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Wednesday, March 2, 2016


LAS HADAS/Manzanillo, Mexico—France has the beaches of Nice.  The Americas have Las Hadas. 
Growing up in San Diego, many of us take the sandy beaches for granted.  San Diego County has more than 70 miles of coastline.  Beaches rule in this cul de sac of California.
            But there are other terrific beaches in this world.  Here are a few of them that I visited during my career as a travel writer—By Tom Shess, Editor/Founder, Pillar to Post Daily Online Magazine. 

JENNER/Mouth of the Russian River, Sonoma County, California—Rustic, aromatic sea breezes, beach combing and did we say romantic.

CORONADO SHORES—The hamlet of Coronado has some of the priciest real estate in California.  Not because Tony Curtin and Marilyn Monroe filmed “Some Like it Hot” back in the ‘50s, but because the beach is huge, sandy white and only a mile or so over the bridge from downtown San Diego.  Step off the plane at San Diego International Airport and ten minutes later you can be on Coronado Beach. 

GIRON, Cuba—Not far from this pristine beach on the south side of Cuba is the Bay of Pigs, where a local museum points out in detail how an invasion of American mercenaries were swept off this beach.  Today, Giron Beach remains an undiscovered paradise for scuba activities.  If you wish to find Baja California beaches of the 1950s go to South Cuba.

CANNON BEACH, Oregon—I can never decide do I go to Oregon for the beaches or the blueberry ice cream at the Tillamook farm store?  Photo is of Haystack Rock.

VANUATU--The French and the Brits never did decide who owns the New Hebrides in the South Pacific.  So they decided to share paradise by building the tallest flagpoles in the world instead of sending troops.  Perfect place to learn the do’s and don’ts of outrigger canoes.

ARROMANCHES, Normandy, France—We all know this stretch of beach as Omaha Beach.  It can be 90 degrees F and you’ll still have goosebumps.  Stepping off the train in Bayeux (close to Omaha and other WWII beaches) with my family, a gentleman who was also on the train asked if we were visiting the beaches.  I pointed to my wife and replied: “her father landed here on D-Day.”  The man stuck his hand out.  As I shook it he said, “We will never forget, America or your father.  Merci, Merci.”

SINGAPORE—This urban beach is so near downtown, which means it's always decision time: go to the beach or go to Raffles Hotel bar to shmooze with Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad.

CAPTIVA BEACH, Florida—One of the island beaches near Ft. Myers on the west side of the state.  Yes, I could be trendy and go to Ft. Lauderdale or Miami’s South Beach but I wouldn’t find seashells there.

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