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10 cool city beaches from around the world

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If you are contemplating a city break or a beach escapade this summer but can’t decide – why not combine both? We’ve put together our 10 favourite hip cities worth checking out with awesome beaches.

We have been collecting data from tourism boards, speaking with colleagues, jet-setting freinds, PR’s and used our own experience to come up with a list of some the best city beaches across the globe.

These beaches are not just naturally beautiful, but some also offer amenities such as Wi-Fi, awesome bars/restaurants, gobsmacking views and that all important guaranteed sunshine.

We are sure you will have your own list. We’d love to hear about them. Why not comment below to let us know or vote in our Facebook poll – 10 cool city beaches.

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Gordon Beach, Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv can be described as the the capital of cool in the Middle East with its stunning beaches, hedonistic bars and more than 300 sunny days a year.

The city boasts 14 km of beaches, all free and accessible to the public. Gordan Beach is where the city’s hip and cool flock to top up their tan and enjoy the many trendy cafes and beachside bars. This beach is also a hit with tourists due to its close proximity to the city’s many hip and cool hotels.

The beach now includes a new promenade, which creates a continuation between the city and the sand. This new boardwalk is great for hanging with family and friends. Need a good book to read? Well now you can borrow a book from the beach library. The new library provides 500 books in five languages, including English, Arabic, Russian, French and Hebrew. Prefer to read online? You can connect to the free Wi-Fi provided all over the city, including the beach.

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South Beach, Miami, Florida, US

Mention ‘Miami’ and the first thing that comes to most minds is the beach. Miami lovers will tell you, there’s no place on Earth like Miami.

Miami Beach is recognised internationally for its top beaches, excellent restaurants, luxury hotels and events. The city’s nightlife and iconic neon lights – both are a testament to the hustle and bustle of a city that continues to operate long after sunset. Glorious weather has always been the main attraction, with yearly temperatures in Miami averaging 76°F.

Located a few degrees above the Tropic of Cancer, Miami comprises a network of barrier islands, coral rock and mangrove swamps, connected by man made additions of soaring bridges and causeways with panoramic views of Biscayne Bay. And whilst you’re there don’t forget to visit the Art Deco district with its collection of more than 800 architecturally protected buildings from the 1930s and 1940s.

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Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii

Between Ala Moana Beach Park, Magic Island and Diamond Head, more than a quarter-million people find their piece of paradise daily in Waikiki. Oahu’s south shore is the playground of the Pacific.  Known for its fabulous climate, multicultural lifestyles and beautiful beaches, Waikiki attracts globetrotters in their millions.

The glistening turquoise waters were once popular with Hawaiian Royalty who would frequently surf the waves of Waikīkī. Waikiki’s calm waters are great for first-time surfers, snorkelers and scuba diving.

Waikīkī is a vibrant and energetic resort city known for its legendary beach, iconic Diamond Head, famous resorts and energising activities such as dining, shopping and surfing.

The iconic silhouette of Diamond Head State Monument sits along the Honolulu skyline just beyond Waikīkī. This iconic landmark provides panoramic views of Honolulu and Waikīkī and is just five minutes from Waikīkī. It is a volcanic crater that has been extinct for 150,000 years. If you have the energy you can hike to the 760-ft summit for a breathtaking view of Waikīkī Beach.

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Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Kitsilano or ‘Kits’ to locals is a popular beach with sporty types and ideal for outdoor fitness. Kitsilano is also one of the city’s organic-food hubs, and has plenty of restaurants and shops along West 4th Avenue and West Broadway.

The summer period is busy with festivals such as, Bard on the Beach, Greek Day and Khatsahlano Festival.

The beach is also close to a number of museums, including Museum of Vancouver, the Maritime Museum and the Planetarium. At 137 meters, Kitsilano’s saltwater pool is the only saltwater pool in Vancouver and the largest in Canada.

Vancouver is regularly ranked among the most liveable cities in the world and its 18 km of beaches can only boost its reputation. Vancouver is also one of the warmest cities in Canada.

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Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa

Located on the Atlantic Ocean, Camps Bay is a tourist hotspot and one of the most popular beaches in Cape Town. It is known as the St Tropez of South Africa and offers spectacular views of Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles.

Camps Bay is a suburb of Cape Town, with a village feel and only 15 minutes drive to the center of town. There are a plethora of cafes/bars and restaurants along Victoria Road. Other beaches close by include the Clifton Beach, Boulder Beach and Mnandi Beach. If you prefer baring all, Sandy Bay (Cape Town’s only nudist beach) is the place for you.

