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Hermosa Beach, CA

Hermosa Beach, CA

As the end of summer looms near, there’s no better time to pack a beach bag and head to your favorite beach, right? Too bad everyone else has got the same idea. If blanket-to-blanket crowds and traffic jams aren’t exactly a picture of relaxation, soak up the sun in these similar but much less-crowded coastal towns.

If you like Venice Beach, you’ll LOVE Hermosa Beach

There’s no shortage of street artists, musicians, and tourists along Ocean Front Walk in Venice Beach. However, if you’re looking for a sandy oceanfront away from the crowds (and the crazies), Hermosa Beach is a cleaner, less frantic version of its northern neighbor. It’s a popular local spot for volleyball, paddle boarding, and surfing. True to its name, it’s also home to a number of arts festivals and cultural events such as the Fiesta Hermosa arts & crafts festival, Hermosa Beach Film Festival, and the Hermosa Beach Community Drum Circle.

Sunny Isles Beach stands in for Miami Beach

Sunny Isles Beach stands in for Miami Beach

If you like Miami Beach, you’ll LOVE Sunny Isles Beach

With a world-class arts scene and internationally acclaimed nightlife, Miami Beach is the second most crowded beach in the country with over13 million visitors a year. If you’re in the mood for a more casual, quieter beachfront, Sunny Isles Beach is a peaceful white sand beach with vintage hotels (and a new crop of luxury highrises). Located between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the quickly developing area has excellent shopping and free shuttles.

Ala Moana Beach stands in for Waikiki

Ala Moana Beach stands in for Waikiki

If you like Waikiki Beach, you’ll LOVE Ala Moana Beach

Waikiki Beach is a bustling center of activity. While it offers a plethora of high-end hotels, long board rentals, and designer stores, those looking for a local beach away from the chaos should consider Ala Moana Beach. The shopping center across the street is the largest in Hawaii, but you’re just a hop, skip and a jump from the golden sands of Ala Moana. With picnic tables, showers, and calm waters, it’s the perfect spot for a lazy afternoon by the water.

If you like Coney Island Beach, you’ll LOVE Brighton Beach

New Yorkers craving a summer reprieve flock to the historic Coney Island. To escape the crowds, head to its next-door neighbor, Brighton Beach. The ambiance is markedly different; with a large Russian population and Eastern European restaurants, Brighton is nicknamed “Little Odessa.” Located off the B Line, it’s an easily accessible option for fun in the sun, and a less hectic alternative to Coney Island. You may not find a Ferris wheel, but you might actually have some breathing room.

Wrightsville Beach stands in for Myrtle Beach

Wrightsville Beach stands in for Myrtle Beach

If you like Myrtle Beach, you’ll LOVE Wrightsville Beach

With year-round sunshine and warm ocean water, it’s no surprise that Myrtle Beach attracts 14 million visitors every year. But if you drive up the coast into North Carolina, you’ll find a four-mile stretch of sand with a laid-back vibe only an hour and a half away. A popular destination for kayaking, paddle boarding, and kiteboarding, there are also prime fishing spots along Johnnie Mercer’s Pier.

If you like Virginia Beach, you’ll LOVE Jamestown Beach

While Virginia Beach has a lot to offer along its expansive coastline and three-mile boardwalk, it can get extremely crowded from May to September. To beat the traffic, try Jamestown Beach in Williamsburg instead. Jamestown Beach Park is located on the James River and has plenty of shaded picnic areas and public charcoal grills. The sandy beach is shallow and quiet, so it’s great for younger kids who can’t battle the waves. After a day of fun in the sun, watch the sun set over the river for a lovely end to a perfect summer day.

Tagged: California, Family time, Florida, Hawaii, Uncategorized

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Hope Nardini
Hope is a freelance travel writer, salsa dancer, and shameless chocoholic. Although she's lived all over the U.S. and South America, she now calls the wonderful city of Chicago home. Find her on Twitter: @HKNARDINI

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