November Beach Travel Guide

Tunnels Beach, Kauai, HI
One of more serene beaches in a long line of serene beaches on Kauai's north shore, Tunnels is so named for the caverns that honeycomb the reef just offshore. This makes for spectacular snorkeling and shore diving; look for sea turtles gripping the reef with their beaks to hold their position when the backwash from the waves surges outward. The two-mile-long beach is where a lot of friendly locals congregate at sunset with dogs, coolers, and snacks.

Friendship Bay Beach, Bequia
Ah, the Grenadines in May. Okay, we admit it, we're suckers for the Grenadines all year 'round. The beta on Friendship Bay: Remarkably beautiful stretch of sand hanging like tinsel beneath steep, lush hills and opening to crystalline snorkel territory. A couple of hotels and restaurants bookend the beach, but there's more than ample room for all comers.

Playa El Agua, Isla Margarita
Blessed by more than 330 sunny days per year, Margarita Island also basks in reliable breezes, making it (among other things) one of the world's best places to learn wind sports, like windsurfing and kite boarding. Playa El Agua is among the best pure beaches on the island: 2.5 miles of chalk-white sand ideal for lounging, jogging, and swimming, and frequented by enough locals and tourists for superb people watching.

Long Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
You'd be forgiven for thinking Grace Bay was the only beach on Provo—it does, after all, get endless bytes of well-deserved press—but Long Bay has it's own awe-inspiring charms, namely two miles of satin sand fronting the same beaming waters that all of Turks & Caicos are famous for. This is a quieter—but growing—side of Provo, with some development but nothing equal to the battalion of hotels on Grace Bay.

Isla Saona, Dominican Republic
While everyone else packs into the D.R.'s all-inclusive resorts, head for this mellow little island on the country's far southeast tip. Isla Saona has oodles of peaceful beach, with thatch waterfront bars and coconut palms ceding into fields of chest-deep water that has earned the moniker "natural swimming pool." Starfish abound in the water (handle them gently and don't take them from their home) and more than 100 species of birds are found topside.

Port Antonio, Jamaica
Your first amazement about Port Jamaica will be the sensual scenery—coves of buttery sand and sapphire seas draped by verdant vegetation and steep hills. Next, you'll wonder why in the heck more people don't break the MoBay-Negril-Ocho Rios habit to come to this stunning section of Jamaica's northeast coast. There are more than enough places to stay, including funky lodges and stately villas, as well as restaurants, water sport options, hikes, and even a burgeoning ecotourism movement.

Anse Lazio, Praslin, Seychelles
This fascinating curve of white sand is accented by large granite boulders that offer lively contrast to the water, a color akin to a bottle of Tanqueray. If rocks aren't your thing, turn your gaze to the verdant forest beyond the beach or don your mask and cruise the underwater lair at the far end of the strand. If you're still not feeling it, take a tour of the famed Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve, a World Heritage site, home of the elusive Seychelles Black Parrot.

Englishman's Bay, Tobago
This place could easily double as a postcard factory, an arcing ribbon of soul-soothing sand lapped by turquoise waters backed by tropical forest. There's not much here, development-wise (just a small snack shack), so bring food, water, maybe a book. In fact, you might find this spot so intoxicating that you'll also want a hammock, a pillow, a nightlight...

Pearl Resort, Moorea Island, French Polynesia
A visit here isn't so much about the beach itself. The sand along Moorea's north is nice enough but you might never even notice it because from the moment you set foot, flipper, board, or hull here you'll be captivated by the water. The teeming reef sheltering the coast and the South Pacific fantasy views of Cook's Bay and Opunohu Bay further west will lure any landlubber away from her towel.

Playa Las Palmas, Baja, Mexico
Just south of the town of Todos Santos, on the Baja Pacific coast, Las Palmas is tucked away and gets even less attention than many area beaches—most of which are winners—because it is not known for superior surfing (in fact, it is one of the few local beaches considered safe for swimming, but check conditions during your visit). Just back from the main beach is freshwater lagoon and, behind that, a grove of palm trees.


Published: 26 Jul 2007 | Last Updated: 21 Aug 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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