The Best Southern Beach Towns For Every Type Of Traveler

No matter who you are or what you’ve been up to, we speak for everyone when we say that you deserve a trip to the beach. Now is as good a time as ever to plan your next much-needed beach getaway. Of course, we have a few recommendations to guide you along.

There are many kinds of travelers and depending on your vacation crew, your destination and itinerary will look a bit different. Those looking to settle on the beach with a good book or relax and get some color under the sun shouldn’t plan the same as a group looking for big waves and larger than life wildlife or families with both young kids and grandparents in tow. As it turns out, the trick to a successful trip is a bit of self-reflection. What kind of travelers are you and your group? Take care to answer before you start to book anything.

No matter your answer, we have you covered. From girls trips to history buffs, foodies, and everyone in between, we’ve got the perfect destination for your next beach getaway. These are our best recommendations for every type of beach-bound traveler.

Girlfriend Getaways: Hilton Head, South Carolina

Gather up the ladies for some fun in the sun because you’re shipping out to Hilton Head. There, you’ll hang at the beach, grab a tropical drink (or two), and nibble on local delicacies like croissants and oysters. You can even take an excursion to spot dolphins. It’s the perfect beach girlfriend getaway.

Guys Weekends: Orange Beach, Alabama

A trip to Alabama’s Gulf Shores with the boys is exactly what the doctor ordered. Golfing, fishing, and water sports are all in store, along with a pickup game of beach volleyball. In the evenings, hit up a “cook your catch” joint and don’t skip out on The Wharf, either. There’s plenty of good shopping too, even if the women aren’t tagging along.

Mother-Daughter Duos: Anna Maria Island, Florida

A mother-daughter weekend in Anna Maria is time well-spent. Spend your days soaking up that old Florida charm and sun on the beach and around the island’s cute coastal town. Delight in local eateries, adorable boutiques, and scenic views throughout, without a chain store, fast-food drive-thru, or high rise hotel in sight.

Book Worms: Cocoa, Florida

If your idea of a perfect vacation is discovering a unique local bookstore then taking your purchases to read on the beach, Cocoa Beach is the place for you. Spend the morning perusing Hello Again Books, then soak in the afternoon sun on the sand, burying your nose in a beach read. In charmingly quirky Cocoa, you’ll also find delicious cafes, creative shops, and enrapturing galleries.

Church Groups: Cape Charles, Virginia

This heavenly getaway on Virginia’s Eastern Shore is the place to be with your church crew to rejoice in small town pleasures and gorgeous beach views. Stay in a boutique hotel and find lots to eat and drink near the shoreline. Shop the town’s bookstores and markets, rent a kayak, and treat yourself to a wine tasting before settling in early for the night.

Families With Young Kids: Jekyll Island, Georgia

The kids will love Jekyll Island, and so will you. There’s the right balance of family activities and scenic escapes. One of Georgia’s Golden Isles, Jekyll Island is home to The 4-H Tidelands Nature Center, where the whole family can rent a canoe and learn about the island’s wildlife like sea turtles.

Pet Parents: Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

If you can’t imagine a getaway without your favorite furry friend, set your sights on Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach. You’ll want to stay at the Canalside Inn where Fido’s welcome and dog amenities are plentiful. Hit the beach and when you come back, Canalside Inn has outdoor doggie showers to rinse off those sandy paws.

Active Travelers: Key West, Florida

For those who would go stir crazy lying by the beach all day, Key West should be your next destination. While beautiful sandy beaches are still plentiful, you won’t be at a loss for things to keep you up and at ‘em. Spend your trip exploring the island by bike (you’ll definitely want to bring or rent one!), from climbing the Key West Lighthouse to weaving through its mangroves on a kayak or paddle-board. When you need a break, funky and fun Duval Street beckons. Key West is also great for the can’t-sit-still sort because it offers an incredible day trip opportunity to Dry Tortugas National Park to visit a 19th century fort and snorkel through crystal clear waters.

Relaxing Retreaters: Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Take advantage of serene Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, while you can. Once everyone finds out about this little slice of heaven on Earth, the crowds are sure to pour in. Until then, delight in Wrightsville Beach’s calm white sands, laid-back surfer culture, and relaxed seafood eateries.

History Buffs: Tybee Island, Georgia

The pristine beaches of Tybee Island, Georgia, are just minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Savannah’s historic district. Spend your morning relaxing by the beach then explore Savannah’s old roads and homes, and at night, take a haunted tour of the city’s spookiest spots steeped in history. On Tybee, the history abounds too. There, you’ll find Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse.

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