9 Great Beaches, Recommended by T Editors



Whether it’s a hidden cove on a faraway island or a sandy patch at the end of the subway line, no place is as rife with memories as a beach you keep returning to. Here, T editors share their favorite sandy spots — from a Mexican oasis to a beautifully melancholic stretch of the New England coast.

Siasconset, Massachusetts

A Lovable Stretch of Nantucket Shoreline

Every summer since I was small, I have returned to the same wild beach. My stretch of sand, on the island of Nantucket, in the tiny village of Siasconset, next to an even tinier cluster of old cod fishing shacks, has some unattractive features. There is a consistent streak of crimson seaweed that inhabits the water closest to the shoreline and that one must swim past (with mouth closed) to reach clear water; a famously fast-moving riptide that will deposit you far from your towel after a short dip; and a plethora of black seals (read: shark bait) that pop their dog-like heads up through the waves. For these reasons, it has never been very popular with tourists — or with natives — but I live by its rhythms.

In the mornings, when the sun hasn’t yet burned through the fog and the sand is still cool from dew, walking the musty-smelling beach has a calming effect that is unparalleled. As a child, I did this with my mother, collecting shells and eating blueberry muffins along the way. Now, she does it with my daughter. At sunset, while our neighbors surf-cast for the bluefish that jump from the water into view, I’ll drag a beach chair, some hors d’oeuvres and a cold beer to watch. After dinner, we’ll walk the pitch-black beach, watch the stars and dodge the waves that crash down on the coarse sand. Before bed, one is always lulled to sleep by the sound of those very same waves — some nights soft, others violent and stormy — repeating over and over, like the heartbeat of a place and a moment in time. — ALEXA BRAZILIAN

Peck’s Landing, Wisconsin

A Riverside Haven

Spring Green, a sleepy Wisconsin town west of Madison whose main street features a single-screen movie theater and a near-perfect bookstore (and a drive-through bank designed by the Prairie School architect William Wesley Peters that my manic pixie dream parents have converted into a studio apartment), has two claims to fame: There’s Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s former home and studio, where he dreamed up Fallingwater and the Guggenheim, and, just two miles up the Wisconsin River, the acclaimed American Players Theatre, whose repertoire is heavy on Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw. (Almost everyone in town, it seems, is either an architecture person or a theater person.)

In the summer, the river itself — this stretch of which has gone largely untouched by developers — becomes another draw, as visitors swim and suntan, kayak and canoe on or around its wide and ever-shifting sandbars, which form and reform depending on the current. Wary of bringing my phone on a boat, I like to go out with just a book (and sunscreen). I’ve considered also bringing a tent and camping out on the sandbars overnight, as some adventurous types do, but have always assumed I’d end up like Meredith Blake in Nancy Meyers’s “Parent Trap,” who, after taking one large sleeping pill, wakes up atop her inflatable mattress on the open water. — KATE GUADAGNINO

Alicudi, Italy

A Mystical Aeolian Island

Because I am a sucker for false dichotomies and the side-taking they necessitate, I’ve always considered myself more of a “mountain” than a “beach” person. But when a close friend who lives in Rome invited me to visit her family’s summer house on the remote and reputedly mystical island of Alicudi, there was no question I would make the trek later this summer. Alicudi is the most isolated of the volcanic Aeolian islands off Sicily’s north coast, and to go by what I hear from my host — who has been spending summers there ever since she was a young girl — it’s the perfect balm to the blue-light-illuminated nightmare of 2018. There are no bars, no cars — not even roads (residents and visitors rely on donkeys to carry supplies up and down the steep hills). Its beaches are practically unpeopled and oh so silent. Set at the bottom of the steep island, they are difficult to access in their own right, a fact that only stokes my determination to do so. — LAUREN MECHLING

Plage L’Almanarre, Hyères, France

The Beach Purist’s Beach

Each summer, my husband and I spend a few days with his grandparents, Mamie and Papi, in southeast France; they live in a smallish city on the Mediterranean called Hyères, where the main attractions are Mamie’s multiple-course lunches and the beaches. We spend our days first comically gorging ourselves on cheese and then, once the weather cools slightly, set out in Papi’s ’93 Peugeot to either La Bergerie or L’Almanarre. The former is surrounded by shops and always packed with both people and watercraft; the latter is a beach for beach purists — only sand, sea, a handful of Italian and Belgian tourists and absolutely no Wi-Fi. — HILARY MOSS

