right?) then you may want to try to surf up there in the Straight of Juan de Fuco! About 90 miles in from the ocean peel long beautiful point waves with little harm. Cold though. I’d be happy to take you surfing here in Del Mar, CA- no crowds, decent waves. If you go to Hawaii Waikiki is an easy wave to learn on but hardly motivational- try 1000 peaks in Maui. Australia is too damn crowded and the people just sit on top of you like you’re best friends. New Zealand is truly epic and I can set you up with a personal guide who would be one of the most inspirational people you’ve met…

AHLOKKOR February 9, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Beaches of Thailand & Malaysia:

Krabi Sea Islands:

i) Railay West ( One of the most beautiful in the world)
ii) Maya Bay (Where paradise was depicted in THE BEACH movie)
iii) PHi PHi Island ( A Cafe Del Mar moment)

Malaysia:

i) Perhentian Long Beach
ii) Pulau Tioman
iii) Sipadan (A world natural heritage)

Island Lovers: If you need information regarding Sounthern Thailand & Malaysia, I would love to give more information.

Heard also of the beauty of Boracay Island of the Philipines…….. Too many to go to around the world…… 🙂

joggs February 9, 2009 at 10:04 pm

rusty thanks…. a couple folow up questions?
1. what type of cardio and how long
2. have you ever tried things like dandilion root

Scott February 9, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Hey Rusty

Spring Break in 4 weeks. Was just looking at the stubborn fat protocol. Do you have any tweaks or modifications tword it that you’ve found works better. Already been keeping my diet in a choke hold.

Steele February 10, 2009 at 2:20 am

Hey rusty! I thought i’d just tell your readers of a great IF site run by Martin Berkhan, http://www.leangains.com. He has a book coming out soon, and through his method of caloric cycling you can remain very lean whilst gaining lean muscle mass! Much better idea than bulking up, still allowing for significant gains, but without significant fat. I’ve been trying his approach so far with success.

Rod Newbound February 10, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Ah! For those of us who are still seeing snow in the air, this is a fun bit of summertime dreamin.

Thanks Rusty, or should I call you The Sandman?

Gene February 11, 2009 at 12:14 am

Re Thai Beaches: a must is Similan Island #4…(2 hour speed boat trip from Phang Nga..)

john February 11, 2009 at 6:25 am

The best towns on the amalfi coast are the hidden ones. Check out erchie. One more thing…for jen I would reccomend her to keep her diet as is but just throw in a hardcore high calorie meal every 3-4 days. I think that approach works as well as taking an off period. I learned about this approach from harry johnson jr. He made a crazy transformation and blogged it here. http://www.harryjohnsonjr.com. Let me know what you think. I am testing this approach out with some people

Yavor February 11, 2009 at 6:40 am

What a beautiful post, Rusty. I might need to bookmark it so I can refer back to it in my future adventures. It is great to dream big, isn’t it 🙂

I hope I can visit the beaches that are close to me soon – the ones in Croatia and Greece.

And, of course, wishing you and your girl a nice little vacation on at least on of those beaches this summer.

Hey, why not ‘accidentally’ bump into each other on one of the Greek islands, huh?

The summer is coming guys, get in shape 🙂

Yavor

patrick February 14, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Thank you Rusty, great post! I love it hot and as I live outside Chicago, the beach is my vision to work hard for summer. I have to thank you for the lean IF lifestyle tips they are so helpful, to be able to be a beach bum in a swimsuit is possible. I found it harder to reach my goal of 170 since turning 55, but after reading your posts last year, I IF’d there in a about 1 month (was 183). Keep up the excellent tips as the vision you exude is very attainable and so healthy!

admin February 16, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Brad,

Brad…I have you e-mail address, so I will most likely contact you when I’m ready to surf. I am so pumped that you guys are providing such solid info. I was hoping this page would turnout like this. Thanks a bunch for the tips…and yes I am from Seattle and need to give the Straights a shot.

AHLOKKOR,

I love it that I’m hearing about these amazing beaches! I spent many hours doing the research to put this post together, but I knew the best info would be in the comment section. I’m completely jazzed about your knowledge of Thailand and Malaysia…these are 2 places I am dying to visit. Will contact you in the future for sure!

