Home T-Boy Society of Film & Music T-Boy Society of Film & Music’s Favorite Beach Destinations

T-Boy Society of Film & Music’s Favorite Beach Destinations

Curated by Ed Boitano

Los Cabos Beach
Los Cabos is situated at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, and plays host to two million visitors per year. PHOTO COURTESY OF RICHARD FRISBIE

As the brutal heat of summer assaults our lives as if we were a roast in an oven, FAVORITE BEACH DESTINATIONS has been selected for our new T-Boy Society of Film & Music’s poll. Research revealed that the origin of the word “beach” is somewhat ambiguous, ranging from the Old Norse bakki (bank, as of a stream) to the Old English baece (stream) to “beach,” a mutation of “bleach” (as stones are bleached by the sun and water). In the period of King Henry VIII, the English used the word specifically for a pebble beach because ‘strand’ sounded more like a sandy beach. The modern-day definition is simple: an expanse of sand or pebbles along the shore of an ocean, sea, large river, lake, etc. I did further research and found that tourists’ second favorite activity while on vacation is going to the beach. Yes, shopping is number one. Indeed, tourism is the main source of income for smaller nations, particularly those in the Caribbean, renowned for their charm and enchanting beaches. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world, tourism has been brutally impacted, and we wait for better days to come. But, until then, let’s take a journey and experience our FAVORITE BEACH DESTINATIONS from the past. — EB

Ruby Beach, Washington
Ruby Beach is the northernmost of the southern beaches in the coastal section of Olympic National Park in Washington State. PHOTO BY ANNIE BROUWER.

A favorite beach is very much in the taste of the beholder. For some members it meant basking in the sun, water sports or a simple dip in the water, while other preferences included colder, windswept beaches like Washington State’s NW Pacific coast.

Favorite Beach Destinations and its Players

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
Seven Mile Beach, a long crescent of coral-sand beach on the western end of Grand Cayman island, was voted “The Caribbean’s Best Beach” from Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine. PHOTO BY HALINA KUBALSKI.

Richard CarrollT-Boy writer:

  • Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman — Seven Mile Beach on the west shore of the island just north of George Town is a glorious strand of soft coral sand though not quite reaching seven miles (5.5 miles), is a setting offering a marvelous opportunity to walk the entire length of the beach greeting visitors from throughout the world. At dusk, as the sun drops below the horizon, the beach changes from a seaside stroll to a warm sensuous waltz as the sparkle of each new light is reflected in the glassy Caribbean. Ranked among the world’s best beaches and a starting point for more than 150 classified dive and snorkeling sites, a Grand Cayman highlight.
  • Honeymoon Beach, Turtle Island, Fiji — A small secluded beach seemingly tucked away in it’s own world of towering coco palms with a gentle surf, accompanied by the songs of unseen birds and the rush of a gentle offshore breeze, is a sensuous beach with passion to share.
  • The Beaches of Los Cabos — The coastline at the tip of Baja, Land’s End, stretching from San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas and miles further, has a collection of beaches unlike anywhere in the world with unusually diverse personalities thanks to the mighty Pacific and the Sea of Cortez. On the Pacific side many are unswimmable due to unpredictable strong waves, undertows and rip tides. My favorites, dating to my first media trip in 1978, is Divorce Beach, Playa del Divorcio in Cabo San Lucas on the Pacific side. Located behind Lover’s Beach which faces the Sea of Cortez, accessed by boat, greatly secluded, and also unswimmable, Divorcio is a beach to enhance the strength of nature and the beauty of Baja. A long-lasting Cabo favorite, Palmilla Beach is overseen by the One&Only Palmilla Resort in San Jose del Cabo on the Sea of Cortez. Palmilla is swimmable, a Baja beauty and a popular beach for fashion shoots.
  • Ka’anapali Beach, Maui — Ka’anapali in West Maui catches the eye with a wide swath of deep sand 1.5 miles long, bordered by a walkway that is often filled with joggers and strollers. The all-encompassing beach with views of both cloud-draped Molokai, and Lanai which appears like a large whale up for air, are soothed by the Maui trade winds that flow east to west on the Ka’anapali side of the island. The channel is tagged “Whale Soup” when December 15th to mid-April visitors can lounge on the beach and enjoy the acrobatic humpbacks breaching and slapping the water as they mate and birth. Ka’anapali is ideal for families, swimmers and water play. The north end of the beach at Black Rock you can spend the day snorkeling.
Red Beach Crete, Matala, Crete
Matala’s Red Beach in southern Crete can be reached by water via small boat, kayak, or by hiking about 25 minutes from Matala. TOP PHOTOS COURTESY OF ANDREE STEPHAN via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY 3.0. BOTTOM PHOTO COURTESY OF MOONIK/SIZUN EYE via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 3.0.

