Whether it’s the calm waters of Florida, the crashing waves of Hawaii, the wildlife-rich shores of Panama or the action-packed sands of California, you’ll find your perfect beach with our round-up of some of the world’s finest, all just a hop, skip and a jump from your Waldorf Astoria resort.
Santa Monica State Beach
Santa Monica, California
Nothing says ‘The Golden State’ quite like Santa Monica Beach’s miles of glistening white sand (3.5 miles to be exact)—especially with its iconic pier that has played host to countless film sets and sits snug between the north and south of the beach.
Here you’ll find a solar-powered Ferris wheel along with the usual roster of arcades, aquariums and amusement parks, which together attract over five million people every year.
Lap up California’s customary laid-back lifestyle fit for outdoor enthusiasts, alongside surfers and paddleboarders who nip in and out of the surf, and join cyclists, rollerskaters, skateboarders and joggers as they hug the paths that stretch the length of the sand.
Head south of the pier to witness even more fitness at Muscle Beach, and slow down a notch or two for a well-deserved ice cream up at Palisades Park, where the northernmost point offers respite under the shade of eucalyptus, palm and fig trees with stunning Pacific-Ocean views.
Located eight miles from Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.
Makena State Park Beach
Hawaii is the proud home of many of the world’s finest beaches, but for the ultimate combination of surf, snorkeling, white sand and stunning scenery, head to Maui’s Makena State Park.
The 165-mile stretch is split into two halves; the infamous crashing waves of Big Beach are something to behold, but should only be attempted by confident surfers. Little Beach is as friendly as it sounds, and one of the most beautiful on the island.
At sundown, the mood is of free-spirited abandon, with drum circles, fire dancing and the iconic sound of the ukulele. Taking a morning hike up the Pu’u Olai volcanic cone at the center of Makena State Park is the best way to take in the dramatic landscape.
Located four miles from Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort.
Key West, Florida
Key West might be better known for its pretty colonial architecture, excellent shopping and its proud history as Ernest Hemingway’s home, but the best way to while away the day under its year-round sun is on the heavenly white sand of Smathers Beach.
If lolling beneath swaying palm trees isn’t entertainment enough for active types, beaches don’t come much better equipped; there’s windsurfing, jet skiing, Hobie Cat sailing, kayaking and even parasailing, all available through purchase of a simple day pass.
Inland, beach volleyball is a must, or a leisurely stroll along the shore to take in one of Florida’s famous sunsets.
Located two miles from The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort.
From its traditional architecture to its towering skyscrapers, not to mention its awe-inspiring canal, Panama City is enigmatic and constantly surprising.
The island of Contadora, part of the Pearl Archipelago, is a blissful drop in the ocean that boasts seven beautiful beaches—all accessible by foot—and an abundance of wildlife.
Explore Playa Caracol for scuba diving, Playa Ejecutiva for peaceful, clear waters, Playa Larga for its long stretch of white sand, or Playa Cacique to catch a glimpse of the island’s pelicans.
This tropical-island paradise fit for a postcard, with iridescent water and swaying palm trees, is located 50 miles from Waldorf Astoria Panama, just a 20-minute plane ride away.
Red Reef Park
Boca Raton, Florida
The ocean-front setting of The Beach Club may be enough for you when visiting Boca Raton, Fla., but there are some stunning local beaches to explore—that are also perfect for the entire family–just minutes away from the resort.
One favorite is Red Reef Park, which is perfect for a picnic lunch (there are grills on site) after a morning of swimming, snorkeling for glimpses of colorful parrotfish, and exploring the shoreline of this 67-acre beach, along one of Florida’s most scenic highways. Kayakers can also paddle through the mangroves.
Make sure to visit the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, located at the north end of the boardwalk, where you can connect with native Florida wilflife and indigenous plants by going on nature hikes, including the popular turtle walk; and watch aquarium feedings. A sea turtle research and rehabilitation facility also is operated by Florida Atlantic University here.
Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort is six minutes away by car, and a 35-minute walk.
You won’t want to leave the private soft sandy beach of the Waldorf Astoria Dubai on the iconic Palm Jumeirah island, but exploring this dynamic city is a must.
After a day of shopping and sightseeing, stop by Sunset Beach, located in between the Arabian Gulf and the family friendly Umm Suqeim Park, to bury your feet in the white sand and pose for a selfie with the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab behind you.
For the more active, Sunset Beach is also Dubai’s only real surfing beach, with small to medium swells perfect for beginners to take on. And don’t worry about mobile service; smart palm trees offer free Wi-Fi to beachgoers.
Nearby Kite Beach, a quick five-minute car ride, is where you’ll find kitesurfers lifting up into the air, and plenty of opportunities for wakeboarding, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.
When visiting Dubai, remember that women should opt for a swimsuit that offers more coverage, and drinking alcohol outside of licensed bars and restaurants is illegal.
Located 11 miles from Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah.