On the Atlantic seaboard, New England, with its long summer days and sparkling blue waters, offers miles of dunes, music festivals and fabulous sailing. For a great family vacation, why not take a stylish beach-house at the Inn by the Sea in Maine, where you can relive fun-filled days toasting marshmallows over a driftwood fire? Follow the coast down through Chesapeake Bay and the balmy Carolinas on to the natural playground of Florida, where you can snorkel over shimmering reefs and collect seashells from white sands washed daily by the Gulf of Mexico.
Or head west for the pounding surf of the Pacific. Here, the forested islands and channels of the Washington coast provide superb opportunities to see migrating whales, while Oregon offers wild beaches and dramatic sea stacks. Further south, the cool redwood forests of northern California gradually give way to Mediterranean warmth, with bronzed surfers and seductive ocean living.
The continent’s finest beaches, however, are to be found on its outlying islands. Hawaii can still offer that Pacific idyll of turquoise lagoons, lush rainforests and jaw-dropping volcanic landscapes. A stay at one of the islands’ top resorts such as the Four Seasons Maui provides a vacation as active or as relaxed as you choose, and taking a romantic stroll along Wailea Beach under a velvet sky filled with stars is an unforgettable experience. Lastly, don’t overlook tiny Bermuda, a secret paradise of pink sands and unhurried colonial charms.