Stephen Brewer — T-Boy writer:

  • Red Beach Matala, Crete — If you want a beach that dishes up some mythology and history along with sand and sun, the Greek island of Crete is a good place to be.  In the south coast settlement of Matala, about 12,000 years ago early fishermen and farmers dug caves out of cliffs that rise on one side of the beach to shelter from the sun and elements. A little later the beach gained renown as the place where the Zeus had his way with the princess Europa. Minoans made the caves into warehouses, and Roman legions under Brutus camped out in them. So much for ancient history. Jump forward to the 1960s, when Matala became a troglodyte mecca on the hippie circuit and Joni Mitchell sang, The night is a starry dome, And they’re playin’ that scratchy rock and roll, Beneath the Matala moon. These days Matala is a laidback resort with some simple hotels and waterside restaurants, and the beautiful beach is a little too crowded with beach umbrellas and day trippers. For a scenic getaway, follow the well-marked path over the headland to so-called Red Beach, a paradisaical slip of sand where goat bells mix with the sound of surf.
  • Capri, Italy — The island of Capri has been associated with hedonism ever since the Emperor Tiberius tossed lovers of whom he’d tired off the sea cliffs in front of his palace. These days, seeing all the chain-bedecked Lotharios and glamorous Milanese models strutting around might evoke the words of onetime visitor D.H. Lawrence, who called this beautiful isle in the Gulf of Naples “a gossipy, villa-stricken, two-humped chunk of limestone.” Even we glamor-challenged visitors can partake of one of the great pleasures of an Italian summer and join celebrities, minor royalty, software billionaires, and just plain folks at La Fontelina, a beach club at the foot of the famous Faraglioni rocks. The best approach is the path from Capri Town through pine-scented forests to sky-high Punta Tragara, and from there down hundreds of stone steps cut out of the cliffs to the seaside. The routine is to swim from one of the platforms perched above the remarkably blue water, then to take a seat beneath bamboo awnings for a simple meal of insalata Caprese (invented here on the island) and grilled fish, washed down with the house sangria, followed by a nap on a lounger in the shade. As the sun sets and this memorable beach experience draws to a close, a motor launch will whisk you back to civilization and reality — well, as real as life ever seems to be on Capri.
sunset at Ibiza
Aguas Blancas’ beach sits below steep cliffs on the Spanish island of Ibiza. PHOTO COURTESY OF RICHARD FRISBIE.

Richard FrisbieT-Boy writer:

I’m not a beach person, really — I’m a swimmer. Beaches are for walking across to get into the water. That being said, I’ve seen some fabulous beaches on my way to an invigorating swim.

In no particular order:

  • Aguas Blancas Beach in Ibiza, Spain — With a laidback hippy vibe and gentle waves lapping the golden sand, it is a sweet little place to watch the sunrise as you recover from the disco nights (or so I’m told).
  • Knip Beach in Curacao, where the cliffs break and a soft white sand beach spills into clear, cerulean waters. Pure swimming, cliff-diving, and beer-drinking hedonism.
  • Buzios Beach, Rio de Janeiro (the state not the city) — Copacabana and Ipanema are nice enough, but an hour or so outside the city is a small fishing village with a cosmopolitan European vibe and the sweetest crescent beach. I could move there. (Brigitte Bardot did.)
  • Gulf Breeze, Florida — The beaches of Gulf Breeze, especially the white talcum powder sand one where you have to shuffle into the water to avoid stepping on the rays. But they are all beautiful!
  • Los Cabos — And finally — for beaches meant for walking, not swimming, go to Los Cabos. The beaches are beautiful stretches of endless sand with, for the most part, dangerous undertows and rough surf. Pretty to look at, but dangerous!
beach at St. Petersburg, Florida
St. Petersburg, Florida, which glimmers between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, is known for the title of “most consecutive days with sunshine” at 768 days! PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLAN TROY SMITH.

Allan SmithArtist & T-Boy writer:

  • St. Pete Beach, Florida — White sand, relaxing sound of surf crashing on the beach, incredible sunsets, pelicans, sandpipers, beach bars with cocktails and popcorn shrimp.
La Città Bianca, Puglia, Italy
La Città Bianca’s iconic white walls and typically white-painted architecture can be seen directly from the beach. PHOTO BY TOM WEBER.

