7 Crystal Clear Waters for the Perfect Beach Retreat in North America

  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 14 March 2024
  • Revised 15 March 2024
7 Crystal Clear Waters for the Perfect Beach Retreat in North America
  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 14 March 2024
  • Revised 15 March 2024
7 Crystal Clear Waters for the Perfect Beach Retreat in North America
  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 14 March 2024
  • Revised 15 March 2024
There’s nothing more enticing on holiday than sparkling blue waters beaches and powdery white sands that promise to wash away your worries.

Whether you’re heading to the golden coastlines of Florida, hopping over to the tropical islands of the Caribbean or visiting the diverse shores of Mexico, there are hundreds of dazzling beaches to discover with us. It can still be tricky to know which destination to choose when planning a North American beach holiday, but if you're looking for a slice of paradise, these are some favourites that are straight off our postcards...

Clearwater Beach, Florida 

Florida has some of America's most gorgeous beaches and boats more than 200 days of sunshine per year to enjoy them. Clearwater Beach is regularly voted the best beach in Florida and North America, thanks to its dazzling golden sweep of sand and crystal clear waters. The beach isn't small, meaning there's plenty of space to settle down, and there are endless opportunities for watersports such as kayaking, swimming and surfing, not to mention cruises to spot friendly local dolphins that splash in the waves here.

The beach catches epic sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico, which you can watch from the sand, a beachfront bar or restaurant, or over at Pier 60's sunset celebrations, where street performers entertain each evening. With plenty of drinking, dining and entertainment options just back from the shore, it's the perfect beach to soak up the sunshine on Florida's Gulf Coast. 

Carmel Beach, California 

Over on the West Coast, near the pretty town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, you'll find the eponymous Carmel Beach. It's a small but pristine swathe of white sand just over a mile long, with waters calm enough for kids to play and spectacular summer sunsets. The beach is often cited as one of the most beautiful in California, and although it's rarely busy, you can often find locals sitting around fires in the evening or walking their dogs at sunrise.

To explore even further, there's also a pretty scenic path that winds above the bluff overlooking the beach, and if you continue, you can walk all the way along the coastline to the next equally stunning spot, Carmel River Beach. Carmel-by-the-Sea is more than worth exploring while you're relaxing in the sun too; filled with chocolate box houses, cute boutiques and some of California's best restaurants, it's got a little something for everyone. 

Kailua Beach Park, Oahu 

Hawaii is almost unmatched when it comes to having some of the best beaches in the world, particularly in beautiful Oahu, where you'll find one that regularly tops lists worldwide. Kailua Beach Park has impossibly blue water and untouched white sand that is perfect for sinking your toes into. This means it's packed with possibilities for water-based activities, including snorkelling, kayaking, paddleboarding and swimming, with calm waters and an array of tropical marine life, such as turtles, dolphins and even humpback whales in the winter months.

This particular beach is ideal for early risers, as you'll not only have it to yourself but also be able to take in a stunning Hawaiian sunrise. The best part is that despite the awe-inspiring scenery, which makes this beach feel like it's on a deserted island, downtown Kaila is just five minutes away and filled with great shops and restaurants for refuelling 

Playa Punta Esmeralda, Playa del Carmen, Mexico 

Down in the sunny climes of Mexico's Playa del Carmen, the first beach everyone should make a beeline for in Playa Punta Esmeralda. This stretch of soft sandy beach has water that almost glows blue, with palm trees swaying in the background and, best of all, not many crowds. 

Although the beach is fairly popular, there's tonnes of space to set up camp and it's particularly great for families with small children, as the water is warm, calm and shallow. The coolest part of this beach is the cenote, a sparkling freshwater lagoon perfect for letting kids swim without worry and there's even a natural jacuzzi for adults where the water bubbles up from the ground. 

Watersports are at your fingertips, with jet skis, parasailing, snorkelling and kayaking all available on the beach and if you're not up for any sports, just relax on the sand in paradise. 

Playa Delfines, Cancun, Mexico 

You already know that Playa Delfines in Cancun is going to be an amazing location thanks to its name, which translates as 'Dolphin Beach. This endless stretch of sandy beach combines the best of both worlds in an often busy Cancun, as it's just outside the Hotel Zone, meaning you won't find as many crowds.

It has clear, turquoise waters and golden sand that's scattered with pretty fronded beach huts and deck chairs for lounging on. Surfing is popular here, with lots of shops and instructors, plus other activities like swimming, snorkelling and catching sight of baby turtles, which are often released near this stretch of coastline. Cancun's famous sunsets can be enjoyed from the Mirador, a pretty lookout point with views over the Caribbean Sea, and although there aren't any restaurants and hotels here, which make it even more tranquil, there are delicious local food stalls and the Hotel Zone is just a short drive away. 

Rockley Beach, Barbados 

Rockley Beach is one of Barbados' most picture-perfect crescents of sugar-soft sand - you've truly arrived in paradise when you land at this beach. There are a few local bars and cafes dotted along the edge, meaning it's easy to pull up a chair, grab a cold drink and start enjoying the sunshine

The bright blue waters here are usually filled with people enjoying all the activities on offer, from boogie boarding to SUP and surfing, plus lots of spots serving up local seafood to enjoy for lunch. The southern end of Rockley Beach is ideal for little ones, as it's protected by rocks and has calm waters, while adults can head out onto the higher waves on the main part of the beach. There are colourful Caribbean sunsets, plentiful boutiques and gift shops and a sweeping boardwalk that heads off along the coastline if you want to explore this stretch of island even further. 

Ffryes Beach, Antigua 

Antigua famously has 365 beaches, one for every day of the year, so how can you possibly choose the best? Although they're all spectacular in their own way, Fres Beach consistently pops up as one of the most alluring on the island, with all of the white sand, palm trees and aquamarine waters you could dream of. Located on the west of the island, the beach is popular with locals and families thanks to its amazing snorkelling and easy access.

This stretch is home to some of the island's best bars and restaurants, including the iconic Dennis', which serves both cocktails and delicious local food. The winds aren't strong here, which means swimming and scuba diving are also ideal activities for venturing under the waves to see Antigua's incredible marine life, plus paddleboarding and kayaking along the shoreline. 

Ready to get back to shorelines and good times? View our Best Beach Holiday Deals here.

Enjoyed This Article?
Now choose what happens next...
Looking to Book
a Holiday?

This button will take you to a short form where we'll ask about your destination and preferences. If you don't like filling in forms simply give us a call on 01708 989 371 and we'll be happy to help you.

Receive Our
Exclusive Offers

Join our email to receive exclusive offers and airline sales direct to your inbox. Unsubscribe anytime (but why would you want to?)