I grew up in Hawaii, which probably explains why I am more attracted to the beach than the mountains, or any other vacation destination.
It’s beach or bust in my book.
However, not all beaches are created equal.
When booking an escape to the sun, sand and surf, consider that you can also get a side of shopping, shrimping or seclusion depending on where you go.
For example, if you are planning a trip to Palm Beach, Florida, you can take a dip in the water, and seconds later, dip into your wallet while shopping at world-class retailers on Worth Avenue. The area is home to more than 250 high-end shops, including Cartier and Saks Fifth Avenue. The mega-mall is located right next to the beach, as is the historic Breakers Hotel. The luxury property was built in 1903 and is considered one of the world’s grandest resorts. The massive Italian Renaissance structure is the centerpiece of Palm Beach society, and is worth touring even if you don’t have the cash to spend the night.
Another popular beach community is located along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Orange Beach is an affordable, family-friendly vacation spot situated at the southernmost tip of Alabama; between Mobile and Pensacola, Florida.
Accommodations range from beachfront rental houses and cottages to condos, hotels and motels. Regardless of where you stay in Orange Beach, you won’t be far from the sand and surf. The area is a haven for fishing enthusiasts and is home to one of the largest artificial reef programs in the United States. In addition to housing 1,200 square miles of fish habitat, Orange Beach is also the home port for one of the largest charter fishing fleets on the northern Gulf Coast.
The resort community also caters to families with children. The Wharf is Orange Beach’s top tourist attraction. The multi-venue extravaganza boasts dozens of eateries, shops, a 112-foot Ferris wheel and an amphitheater which hosts major concerts.