Of all the beaches in the world…what’s my favorite?
Everybody loves a beach. And in my job I’ve nestled my toes into the sand of the best of them. From Hawaii to Greece from Jamaica to Bali and all over the Americas: North, Central and South. My highest rated beaches range from Frenchmen’s Cove in Jamaica to a small tiny crescent shaped thing at the end of a long road on the island of Mykonos. It was the locals’ beach and the locals didn’t bother with bathing suits. Then there was the beach that knocked me off my feet it was so beautiful. Zoni Beach on the Island of Culebra in Puerto Rico. It was as beautiful as those that I had to rub my eyes to believe in Thailand and all the more incredible since it came without the 17 hour flight.
We all have our own personal idea of what makes a beach the best and they can be as varied and diverse as why you find someone attractive. Some people like their beaches to be the scene of an endless party a place to see and be seen while others think that heaven on earth is a secluded beach all to yourself. I have a more Goldilocks view on this one but if given the choice between packed and desolate — I’d go with the crowd. I’ve been on quite a few empty beaches and that’s how I feel on them: empty, alone, the sound of the waves crashing getting louder and louder turning from a soothing track on a let’s-go-to-sleep DVD to something sinister and menacing. Why the heck is no one here? That’s what I want to know. Pirates? Shark infested waters? Contamination? While I’m looking out at the horizon is someone or something watching me? Nope, I’d rather be on the shores of Jersey helping a sober challenged Snookie walk upright across the sand than alone.
But for me, my favorite beach is the type that I grew up on along the coasts of New Hampshire and Maine: rocky, the air thick with salt where the fog sometimes doesn’t lift til 10am. The sand is not milky white or soft as silk. It’s more of a brown- sugar beige that’s clumpy and course but makes great building material for the bucket shaped sandcastle. To build an earthy fortress in the silky soft stuff is nearly impossible and you have to get up close to the surf where the moisture of the water gives it some binding qualities and yet there’s always that one strong wave, even when the tide is receding that comes along and wipes out all your efforts. But in NH being 3 feet above sea level gives you the luxury of time to sculpt tiny windows into the towers, construct circling ramparts with crenellations and collect rocks to build a wicked cool bridge over the moat.
The water also happens to be 50 degrees in August so swimming doesn’t really factor into your beach time. It took me years to realize that oceans were for swimming as the memory of my frigid ankles left such a permanent mark that even when I’m staring at the brilliant aquamarine waters of Jamaica or Thailand, my very last thought is to actually go in. In fact the only time you’ll find me in the water is when there is a camera pointing at me and a producer telling me “go in.”
So what are you looking for in the perfect beach? Do you want a commitment or a fling? Do you want it to be the endlessly entertaining club atmosphere of South Beach in Miami or something more emulating a Mexican beer ad. Waves or no? And when do you like to go to the beach? I personally head there around 3pm when the sun isn’t that harsh and I can read and if there’s a slight chill and I need to wear a big sweatshirt — I’m in heaven!