There's no need to stay at a large, noisy resort when you want to go to the beach. Many popular beach towns also have plentiful B&Bs, which offer a quieter and more personal experience. From Italy to California to Brazil, there are plenty of B&Bs on or near the beach. Here are 10 of the best beach destinations for inngoers.

1. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  • Nearly 560 miles of coastline
  • Has ocean beaches, bay beaches, and ponds
  • Best beaches are at Cape Cod National Seashore

Cape Cod is an arm-shaped peninsula that consists of many small and historic towns. B&Bs are plentiful here, and many are restored properties with fascinating history. With nearly 560 miles of coastline, there are more than enough beaches to explore. The area has beaches on the bay and beaches on the ocean, in addition to salt ponds, freshwater ponds, and kettle ponds. Some of the best beaches are at the Cape Cod National Seashore, which is a 40-mile stretch of pristine beaches. Cape Cod also has many art galleries, historical sites, outdoor activities, fine dining, and antique shops. Some popular towns with many B&Bs include Barnstable, Sandwich, Provincetown (pictured left), Brewster, and Yarmouth Port.

2. Key West, Florida
  • Great beaches for swimming and sunbathing
  • Home to southernmost point in U.S.
  • One of its best beaches has a pre-Civil War fort

This tiny island is home to the most southernmost point in the Continental United States. It features sandy beaches, lovely B&Bs, centuries of history, and tropical charm. The beaches here are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling. One of the best beaches is Fort Zachary Taylor, which is an 87-acre park that has a pre-Civil War Fort. Locals love South Beach, and those who travel with their furry friends will enjoy Dog Beach. Other outdoor activities are available, such as golfing, diving, fishing, and snorkeling. Amazing sunsets can be seen from Mallory Square, where there are often many entertainers and artists. Visitors enjoy walking along Duval Street, which is a popular stretch of bars, restaurants, and shops.

3. Vancouver, Canada
  • Has 11 miles of beaches
  • Several are designated "quiet beaches"
  • Great for swimming, windsurfing, sailing

Vancouver may not be the first place you think of for going to the beach, but this cosmopolitan Canadian city has nearly 11 miles of beaches. Popular beaches here include Kitsilano Beach, Jericho Beach, and English Bay (First) Beach. For those who prefer a more low-key experience, three of the beaches are designated as “quiet beaches,” where loud music is prohibited. Besides simply relaxing on the beach and playing with sand, activities include swimming (special areas are cordoned off for swimming), windsurfing, sailing, sand volleyball, kayaking, and more. When you need a break, the city is teeming with great museums, shops, restaurants, and of course, the famous Stanley Park!

4. St. Augustine, Florida
  • The oldest city in the United States
  • Many miles of clean, undeveloped beaches
  • Has warm water year-round

Founded in 1565, this town is the nation’s oldest city, and it has miles of clean beaches and warm water year-round. Adventurous travelers can go parasailing, surfing, windsurfing, Jet Skiing, kite surfing, and kite boarding. But those looking for less action can laze on the beach or go fishing. Guana River State Park, a sanctuary for endangered specials, has miles of undeveloped beaches that are great for shell hunters. St. Augustine Beach has a pier, playground, volleyball courts, restaurants, and more. Anastasia State Park has five miles of beautiful beaches in addition to nature trails and hiking. The city has other great beaches, such as Crescent Beach and Vilano Beach.

5. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
  • Calmer than many Mexico beach towns
  • Has many beach-front bars, clubs, restaurants
  • Can also dive or swim in freshwater sinkholes

This popular Mexican city has many quaint B&Bs and a relaxed vibe. It also has some of the best beaches in Mexico, with clear turquoise water and soft white sand. Travelers can take advantage of great scuba diving, deep sea fishing, snorkeling, sailing, parasailing, or just taking a long walk on the beach. The area also has several cenotes, which are cavernous sinkholes filled with freshwater. The water is very clear and they often have caves, so they are perfect for diving, swimming, and exploration. Playa del Carmen also features fun bars and night clubs, many of which are right on the beach.

6. Alghero, Italy
  • Longest stretch of beach is north of old town
  • Clean beaches with white sand, clear water
  • Many other wonderful beaches are nearby

The island of Sardinia is loaded with stunning beaches, and those in and near Alghero on the west coast are no exception. These beaches are clean and have clear water with white sand—you may forget that you’re in Italy and not the tropics! The city has a Catalan origin, and some residents still speak a form of it. You can find the longest stretch of beach slightly north of the old town. One of the largest is San Giovanni. The town has many great restaurants, bars, and boutiques. Other beautiful nearby beaches include Torre del Porticciolo Beach, Mugoni Beach, Maria Pia Beach, Porto Ferro Beach, and Le Bombarde Beach.

7.   Bournemouth, England
  • Seaside town with seven miles of beaches
  • Great for swimming, surfing, body boarding
  • Has a pier with many fun activities

With seven miles of beaches and some of the warmest sea temperatures in the UK, Bournemouth is a great place to play in the sun. Many bed and breakfast inns are located along the shore. The water here is very clean, and visitors can enjoy swimming, sea kayaking, kite surfing, sailing, paddle boarding, body boarding, surfing, and other water sports. You can also go sailing or take scenic cruises. Some of the most popular beach areas here include Southbourne, Alum Chine, and Durley Chine. The beaches are very safe, with lifeguards on duty 365 days a year. If you need a break from the sand, go to Bournemouth Pier to dine, shop, or see a show in their theater.

8. Santa Barbara, California
  • Many beaches face south instead of west
  • Close to big cities but smaller and peaceful
  • Beaches are wide, so sand volleyball is popular

Santa Barbara has many gorgeous and wide beaches, and unlike most California beaches, many face south instead of west. It’s only 100 miles from Los Angeles, but is smaller with a calmer atmosphere. The centrally-located East Beach is popular and has sand volleyball. El Capitan Beach is long and private, and you may even see a dolphin. Goleta Beach is fun and set up for volleyball, fishing, and picnicking, and there is also a great restaurant. Leadbetter Beach is ideal for those who want to go windsurfing or surfing. Other beaches worth visiting are Butterfly Beach, Arroyo Burro Beach (Hendry’s Beach), and Refugio Beach. Visiting the Wine Country makes a great day trip if you want to mix things up.

9. Paia, Maui Island, Hawaii
  • Cute beach town with relaxed atmosphere
  • Close to many great windsurfing spots
  • Activities include fishing, snorkeling, surfing

Paia is a cute little beach town on Maui’s north coast. It has art galleries, surf shops, restaurants, great beaches, and some beautiful homes left from its days of sugar plantations. Many Paia B&Bs are oceanfront, allowing guests to easily walk to its sandy shores. It’s close to many well-known windsurfing spots. Baldwin Beach is just outside of town and has beautiful white sand. It’s a great place to go shoreline fishing in the morning. The area is perfect for hiking, snorkeling, sailing, scuba diving, surfing, fishing, golfing, and more.

10. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Home to famous Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches
  • Laid-back beach culture
  • Some beaches face bay, some face ocean

One of the most popular activities in this stunning city is relaxing on its numerous beaches. Some face the ocean and others face a bay. The city is also known for its annual Carnival festival, beautiful people, and the jaw-dropping Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks the city. Some of the most famous beaches here are Copacabana and Ipanema. Those two in addition to Leblon are the most popular beaches, and while they are gorgeous, they can be a bit crowded. Arpoador Beach is perfect for surfing. Two of the best beaches are lesser-known—Prainha and Grumari. Note that the currents at Rio de Janeiro beaches can be strong, so use caution.

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