Made all the Difference: Enjoy a Beach Adventure in Costa Mesa, Treasure Island, Atlantic City, Gulf Shores, and Santa Cruz


This post was originally published on the Made all the Difference travel blog by Jennifer on March 29th, 2016. 

Summer is about enjoying the sun, sand, and sea. With over 90,000 miles of shoreline, there are many options to choose from when selecting a spot for a beachfront vacation. Each beach town has a great variety of tourist activities and delivers a unique experience to those considering a location for a beach adventure.

Avoid the High Beachfront Prices of the California Coast at Costa Mesa

Located in the famed Orange Country, Costa Mesa, California, is a beach town for everyone. It’s located near the renowned Newport Beach and Huntington Beach. It also has all the amenities of the beachfront spots without the high prices of nearby towns. Costa Mesa is a mile from the water and is close enough for a morning surf lesson. It’s a cultural center with several theaters and amphitheaters for art and musical productions. Costa Mesa hotels, such as Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa, provide a great place to explore the city.

Hunt for Golden Sand Beaches at Treasure Island

There isn’t treasure buried in the sand in Treasure Island, Florida, but the golden sand sparkles as the warm water washes over the shoreline. The area is known for its sunny weather, and it’s great for parasailing on the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. If you get tired of the beach, make the short drive to the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg or Bush Gardens in Tampa. Also consider staying at one of the many beachfront hotels in Treasure Island, such as Residence Inn by Marriott St. Petersburg.

Enjoy the Sand and Slots in Atlantic City

Atlantic City, New Jersey, has a long history as a beach resort town. From the time the first Atlantic City hotel appeared in the 1800s, the town has been based around tourism and its famed beach. The tallest lighthouse in New Jersey resides here as well. Today, this city is more famous for its boardwalk and high-rise casinos. It’s considered the Las Vegas of the East Coast of the U.S. However, gambling hasn’t always been part of the Atlantic City boardwalk. It was legalized here in 1976 and has grown as a main tourist draw since then. Avoid the boardwalk crowds, though, by staying at The Chelsea.

Visit the Little-Known Beach Town of Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores, Alabama, is often overshadowed by the large beach towns in nearby Texas and Florida. This fact has helped keep the crowds down along the beach. The town isn’t tourist free, however. It’s a haven with beach amenities, but without the swarm of visitors. Be sure to enjoy a stay at a Gulf Shores hotel, like the Four Winds 704, without the crowds. Gulf Shores has several nearby state parks for walking along the beach and the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge for those looking to see some wildlife. The parks and refuge are home to many bird and other animal species that are a treat to watch.

Travel From Beaches to Redwood Forests in Santa Cruz

Few beach towns are as diverse as Santa Cruz, California. The town sits on the beach, and a few miles inland is a forest of redwoods, which is protected by the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. The beaches are great for surfing, and the town is home to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. The city offers a wide array of outdoor adventure for both nature and beach lovers. Don’t forget to take a break from your adventure at one of the many hotels in Santa Cruz, like the Chaminade Resort & Spa.

Which of these is your favorite beach town to visit?

1 Comment to “Made all the Difference: Enjoy a Beach Adventure in Costa Mesa, Treasure Island, Atlantic City, Gulf Shores, and Santa Cruz”

  1. Morgan says:

    I absolutely love Gulf Shores! It’s so quaint and quiet, and the beaches are so clean and beautiful! Nice work! Thanks for all the info!

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