Romantic Beach Vacation Destinations Summer 2009

Summer is a short but splendid season, often spent with family and friends enjoying the endless array of festivals, food, and holidays. The Summer season is also a perfect time for a romantic walk on the beach at sunset during a hot summer vacations evening.   Put those long Summer days to good use exploring our list of beautiful beaches and vacation spots located across the United States.  This Summer, find your special beach destination, soak up the sun and play in the pristine sandy beaches while making Summer memories that last a lifetime.

Maine is one of the most popular romantic destinations of Summer vacationers for a variety of reasons. The beautiful, temperate weather and rocky coastlines with soaring, granite cliffs have provided unforgettable vistas to Summer travelers for over a hundred years.  A popular Maine Summer destination is Bar Harbor, located in the Acadia National Park area, providing beautiful white, sandy beaches and refreshing, cool waters to enjoy and help you unwind. Also located within this Summer vacation area along Route 1A in the Southern Coastline region of Maine, are the quaint coastal cities of Portland and Ogunquit.  Both offer smaller beaches, but are known for their quiet, romantic shorelines. Tired of the beach?  How about a trip to Maine’s Central Coastline to Southwest Harbor where vacationers will find wonderful boutiques, galleries, eateries, and bed and breakfast lodging unlike anywhere experienced before.  And of course, no Maine Summer vacation would be complete without sampling some of the local fair, including freshly caught lobster, hush puppies, fiddle head potatoes, and my personal favorite, New England clam chowder.

Another Summer vacation hot spot is New Jersey’s Southern Shore, with over 140 miles of pristine beaches, renowned restaurants, and celebrated Summer festivals and events.  This region contains 7 out of the top 10 beaches in New Jersey, including the #1 beach, located in Ocean City. Known as America’s Greatest Family Resort, it is a fantastic place for family reunions, group retreats, and of course, beach weddings. The 2.5 mile long boardwalk is complete with fine dining restaurants and downtown shopping area for adults, and two amusement parks, go-cart rentals, and a water park for the kids. Don’t forget about the many miniature golf courses, enjoyable for the entire family! There is truly entertainment for all ages in Ocean City, NJ. And no trip to New Jersey’s Southern Shore would be complete without visiting the historic, Victorian town of Cape May. Cape May offers a wide variety of Summertime activities including listening to the surf caress the shoreline, the thrill and excitement of walking the boardwalk, climbing to the top of one of the many famous Cape May lighthouses and enjoying the towering vistas, and finally, staying at a romantic Victorian bed and breakfast on the coastline. The New Jersey Southern Shore offers a wide variety of activities ensuring your Summer vacation will be a memorable one.

Known for it’s year round bountiful sunshine and crystal blue skies, the Florida Keys region including it’s neighboring barrier islands, have long been a favorite destination for Summer vacationers. Key West offers soft, white sandy beaches surrounding its scenic perimeter, and is famous for its outdoors activities including world class fishing, diving, water sports, and golf. After watching an unequaled Key West sunset, enjoy the many night life activities including live entertainment by the city’s many musicians and street artists. Treat your palate to an island specialty and dine at a local sidewalk cafe or gourmet restaurant, and enjoy a nightcap at one of the many legendary pubs and open-air island bars. Lodging in Key West is as diverse as the island itself, including top notch resorts to traditional conch houses to comfortable bed and breakfast inns. In a city of fascinating contrasts and inspiring diversity it is easy to envision yourself letting go of your mainland worries, and spending your Summer vacation in beautiful Key West, Florida. I have personally visited Key West several times, soaking in the memorable sites during the 4 hour drive from Key Largo to Key West, and would highly recommend the journey along scenic US 1 to any vacationer looking for an unforgettable beach getaway this Summer.

Home to some of the best beaches in the United States, the Texas Southern Gulf Coast region attracts millions of visitors every year, particularly during the Summer vacation season. With over 350 miles of coastline stretching in a gentle arc from South Padre Island north to the Louisiana border, this Texas playground is renowned for its natural beauty and diverse wildlife. The native cord grass and marsh lands provide the ideal ecosystem to support rich marine life and winter nesting grounds for migrating birds. In the Northern Gulf Coast area you can explore the historic beach communities of Galveston and Crystal Beach. Galveston offers 32 miles of magnificent, soft sandy beaches, top notch restaurants and live entertainment, and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country. Another popular Summer destination in the Texas Gulf Coast area is Corpus Christi, offering vacationers a rich blend of culture in the relaxed atmosphere of a historic coastal port. Upon traveling to Corpus Christi, one can expect to find soothing sea breezes, endless blue skies, and beautiful turquoise waters. Visit the bay front promenade, the arts and museum district, waterfront restaurants and entertaining nightlife while vacationing in Corpus Christi. South Padre Island is located on the tropical tip of Texas bordering Mexico.  It is known as one of the best vacation destinations in the country offering beautiful beaches, tall sand dunes, and warm Gulf waters. Contrary to popular belief, South Padre Island is one of the mildest places in Texas during the Summer season, with Gulf sea breezes keeping the temperatures moderate in the high 80’s to low 90’s. Some activities to explore while vacationing in this top rated Texas beach destination include saltwater fishing, dining on fresh fish and seafood served at local island restaurants, and staying at a historic bed & breakfast or hotel accommodation. There is certainly something for all travel enthusiasts when visiting the Texas Gulf Coast this Summer.

Located along the Pacific Ocean halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Central Coast of California stretches thousands of miles from Santa Barbara to Monterey. The region is widely renowned for it’s romantic, white sandy beaches and rock-lined coastal views, exquisite wine country tours, and artisan villages. Vacationers can choose from quaint, historic bed and breakfast inns to scenic, ocean-side cottages. During the beautiful, sunshine filled days, discover surfing, water-skiing, golfing, hiking, biking, horse-back riding, bird watching, farmers markets, and film festivals. If you are looking for beautiful blue skies, shopping, dining, endless activities, unforgettable experiences, and a marina complimented with a gorgeous beach, visit Santa Barbara, located on the southern end of California’s Central Coast. Situated near the Northern tip of Monterey Bay, 74 miles south of San Francisco, lies the quintessential beach town of Santa Cruz. A wide array of attractions await, from Santa Cruz’s award-winning boardwalk and majestic Redwood forests, to arts and culture events, and award-winning restaurants. An enchanting blend of history and natural beauty await, ensuring your Summer vacation to California’s Central Coast will be a memorable and enjoyable one.

The Bed and Breakfast Directory.com suggests the above Summer Beach Vacation destinations based on personal experiences and other valued traveler input. The locations were selected due to overall entertainment options, quality and popularity of beach, amount of sunshine-filled days, softness of sand, temperature of water, and dining & shopping options.