Joggs,

My cardio approach is at the bottom of my site. Click the link that says “Low Body Fat Percentage”. Also I have tried dandelion root as an experiment to lose a bit of water to see how shredded I could get. It worked well, but these days I’m not obsessed with being as lean as an anatomy chart…plus it only lasted for a day. I just work on things that will make a difference every day. Just get to a low enough body fat percentage that your face looks great and you have visible abs…you will look and feel outstanding.

Scott,

I do have a slight tweak. I will occasionally add in a few lifts after the Stubborn Fat Protocol because my joints are so oiled up from all that activity that heavy weights feel easy on my body. Usually I focus on a weak body part. You will surprise yourself at your ability to lift heavy after smoking yourself with the Stubborn Fat Protocol. An alternative is to add in another 5-10 minutes of HIIT after the steady state cardio. I will sometimes do a few more “reps” of sprinting and quickly work up to my max sprint speed for a few rounds. It works on the same principle of lifting…because all the muscles in your body are warmed up beyond belief, you can really fly with ease. One last thing…go into the workout with an empty stomach…and also don’t eat anything for 1-2 hours after the workout (unless you are trying to build muscle).

Steele,

Martin has a fantastic site. I haven’t visited in a while and certainly need to. I will most likely pick up his book, since I pretty much buy every new fitness book that comes to see different approaches.

Rod,

Enough snow already! We keep getting snow in Seattle and it is killing me. I’m used to rain…this frozen stuff just confuses me!

Gene,

I like beaches, I like speedboats, I like Thai food…sounds good to me!

John,

I tend to eat this way to a certain extent without trying. I get invited to play pool, someone orders nachos or hot wings, I get order a picher of beer and then the higher calorie day begins. Obviously I like to eat healthier meals often, but life would be dull and dreary if I eliminate all the fun foods.

Yavor,

No doubt it would be fun to meet up. My favorite part about the Internet is that it makes me realize that no matter where people live they are after many of the same things. I love it that I can communicate with and make friends with people from across the globe.

Patrick,

That is amazing you reached your goals so quickly. What is cool about IF’ing is that it suits the beach way of life perfectly. When I’m active on the beach an entire day can go by without touching any food. You forget about food and don’t feel hungry until you get back…and when you do finally get food after a day at the beach, it tastes wonderful! I love going to the coast and taking a shower after a day at the beach and then hitting up a local restaurant for pizza and beer, or fish and chips and beer, etc.

Great comments!

Rusty

Yavor February 18, 2009 at 4:09 am

Yeah, btw just started watching this ‘reality show’ on MTV – Laguna Beach. Oh man, what a cool place to live.

myra February 19, 2009 at 10:34 am

jesus !!!!!!!!!!
you lot, i feel damn depressed right now, i dont think ive lived !!!
those places sound amazing, im a completely sun starved female wiv big dreams of hot sunny weather, here in dreary lincolnshire …. its not exciting at all.
im a complete water babe, love the sea, and im destined for gorgeous beaches, im sure, and more importantly learning to surf has to be a must think i may end up living abroad i hate this weather soooooooo much! i go water skiing when the weather lets up but surfing is my dream im so jealous of you guys!!!!!

diana February 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Ambergris Caye, Belize!

Stephen Chua February 26, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Pangkor Laut is a green gem and Bondi is huge in size and a party until a storm comes – once in a while. Actually, there are so many beaches down under I wonder if that saying ‘life’s a beach’ came from there?

If you don’t mind slightly cooler water, then try some of New Zealand’s South Island Beach vistas – snow capped alpine mountains while you’re sunning on the beach.

diana February 27, 2009 at 10:56 pm

i just booked a trip to st john (may)for my 2 year wedding anniv.!!! it looks awesome, and very good for active people. anyone been there and have any suggestions?

admin February 27, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Yavor,

California is the prettiest state in the US. No doubt about it! People like to put it down and say that people in LA are shallow, or it is too expensive, or too crowded, etc. Don’t believe it! There are parts of California where it is pure paradise, with friendly people, amazing weather, good food, etc. I would chose San Diego, the Bay Area or Santa Barbara…what a fantastic place to live.