Tom Weber — T-Boy Writer:

  • La Città Bianca, Ostuni, Puglia, Italy — For the 26th consecutive year, the 20km length of Italy’s Adriatic coastline just below Ostuni, La Città Bianca (The White City), in southeastern Puglia — my adopted hometown — has been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag designation by the Federation for Environmental Education (FEE). From Torre Canne in the north to Torre Guaceto in the south, this unspoilt stretch is dotted with a series of long beaches, small inlets, rocks, dunes and Mediterranean vegetation. Only a 20-min. drive from my house to the coast, I can’t really favor one spot of sand or rocky crag over another. They are all so breathtakingly beautiful in their own unique way, regardless of the season. If your travels ever take you to La Città Bianca, make it a point to venture down to the coast and admire the Adriatic Sea. Why, you might even see me waving a blue flag.
Haiti coastline
Once the most popular tourist spot in the Caribbean, Haiti is home to miles of breathtaking beaches and crystal blue waters. PHOTO COURTESY OF BOWERSBILL via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 4.0.

Deb Roskamp — T-Boy photographer & writer:

Try as I might, it is not possible for me to come up with a ranking of my favorite beaches. I am someone who loves the beach and don’t recall one yet that hasn’t given me pleasure. Therefore, my list is not a ranking, but rather, a list of beaches experienced, in chronological order, that inspire vivid memories of the occasions that added meaning to my life.

  • Unknown name, northern coast of Haiti — On a rare excursion from volunteer ‘duties’ one college summer, we scrambled down a tall scruffy hill to reach the sand and the waters which teemed with life I hadn’t realized existed. My first snorkeling and swimming in the raw experiences. I can still feel the freedom of the warm waters enveloping me and see the vivid colors of the creatures around me…
  • Naples Beach, Florida — On an early winter trip to Naples with a UW college friend, we jogged and swam along the beach with the pier in view every morning. Coming from Washington state, I couldn’t believe the luxury of heat in December. I don’t know now if they remain, but the sands then were filled with varied shells so bountiful, one could have scooped them up and filled a bucket, easily.
  •  La Push, Washington State — The opposite of tropical, this beach has such rugged beauty, with its sands ‘littered’ with trees & driftwood, to a backdrop of sea stacks, crashing waves, blisteringly cold winds, and (of course) rain.  I stayed with a friend from my first job as an RN at University Hospital, Seattle in a little cabin.  We warmed ourselves with an indoor fire and potato soup (which I still have the recipe for).
  • Na Pali Coast, Kauai — Back to tropical. With another nursing friend — this one from my first job in LA, at the County Hospital. After deciding to hike the long Kalalau trail there, we got a late start and ended up literally running the last miles to try to beat the sun, which we could see rapidly falling towards the ocean in front of us. We arrived in the dark and awoke to a garden of Eden. It felt like the 60’s (I won’t describe why!), and we slept in the open on the sand, ‘showered’ in the waterfall. If we’d had food, we could have stayed forever. We didn’t, but the stains on our clothes from the soil on the hike were permanent reminders of that experience.
  • Golfo dei Poeti, Lerici, Italy — There are many beaches in Italy that could have made my list, but this one is special for a number of reasons.  The history — dating back to Etruscan times.  The Shelleys, Byron, DH Lawrence.  The architecture — two castles on either end of the bay, the ‘usual’ churches, villas, shops in between. The fishing boats. The promenade.  The food. The Saturday flea market. The ferry to the Cinque Terre and Portovenere. My visit there was with my best friend from UCLA graduate school days and was too short.  I long to return and explore more.
La Push. Olympic Coast, Washington
La Push is the home of the Quileute Tribal Nation, located on the Olympic Coast of Washington State. PHOTO COURTESY OF RON CLAUSEN via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 4.0.

James BoitanoT-Boy writer:

  • Pacific Coast Beaches, Olympic National Park, Washington State — Incredibly beautiful and rugged coast line, sea stacks, tidal pools and giant logs of driftwood on the beach.
  • Magens Bay, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands — Turquoise waters at a perfect temperature in a sheltered bay makes any tropical dream come true.
  • Black Sand Beach, Vik, Iceland — Volcanic sand as black as night in front of basaltic columns meet the dramatic waves of the open ocean.
Tortuga Bay, Galapagos
Famous for its unique wildlife, Galapagos’ Tortuga Bay is located on Santa Cruz Island, and named for the turtles that nest there. PHOTO BY ANNIE BROUWER.

Annie Brouwer T-Boy writer:

  • Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos
  • 1,000 Steps Beach, Laguna Beach, California 
  • Lincoln City, Oregon
  • Ruby Beach, Washington State
Cinque Terre sandy beach at Monterosso
Top Left: A trattoria carved into the hills. PHOTO COURTESY OF TROLVAG via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 3.0. Top Right: Cinque Terre viewed from the sea. PHOTO COURTESY OF EPICV27 via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 4.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 2.5, CC BY-SA 2.0, CC BY-SA 1.0. Bottom: Cinque Terre’s sandy beach at Monterosso. PHOTO COURTESY OF DEB ROSKAMP.