Lia Beach, Mykonos, Greece

Bliss (and Soup) in the Greek Islands

All of my childhood summers were spent visiting my father who lived in Athens, and going to Mykonos with him. The island of Mykonos has more than 20 beaches, each with its own distinct feel. My favorite one, Lia, lies on the eastern side of the island, a 20-minute drive from the busy town. On the way there you’ll pass stone walls, white houses with blue window shutters, huge cactus plants covered with fruit — and the occasional donkey. The road will finally open onto a vista of sand and pebbles, with thatched umbrellas scattered about. Beyond that, it’s nothing but the turquoise of the Aegean Sea.

The best part, though, might be Lia Fish Tavern, where my father and I shared many of our most memorable meals. The owner catches all of the fish and lobster on his menu directly from the Aegean. My father was partial to the sea urchin, which he taught me to drizzle with olive oil and scoop up with chunks of rustic bread. Pro tip: As soon as you arrive in the morning, stop by the taverna to put in an order for kakavia, a refreshing, lemony Mediterranean soup made with scorpion fish. Go down to the beach, rent an umbrella, order a cold frappé and relax by the water. It will be 2 p.m. before you know it, and lunch will be ready. — JENNIFER CONTOGEORGOS

Kauna’oa Bay, Hawaii

A Low-Key Hawaiian Highlight

I love this white sand beach on the Big Island. Parking is limited, but the hunt is worth it. Waves in Hawaii can get so aggressive, but this beach is in a bay, so the waves are gentle, which makes it perfect for paddle boarding or floating around. — ANGELA KOH

Crescent Beach, Rhode Island

A Block Island Beach With Drama

I’ve always enjoyed the camaraderie that surfaces around the Fourth of July, and, in my mind, there’s no better place to celebrate than on Block Island, as I have for the past couple of years. Just south of mainland Rhode Island, Block Island is a quaint New England escape dotted with beautiful beaches — from rocky bays hidden beneath giant cliffs to wide open stretches of soft sand. Crescent Beach, one of the latter types of beach, is where the island holds its annual fireworks display.

To reach the festivities, nearly everyone on the island drives or cycles down the same narrow stretch of road — the beach to one side, a pond to the other — and sets up camp on the sand. While we wait for the sun to set and the spectacle to begin, we watch the opening act play out in the sky, a dramatic expanse of pinks, oranges and purples. Darkness falls, and the moon glows on the sand dunes. The sound of waves crashing in the darkness serves as a drumroll for the main event: a cacophony of flames flying into the night sky and illuminating the shore, momentarily revealing all the other groups of families and friends on the beach huddled under blankets, gazing up. — ALEX TUDELA

Los Cerritos, Todos Santos, Mexico


About a year ago, several lifestyle writers were proclaiming that everyone is going to Todos Santos and that it was the next Tulum and that you just had to go. But judging from these descriptions, none of them actually went. Because this town is nothing like buzzy, crowded, beautiful Tulum; it’s more like Marfa-by-the-Sea — similar aesthetic, same sleepy rhythm — with a resort by noted Texan hotelier Liz Lambert called Hotel San Cristóbal that has enough pastel tiles and mezcal cocktails to hinge a vacation on. But, really, you’re here for the beach, preferably Los Cerritos, which is open to the public (though you wouldn’t know that from how empty it is). It’s an hour up from the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula on the Pacific side, and feels like a kind of Southern Californian fantasy on steroids: hotter sunshine, smoother sand and waves that are, frankly, scarily high. Speaking of, the only people you might encounter are the local 12-year-olds who provide surf lessons. Take them up on their offer, but maybe don’t tell them that I sent you here. — KURT SOLLER

Race Point, Massachusetts

Rolling New England Dunes

The beach I most look forward to visiting every year for bonfires, sunsets and seal-spotting is Race Point in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Because of its location near the very tip of Cape Cod, the waters tend to be rough and nighttime visits require bundling up in sweaters and windbreakers. The harsh weather, combined with the smell of smoke and sea, feels distinctly New England — the kind of place where Olive Kitteridge would vacation. The beach’s historic lighthouse (first established in 1816) and keeper’s house, both remnants from a time before tourists began flocking here, convey a poignant sadness, standing still and all alone out in the dunes. — CAITLIN KELLY