Other activities are the cable car to Table Mountain. Why not take the Cape Town Explorer Bus from Camps Bay, which has a hop-off service at the V&A Waterfront, city centre and Camps Bay. This two hour trip will give you a perfect introduction to Cape Town.

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Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

With so many beaches and bays close to Sydney’s city centre, it’s no surprise that Sydneysiders enjoy a wide variety of water sports focused on the beach.

Only a 20-minute bus ride from the centre, Bondi is all surf and sun. For more experienced surfers South Bondi is where all the action is. Come 2014, Sydney’s open air cinema returns January to March (Sydney summer time). Feature films light up the huge movie screen from dusk. Cinemagoers can chill out before their movie with food and frosty beverages from the licensed bar, while relaxing to sounds from the best of the Australian music scene.

Bondi is also a mecca for shopping. On Campbell Parade you will find a string of swimwear shops. At nighttime don your finest ensemble and head over to Icebergs Dining Room and Bar. Perched on the southern tip of Bondi Beach, it’s one of the city’s most awesome drinking and dining spots. It’s the ideal place to catch the sunset whilst sipping on a glamorous cocktail or two.

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Costa de Caparica, Lisbon, Portugal

With 30 km of sand and sea, Costa da Caparica is Europe’s largest beach and only 30 minutes south of Lisbon, on the southern bank of the River Tagus.

One of the best touristic resorts in Portugal, Costa da Caparica attracts millions of tourists every year, because of the quality of the white sand and clean waters, as well as the unique beauty of Costa – the most unmistakable characteristic of the county – the Fossil Cliff.

Another plus is that the entire Atlantic coast is connected by a beach train that takes tourists up to their favourite beach during the summer period. Another excuse to ditch the car reduce your carbon emissions.

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Copacabana Beach in Rio, Brazil

For a more cosmopolitan break, head to Rio de Janeiro. Not only does the city offer an array of world-famous beaches including Copacabana, you can also take the cable car ride up to Sugarloaf Mountain and take in the spectacular views of the city together.

The beach stretches for almost 8 km and lies in-between the Atlantic Ocean and the Morro do Leme – another of Rio’s forest covered hills. The beach is lined with various bars, restaurants and clubs. People come to play volleyball,  jog up and down the beach, busk and play capoeira – a Brazilian martial arts that combines dance and acrobatics.  The streets are lined with high-rise flats, all situated around the neoclassical facade of the Copacabana Palace hotel, which was the tallest building in the suburbs until the 1940s.

 

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Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona may not boast the most beautiful beaches in the world but it certainly makes up for it in culture and atmosphere. The city has 10 accessible beaches, with Wi-Fi and excellent amenities and services.

Barceloneta is a two-mile stretch of beach located right in the centre of one of Barcelona’s oldest neighbourhoods – the Ciutat Vella – an excellent place for relaxing along the Mediterranean Sea. Barceloneta is Barcelona’s best-loved beach, which is dominated by a 56-meter-long and 35-meter-high abstract goldfish sculpture, known as Peix, by Frank Gehry, which is situated at the northeast end.

Beach bars known as “chiringuitos” line the stretch of the beach serving tapas and other Catalan and International cuisine. Along the long promenade you can find luxury hotels and casinos.

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Isla Verde Beach, San Juan, Puerto Rico

From its humble beginnings in the 60s, the island has grown to become one of the world’s best surf destinations. It isn’t a surprise that Puerto Rico is known as the Hawaii of the Atlantic.

A perfect golden crescent of sand, Isla Verde Beach is possibly the best place to enjoy an ice-cold Pina Colada under one the many tropical palm trees. Isla Verde is among the most popular beaches in Puerto Rico, in part because it offers a variety of water sports such as kiteboarding, to personal watercrafts, to Banana boats and much more.

The beach can be found directly adjacent to Condado Beach, and is popular with locals and tourists due to the plethora of beach bars. Isla Verde also has an enviable reputation as one of the island’s best nighttime hotspots.

Images courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority, Kfir Bolotin, Ethan Rohloff; Destination NSW, Turismo da Costa da Caparica, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau – MiamiandBeaches.com, Assif Majid,  South African Tourism, Hilari, and Soe Lin

About

Assif is a BBC trained British journalist who spends his time between Leeds and London. Assif holds an MA in Journalism from the University of Leeds. He is partial to tea and cake - Yorkshire Tea Gold Blend please.

Assif is the current editor of Adelto Magazine.

Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @journolista.

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August 21, 2013 | Travel | View comments

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