Ed Boitano — T-Boy editor:

  • Monterosso, Cinque Terre, Italy — The Cinque Terre is a string of steep, hillside towns on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline, each with its own majestic setting of colorful houses and vineyards clinging to the terraces.  The Sentiero Azzurro cliffside hiking trail links the five towns and offers sweeping, almost unimaginable vistas of the sea – and you must try to experience each of the towns!  Monterosso, the first and largest of the five towns, is the only one with an expansive sandy beach, and is the best place to choose as your home base, with a recommended stay of a minimum of five days. After a day’s hike a refreshing swim is in order, followed by a Sciacchetrà, a liquored white wine from the vineyards’ slopes, a plate of fried anchovies (acciuga) caught that very day, and a bowl of Pesto alla Genovese at one of the many trattorias on Monterosso’s pulsating promenade.
  • Concón, Chile — Like a Hitchcock film, an armada of unknown species of birds blanketed the sky as violent waves crashed along the rocks.  My Italian-Chilean uncle Rinaldo said it was his favorite beach in Chile, where he and his wife would often visit from their nearby home in Viña del Mar. He had gone to great lengths to make my Seattle family’s time in Chile a monumental occasion; adding later that we were the only relatives who had ever visited him.
  • Svalbard Archipelago, Norway, Arctic Ocean — With towering glaciers bearing down on me, I waded out into the icy waters and took a headfirst plunge. As I came up for air, I rallied my senses trying to comprehend what I had just done. My instincts told me that I should hurry back to the shore, but noticed many eyes upon me, so I faked a stoic composure and gallantly waded back to the applause of the Hurtigruten Expedition Vessel’s  passengers. And for this, I was awarded Hurtigruten’s Arctic Swimming Certificate. Was it worth it? Well, with or without the esteemed certificate, it’s something I shall never forget.
  • Brownes Beach, Barbados — The coast of the island nation of Barbados ranges from beaches with powdery sand and protected Caribbean waters to the powerful swells on the eastern Atlantic coast, good for surfing, but dangerous for swimming. Brownes Beach is conveniently set near the capitol city of Bridgetown, and serves as the perfect venue for a serious dose of Bajan flavor with nearby tropical bars and grills, local music and dancing, crowds of people swimming and snorkeling; and yet you can still find your own place in the sun. And all this from a former English colony; today a fascinating cultural fusion of the descendants of plantation owners and slaves, who serve elegant high tea and play cricket.
  • English Bay Beach, Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC — A mandatory pilgrimage for me is to stroll down Robson Street in downtown Vancouver to Stanley Park, my favorite urban park in the world. In the days of my honeymoon, we knew it as Robsonstrasse, due to the number of its German and European delis and bakeries. Today, I continue further west towards the bay, and soon I am at Stanley Park’s English Beach. With the exception of a kayak trek, I’ve never once set foot into its waters; for the cool of the evening is my desired time to visit. Locals after work congregate on the beach or at nearby bars and grilles. Bicyclists and rollerbladers traverse the lanes along the shore, and I simply take a place on a piece of driftwood and bask in the beauty of what is Vancouver today.
beaches at Tiger Island, Cannes and Venice, CA
Clockwise from top right: Arrival photo of T. E. Mattox at Gulf of Fonseca — Tiger Island during military days. (PHOTO COURTESY OF T.E. MATTOX); Venice, California is known for its two-and-a-half-mile pedestrian promenade that features performers, fortune-tellers, artists and vendors. (PHOTO COURTESY OF OGWEN via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 3.0.); Located on the French Riviera, Cannes is the host city of the annual Cannes Film Festival (PHOTO COURTESY OF PIXABAY).

T.E. Mattox — T-Boy music critic:

  • Cannes, France — The beaches on the Mediterranean are pristine. Off season is spacious and restaurants and bars ring the sand. Beware-lots of naked people eating and drinking around you! It’s Europe!
  • Moonstone Beach, Cambria, California — This central California stretch of sand is located between the tourist crowds of San Luis Obispo to the south and Carmel and Monterrey to the north. Perfect small town vibe, ideal for turning off your electronics and unplugging.
  • Venice Beach, L.A., California — The Strand is iconic. Skaters, chainsaw jugglers, musicians, and bodybuilders for miles. So much activity that the beach becomes the perfect option to stroll and explore.
  • Dog Beach in Del Mar, California — It’s got miles of sand and dogs, Happy Dogs… everywhere!
  • Gulf of Fonseca, Tiger Island — This body of water is surrounded by Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua and the beaches are inviting. Albeit, I was there in the military and used this area for R&R. But I remember vividly how relaxing and safe I felt.
Kapalua Bay, Maui
Kapalua Bay on Maui’s northwestern shore is one of the most picturesque white-sand beaches in the Hawaiian Islands. PHOTO COURTESY OF MAUIGUIDE.COM.