Myra,

Don’t get jealous of me 🙂 I live in Seattle and love this place, but I need a Beach Fix soon!

Diana,

I just went to a port in Belize a few years back when we went on a cruise. Is there a special area of Belize to visit? The part we went to was pretty rough.

Stephen,

I do want to go to New Zealand. Looks like there are a lot of outdoor activities there. So many places to visit.

Thanks for expanding this list…Please keep the comments rolling!

Rusty

diana February 27, 2009 at 11:46 pm

hey Rusty! Ambergris Caye is where we went, it is very chill and yet active at the same time. It is a small and hidden gem, but it getting a lot of press lately since it is so unreal for the price! We went 2 yrs ago and it was amazing. The locals are very friendly, the weather is pretty nice in may and the food is awesome! We loved it, and we stayed at the Victoria House, they have awesome rooms, casitas, infinity pools, etc. The hotel was top notch, yet affordable and secluded.

General info:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Touris..Vacations.html

Caye Caulker (near AK) ::

http://www.concierge.com/i…page=6

stay here:: *** !!!::

http://www.victoria-house.com

it is awesome!! Unreal service, privacy, elegance, and great views.

we went on the jungle tours to the mayan ruins, which was cool, and although most people go there to scuba dive we did not get a chance. Eat in town to save money, the fish there is AWESOME. Rent bikes to get around the small town, the taxis are sloooow.

let me know what you think!

Greeno March 9, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Rusty, just back from 5 weeks in Brazil…Copacabana during carnivale, Rio gets a lot of wrap for not being safe but it’s not bad at all…spent a week in Buzios, amazing place. the beach you mentioned, there are about 10 others just like it…

admin March 10, 2009 at 1:07 pm

diana,

This is great info. I looked at The Victoria House online and it has had great user reviews. This looks MUCH nicer than the part of Belize we went to…doesn’t even look like the same place. So now I’m interested in going. Good tips about taking a bike and eating in town. I appreciate the info!

Greeno,

I would love to go to Copacabana during Carnivale. I love hearing the great feedback as well, because Rio really looks outstanding.

Rusty

rican May 6, 2009 at 8:08 pm

check out flamenco beach in culebra, puerto rico..

http://en.wikipedia…Flamenco_beach,_Isla_Culebra.JPG

Norbi May 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Hey Rusty,

just stumbled across this post of yours. You’ve got some beautiful beaches listed here, damn! I’ve been to Laguna Beach several times (have friends there), it really is an amazing place to be. In fact, that’s where I saw the Pacific for the very first time in my life. To me, that place is just out of this world, and it blows my mind that it’s less than 70 miles away from me. 🙂

Brenton May 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Rusty,
This is my first comment. But I have read EVERYone of your posts, absolutely incredible information.
My question is this. I am deploying to Iraq very soon and during deployments the Army sends soldiers on what is known as “Midtour Leave.” Basically they will send you anywhere you want to go in the entire world for two weeks, in the middle of the deployment, for FREE. I am having a tough time deciding where to go. I would like to go somewhere I wont have to spend an arm+leg on hotels, food etc. ( keeping a budget of $3000-4000) would be preferable.
Any suggestions????

Brenton Kasselder

admin May 29, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Brenton,

I guess it depends upon if you are going alone or with someone. I hear nothing but raving reviews about Costa Rica…that would be towards the top of my list.

On the other hand, flights to Australia are usually so expensive from the US…if you get that paid for “down-under” may be a great choice.

It is such a hard call, but my first instincts are Costa Rica…followed closely by Australia. Australia may be outside of the budget you want to stick to.

Hope that helps!

Rusty

The Travelers Zone July 29, 2009 at 3:40 am

fantastic beaches! Cancun,Mexico is an amazing place! you can indulge in your dream sports like Parachuting, Jet skiing, Para gliding, Scuba diving, golf and much more.thanks for great list!!

jaret September 21, 2009 at 2:55 am

nice list look like great pix…should hamptons beaches make it up there?

Jared | SpiritualZen.net October 15, 2009 at 9:27 am

Great list! Will have to visit some of those. My favorite beach is anyone you can shore dive from! Cane Bay on St. Croix is a great one for that. But for scenic purposes, Ke’e Beach Kauai.

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