Volunteers doing shoreline cleanup at Misquamicut State Beach.

8 Best Rhode Island Beaches

Rhode Island may be tiny, but it contains over 400 miles of coastline, along which you’ll find over 100 public and private beaches. If sunbathing and swimming are on your agenda but you’re not sure where to begin, here are the best Rhode Island beaches for families, for solitude, for surfing, and more.

Craggy rocks rise up along a smooth sandy beach as waves wash up on shore.

The Best California Beaches

From wide, golden beaches with abundant sunshine to boardwalks crowded with kids, cotton candy, and roller coasters, California has any kind of beach you could possibly want. Author Stuart Thornton shares a helpful overview of some of the state’s best options for sun, sand, and surf.

A surfer and horseback riders enjoy Playa Guiones. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Things to Do in Nosara, Costa Rica

Whether you’re looking to relax on beautiful beaches, spot wildlife in a sanctuary setting, enjoy an adventure tour on an ATV, or simply commune with yourself through massage or yoga, Nosara will cater to your every whim. Here’s a roundup of all the things to do in this classic Costa Rica destination.

Surfboards stacked in the grass near the beach at Amigas Surf Retreat in Nicaragua.

The Best Surf Spots in Nicaragua

The secret is out: Nicaragua is the new frontier for world-class waves. Most surfers head straight to San Juan del Sur; there are plenty of breaks to explore up and down the Pacific coastline. To catch the best breaks from beginner to expert, here’s where to go.

Picture-perfect beach in Piñones. Photo © Angel Xavier Viera-Vargas, licensed Creative Commons usage.

Fun in Bosque Estatal de Piñones, Puerto Rico

There’s no other place in Puerto Rico like the spectacular Bosque Estatal de Piñones. Stretching from the eastern tip of Isla Verde, San Juan, to the town of Loíza, this pristine reserve is a natural wonderland of deserted beaches; mangrove, pine, and palm forests; sand dunes; coral reefs; bays; salt flats; and lagoons.

Playa Las Flores. Photo ©

Where to Go on El Salvador’s Pacific Coast

The secret is out. For years, the beaches of El Salvador’s coast were strictly the terrain of fearless surfers, some who came in the 1970s and dug the waves so much they never left. Today, more and more curious travelers are showing up, discovering beaches interspersed with quaint fishing villages and large coral reefs, white sand beaches perfect for relaxing and swimming, mangroves teeming with colorful birds, beautiful bays, volcanic gulfs, and otherworldly estuaries.

Blue Ctenosaur in Santa Rosa National Park. Photo © Jorasm (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

What to See in Costa Rica’s Santa Rosa National Park

Founded in 1972, Santa Rosa National Park was Costa Rica’s first national park. The park–divided into two sections; the more important and accessible Santa Rosa Sector to the south and the Murciélago Sector further north–is a mosaic of 10 distinct habitats, including mangrove swamp, savanna, and oak forest, and is filled with hiking trails to explore and wildlife to watch. There are also great opportunities for scuba diving and surfing.

A surfer walking on the beach in Malpais. Photo © Keith Levit/123rf.

Things to Do in Malpaís and Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

The shoreline immediately north of Cabo Blanco is a lively surfers’ paradise with some of the best surfing beaches in the country. The past few years have seen phenomenal tourism development, propelling the contiguous communities of Malpaís and Santa Teresa from offbeat obscurity to huge popularity. With this boom comes a surge in nightlife, outdoor activities, and more and more ways to spend your time.

Parque Recreativo Cristóbal Colón. Photo © Suzanne Van Atten.

Planning Your Time on Puerto Rico’s West Coast

Embrace the slow-paced, nature-loving vibe of Puerto Rico’s west coast, a long-time favorite of surfers and divers but with so much going on–from salt flats and subtropical dry forests to colonial cities and fishing villages–that it’s worthy of an extended stay. Here are tips and advice on planning your time exploring all the best of the west coast.

La Pared in Luquillo. Photo © Suzanne Van Atten.

Things to Do in Luquillo, Puerto Rico

Luquillo attracts visitors from far and wide for two reasons. One is its beautiful public beach, commonly referred to as Playa Luquillo, and the other is the Luquillo Kioskos, more than 50 food vendors serving some of the very best street food available in Puerto Rico. Here are even more reasons to visit