Rourke — Musician & composer:

When traveling I usually prefer walking in cities versus beaches, but here are my favs based on my limited experience:

  • Kapalua Bay, Maui — Years ago, I was fortunate enough to be assigned Hawaii as a sales territory, which meant I would get sent there for a week at a time. So, what could be better; renting a car and driving to all the beaches and getting paid for it. My boss decided to come on the first trip, a total workaholic whose idea of fun is reading How to Win Friends & Influence People. While driving along the Maui coast to appointments, he suddenly had me pull over so we could watch the sunset. I had never seen a sunset in Hawaii and I had never seen my boss stop working. Years later I married my wife in front of that same sunset.
  • Playa Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica — The rainforest meets the ocean.
  • Mui Ne, Vietnam — White pristine sands, not too far from Saigon.
  • St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands  — Any beach, on any of these islands could easily be on this list.
  • Black Sands at Waiʻanapanapa, Maui — Pictures are better than words.
surfing beach at Muizenberg, South Africa
With red, blue, and green beach shacks along the water, you’ll know you’ve found your way to Muizenberg (Dutch for “mice mountain”), a beach-side surfing town in the Western Cape, South Africa. PHOTO COURTESY OF STEFAN SCHÄFER, LICH via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 3.0.

Alex BrouwerT-Boy writer:

  • Muizenburg, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Laguna Beach, Los Angeles, California
  • Islas Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico
  • Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California
  • Huanchaco, Ica, Peru
Magens Bay, Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Magens Bay’s protected white sand beach is nestled on the north side of Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands. PHOTO COURTESY OF DBKING VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY 2.0.

Ringo Boitano — T-Boy writer:

  • Magens Bay, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands — Perhaps it’s due to being my first Caribbean beach, Magens Bay will always reign as my favorite beach on the planet. Stretching for nearly three quarters of a mile, the waters are calm, pristine and warm, and the beach is tropical, serene and spacious. As I waded out into the water, I noticed there was not a soul around, except for a Yoga class barely seen in the distance. Suddenly, a man charged through the beach path and dove into the gentle waves. Over his shoulder he shouted, I just flew from England to swim in this very beach. It made complete sense to me. It was a paradise worth sharing.
  • La Push, Washington State — La Push is a mere seven miles from Twilight’s film location in Forks, close to the Olympic National Park. It’s sweater weather in the summer, and heavy clothing during the other three seasons. While sitting on aged driftwood with stories to tell, watching unforgiving waves assault rock formations in the sea; La Push is a place for deep contemplation with one of the world’s most magnificent seascapes before me.
Shipwreck Beach, Lanai
Shipwreck Beach on the Hawaiian Island of Lanai. PHOTO COURTESY OF GREG ARAGON.

Greg Aragon — T-Boy writer:

About 72 percent of earth’s surface is covered with water, which means there are a lot of beaches out there and most of them are beautiful spectacles of nature. A few of my favorites include the island of Lanai in Hawaii, Carmel-by-the-Sea in California, and the Cook Islands.

