Climb a steep mountain trail to discover a view so striking that you simply can’t stop snapping photos. Take a Jeep to a deserted beach. Fly kites high into the sea breeze. Salute the setting sun as it drops into the sea. Beautiful (and fun) beaches abound in the U.S., and here are some suggestions for finding some of the best.
Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California
For: Oceanfront fun L.A. style
Three-mile-long Venice Beach, its sand perfectly kept, its Pacific Ocean water bluer than blue backed by green hills, is the place to go for a pickup game of beach volleyball or tossing a Frisbee. Seeking something more active? Rent surfboards and tackle the 5-to-7-foot waves that roll in during winter. Stroll out to the end of the recently restored Venice Pier to get a great view of the pink and orange Pacific sunsets. Walk the funky Venice Beach Boardwalk, lined with street performers and vendors. Watch a daredevil walk barefoot across broken glass, get your fortunes told, and revel in the free spirit of the place. You will be in good company. Such Hollywood names as Anjelica Huston, Eric Clapton, and Julia Roberts have lived in Venice, and Arnold Schwarzenegger built his physique on the beach there.