  • Lanai, Hawaii This tropical paradise can be reached by plane or ferry from the neighboring island of Maui. If you take the 14-mile voyage by across the Auau Channel to tiny Manele Bay Harbor the views of the Hawaiian Islands are incredible. A highlight on Lanai is mysterious Shipwreck Beach, known for a sunken, WWII oil tanker just offshore. The beach is only accessible via four-wheel drive vehicle. On my last visit, a friend and I rented a Jeep and drove up a mountainous road lined with volcanic rock and red clay. In a few miles we came to a narrow turnout, where the road became a tunnel of trees, paved with deep sand and bumpy rock.
  • For the next 1.6 miles we bounced along the northeast coast with intermittent views of the ocean and an outline of Maui. The road ended at Big Rock, where we parked and continued on foot to find the sunken vessel. We then climbed over black volcanic rock and sand, then waded through warm tropical water until we saw the rusting vessel, leaning in a reef about 100 yards off the shore. Built in the 1940s, the ship was once a ferrous-concrete oil tanker that the navy unsuccessfully tried to sink after WWII. Today, it provides a hauntingly beautiful backdrop to Lanai.
  • On my visit to Lanai I stayed at Lanai Hotel that was originally built as a retreat in 1923 by pineapple pioneer James Dole.
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, Northern California — Another memorable beach location is the town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. This tiny postcard village of shady, tree-lined streets, charming hotels and inns, unique shops and gourmet restaurants, also boasts Carmel Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches around. Located at the end of the town’s main drag, Carmel Beach welcomes visitors with giant Monterey Pine and cypress trees, and gorgeous, rolling sand dunes leading to the water. The beach is great for surfing, dog walking, relaxing strolls and viewing sea live such as sea otters, which love float and roll on the surf just offshore.
  • One of the best times to visit Carmel Beach is at dusk, when people from all over the world come to sit on the sloping sand dunes and watch the sun fall into the Pacific Ocean. It is an unforgettable nightly experience, similar to a concert in the park. But the stars of this show are the sun and ocean. On my last visit to Carmel I stayed at Hotel Carmel, a cozy, boutique hotel a few blocks from the beach.
  • Rarotonga, Cook Islands — These enchanting islands below the equator are lost in time. They are that remote island paradise pictured on old postcards and posters from the 1950’s, when the South Pacific was a faraway dream. Located in the Tropic of Capricorn, the 15-island archipelago is spread out like stepping stones across the water, about 2,000 miles from New Zealand. The capital and largest island is Rarotonga, where a tiny international airport with a single runway connects the Cooks to the outside world.
  • Rarotonga is surrounded by a large emerald lagoon. It has one main road and a jagged rock mountain known as “the needle,” which jets 650 ft from the interior. The island has a 22-mile circumference and is essentially one big beach!  On my last visit, I stayed at Rarotonga Beach Bungalows, where I found Polynesian paradise on the sand, steps from a turquoise lagoon with coral gardens. The bungalows boast coconut thatched roofs, woven bamboo walls, exotic wood furniture, native paintings, large bedrooms, kitchens and dining areas, and big wooden porches overlooking the lagoon. The bungalow’s best feature is its proximity to the crystal-clear lagoon, close enough to see and hear the water splashing on the sand.
  • Because Rarotonga is encircled by a lagoon it is great for snorkeling. The water is filtered clear turquoise so you can see a rainbow of thousands of fish and you don’t have to worry about sharks. The reef is such an imposing boundary that one morning I walked two hundred yards into the water and it never reached my shoulder. It’s like a gigantic fishbowl. A great way to see Rarotonga is by the Island Bus, which runs every 20 minutes and can circle the island in about one hour.
Sunshine’s Beach Bar on Nevis
From bottom left: Llewellyn “Sunshine” Caines usually greets the diners personally, Sunshine’s Beach Bar where the welcoming is big and the atmosphere always buzzing; getaway of the rich and famous; and the alluring beach on Nevis. PHOTOS COURTESY OF SUNSHINE’S BEACH BAR.

Harrison Liu Atlas Ocean Voyages:

  • Sunshine’s Beach Bar & Grill, St Kitts & Nevis — My favorite beach destination? Hands down, the idyllic Island of Nevis. Beautiful, uncrowded beaches; delicious, fresh seafood; and kind and welcoming Nevisians make this my Caribbean jewel. In fact, Alexander Hamilton was born on Nevis, but this island’s history goes further back to the earliest days of colonialism. And there is no place better place in the Western Hemisphere to see the most glorious sunsets at Sunshine’s Beach Bar, with his delicious, world-famous rum punch in hand. Located just a short walk from the Four Seasons Resort, the colorful Sunshine’s Beach Bar was not named just from its brilliant surroundings but also from its proprietor, Llewellyn “Sunshine” Caines. He acquired the name from his grandmother when he was born with a sunny smile lighting up his face. When work started on the Four Seasons, Sunshine catered to its hungry construction workers, and slowly expanded — by adding a few picnic tables and a thatched palm-leaf roof for better shade.  The luxury Four Seasons resort opened in 1991, and Sunshine’s small, humble shack on the beach became a popular hangout for well-heeled tourists, locals and world-renowned celebrities.
Ocean City, MD
Ocean City, MD is renowned for its ten-miles of beautifully maintained sand and three-mile long boardwalk at the beach’s edge. (RIGHT PHOTO COURTESY OF PEXELS; BOTTOM LEFT PHOTO COURTESY OF LEE CANNON via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 2.0; TOP LEFT PHOTO COURTESY OF BILL PRICE III via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY 3.0.)

Fyllis HockmanT-Boy writer:

I’m one of those bizarre people who actually love the brutal August heat! And I am very much a beach person (shopper not so much… meaning not at all) and one of my favorite activities in the world is diving into waves; any waves anywhere (Caveat: the water has to be warm enough to actually approach.) The problem is that I haven’t been able to find any in the places I’ve been the past few years.  So yes, I have on past occasions enjoyed them in Ocean City, MD and the Outer Banks, NC and very infrequently, on the Atlantic side of a Caribbean island but no luck recently. So I’m still lusting after them.

  • Ocean City, Maryland
  • Outer Banks, North Carolina
  • Atlantic side of a Caribbean island
One Foot Island Post Office, Aitutaki, Cook Islands
One Foot Island is located on the southeastern perimeter of Cook Islands’ Aitutaki Lagoon. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN CLAYTON.

John Clayton — T-Boy writer:

  • One Foot Island, Aitutaki, The Cook Islands — Have you ever had one of those dreams where you’ve fantasized about a gorgeous South Seas Pacific island beach that’s surrounded by pristine, crystal clear waters so beautiful it makes you wonder if such a beach might REALLY exist somewhere in the world? Well, dear friends and fellow adventurers’ let me assure you that YES, a beach like that DOES exist. With its breathtaking and idyllic landscape, powdery white sand, warm azure waters, and the gently swaying palm and coconut trees, the intriguingly named One Foot Island is my all-time BEST BEACH in the world. One of the 22 islands in the Aitutaki atoll of the Cook Islands, it is only 2,000 feet long and about 689 feet wide. One Foot Island was, in June, 2008 in Sydney, Australia, named, by the World Travel Awards Organization, the title of “Australasia’s Leading Beach.”
Lake Chelan
Lake Chelan, on the eastside of Washington State’s Cascade Mountains, features 6,000 feet of accessible shoreline and beaches. PHOTO COURTESY OF COLTON MILLER FROM UNSPLASH.

Brent CampbellMusician and composer:

  • Lake Chelan, WA at Campbell’s — I went there at least 25 times in my first thirty years).
  • Hanalei on Kauai. — When the tide is right this is the best body surfing beach in HI.
  • Cannon Beach, Oregon — Just spectacular natural beauty.
  • Golden Gardens, Seattle — Until it was taken over by homeless and criminals, it is simply not safe to visit these days.
  • San Blas, Mexico — I went there 40 plus years ago and it was an untouched gem. Probably not anymore.
Secret Beach, Makena, Maui
As its name suggests, Secret Beach is a hidden beach in the quiet residential neighborhood of Makena on Maui’s sleepy south coast. PHOTO COURTESY OF PINTEREST.

Roger FalliheeT-Boy writer:

  • Secret Beach, Maui — We heard about this spot from friends. It’s called Secret Beach, also known as Pa’ako Beach. As you drive there you need to watch for a stone wall with a narrow passage. Park on the road just south of the more popular Big Beach, and continue walking south until you find a break in the wall – that’s the beach’s unofficial entrance.  Walk through the passageway and about 30 yards to the beach. When we were there it was just us and a family. There are no restrooms or food. About 1/4 mile before you arrive there’s a food truck.
East Oahu’s Kailua Beach
Top left: President Barak Obama working at his vacation home in East Oahu’s Kailua Beach. PHOTO COURTSY OF PETE SOUZA, PUBLIC DOMAIN via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS. Top Right and Bottom: The beach features three miles of fine, white sand along a crescent shaped bay. TOP RIGHT AND BOTTOM PHOTOS COURTESY OF DANIEL RAMIREZ via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY 2.0.

David Erskine — T-Boy VP of advertising:

  • Kailua Beach, East Oahu, Hawaii — Obama’s vacation home is there.
  • Crane’s Beach, Plum Island, Ipswich, Massachusetts — Where I got engaged.
  • Sharks Cove, North Shore Oahu, Hawaii
  • Aghios Nikolaos, Crete
  • Bellows Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Lifeguard Tower 28, Santa Monica Beach, California
  • Laguna Beach, California
  • Magnolia by the Sea, Magnolia, Massachusetts
  • Good Harbor, Gloucester Massachusetts
  • Stinson Beach, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California
tropical beach
A photo that reminds the author of the Dalipuga beach of his childhood. PHOTO COURTESY OF PEDRO MONTEIRO, UNSPLASH.

Raoul Pascual — T-Boy writer:

  • Dalipuga, Mindanao, the Philippines — The most beautiful beach I’ve ever experienced were the beaches in Dalipuga, on the southern island of Mindanao in the Philippines. Our grandmother owned a whole stretch of sandy beach which was so clear and had coral reefs some 20 feet away from the shoreline. It was always nice and warm. I never saw so many exotic fishes in such pristine waters. But that was over 50 years ago. Now, civilization, industries and pollution have done their destructive deed. Construction companies actually harvested the sand and left the beach with nothing but barren corals. There are still several virginal beaches in the Philippines (a few you’ve seen in the reality TV show Survivor) but Dalipuga is no longer the paradise I remember.
corals and other marine life
  • Nice, France — This was back in the 80s. I was traveling via Eurail and decided to visit a beach in France. Nice was a convenient stop. I walked towards the beach and I was shocked to see a few obese ladies with their tops off. Walking a little further the crowd started to get younger and I had my lunch on the cemented breakwater wall. Along comes this stunningly sunburned goddess who decided to take a shower right in front of me. I think she enjoyed me ogling at her because she really took a long shower. I may not have gone down to the sand and I may not have waded through the water but I will always remember my brief encounter with the topless beauty.
  • Long Beach, Southern California — The beaches in Southern California are all too cold even in the summer. People go there more to sunbathe, to watch the sunbathers, to exercise and for the activities alongside of it.  Perhaps the one that I frequent the most is Long Beach. We don’t go for the water but we go to window shop.
Laguna Beach
  • Laguna Beach: The Artist’s Beach, Southern California — I’ve been curious about Laguna Beach ever since I heard about the Pageant of the Masters — a 90-minute performance where live actors in costumes bring famous paintings to life on stage. My wife wanted to go to a beach where she could bring our dog for a stroll. We decided to finally go there. I did not expect to see so many art galleries. What was amazing was the variety of art.
Wyland’s parking lot mural
Wyland’s parking lot mural. PHOTO BY RAOUL PASCUAL.
  • Robert Wyland, the conservationist painter of huge whale murals lives there on top of his gallery. I was unaware that he created furniture sculpture. I liked those better than his murals. There were other 1st class novelty shops like Art for the Soul that sells paintings, mixed media collages.  Elena Bulatova Fine Art  sells kitsch sculptures (similar to Jeff Koons) and nostalgic posters and crafts. The displays were excellent – they would fit well in a museum. No wonder the prices were in the tens of thousands for some of them. There was even a gallery where the artist was actually painting his masterpiece for the tourists. There was a gallery of huge nature photographs that blew me away with the composition not unlike Ansel Adams.
Edward Bobinski’s Narrative Gallery
Left: Elena Bulatova’s kitsch gallery.  Right: Edward Bobinski posing in front of his Dr. Seuss collection. PHOTOS BY RAOUL PASCUAL.
  • By far my favorite gallery was Edward Bobinski’s Narrative Gallery who carried original art by the famous Dr. Seuss. He said this was just one of the many galleries that carried Dr. Seuss’ official artwork. He bragged it was a 40-plus million dollar business. The COVID scare did not slow down his sales. He just had more online business. Some of the limited edition serigraphs were priced as much as $50k. His cheapest piece was $300.  A little-known fact was Dr. Seuss also created sculptures and some of those are also in display. When asked why a pencil sketch costs more than some colored pieces, Edward said, “It is what that artwork means to the individual… if a child grew up reading the Cat in the Hat, that poster would mean more than this other more elaborate pieces.” He’s right.

  • Despite the virus, there was a good enough crowd in some restaurants. You could tell which were the favorites by the crowd eating in the patio. There they were in their beach attire and alongside their family dogs.
  • Laguna beach’s shoreline is a nice and cozy cul-de-sac compared to other beaches. I didn’t get to see the Pageant of the Masters because that was called off due to the pandemic. But what I saw more than impressed me.
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  1. Raoul Pascual

    August 26, 2020 at 8:53 am

    Didn’t realize there was so much variety in beaches. Very interesting article.


  2. Richard Frisbie

    September 1, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    This reminds me of my many, many walks on Ogunquit beach in Maine. It is probably the least exotic and my most walked beach, but I didn’t think of it for the article. One day, after a storm on my daily walk, I spied a ship’s hull in the sand. A local, my neighbor, said it was a rare sighting of one of the old barges sunk to preserve the sand dunes many years before. Sweet memory – thanks for reminding me of it.


  3. John Clayton

    September 1, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Good heavens… what an avalanche of intriguing info on – of all things – beaches. In one word-super


  4. Peggy

    September 3, 2020 at 11:58 am

    I have always loved La Jolla Shores – next to my home town of San Diego CA. Beautiful beach, large rocks, shore break, surfing. Gorgeous.


  5. Peggy Stillman

    September 4, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    Maybe need to change the name to Traveling “Man!”


    • Ed Boitano

      September 21, 2020 at 11:16 am

      Thanks, Peg. Sadly, Traveling ‘Man’ man does not tie into Traveling Boy aka ‘Boitano.’ It’s stupid, I know. thanks for the wonderful heartfelt assistance with Jim’s operation. I hope Aunt Virginia is well…


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