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Jen’s Top 5 Beach Destinations

Jen’s Favorite Beach Destinations

I feel like every time I think about the subject of summer plans, I want to jump up and down, and literally dance with joy!! At my house, we love late nights, no schedule, and sleeping in. Jared and I, are 100% night owls, and I am officially raising 4 more night owls. The whole early to bed, early to rise theory has never quite worked for us, and so Summer is my favorite time of year!!!!

As vacation approaches, I get giddy with the idea of summer plans. I love to decide where we are going, and how it will all come together! Inevitably, our vacations seem to take shape based on a kids camp location, Jared’s work trips, a family event, or a place we are dying to go, and this summer is no exception.

Our son is stationed with the Army in Alaska, and so… that is where we are headed. Any time we can spend as a party of 6, is a huge blessing to our family, and worth a trip to the land where the sun never goes down. (I cannot even imagine how late we will stay up!!)

Today, as we finalized plans for our trip I found myself dreaming of warm beaches, and trying to figure out how to fit one in my travel itinerary!!!

Hands down, nothing is more important to me than being with my son! Fishing, hiking, staying in an RV for the first time, all sound EXCITING, but I don’t think Alaska will have a sunny, white, sandy, beach for me, and so… I will share my favorite beach towns with you in hopes that someone goes, and spends a little time enjoying the sun, and the warm sand for this Bird!

As always my beach locations are not in order, I really love them all!

1. Phuket Thailand, Karon Beach:

 After a scheduled trip to China for business, we decided to go a little farther to Thailand. Phuket is Amazing!!!  Its a save up, celebrate something big, but find a reason, and a way to go kind of place!!

Karon beach is among the largest on Phuket Island.  There is excellent snorkeling, lots of dining, resorts, shops, and nightlife.  

We also hired a private boat through our hotel, SriPanwa and hit a more local beach for the day.  It was so beautiful I don’t even have the words  to describe it!

 2.  Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii:

Years ago we went with Jared’s sister and her family to visit the island of Maui. A few days in, two of the major Hawaiian Airlines went out of business, and that shutdown stranded us on the island for 18 days! Best 18 days ever!! (I have a lot of best days ever for future reference:)

We happened to be in Kaanapali during the shutdown and really fell in love with the area. There is 1.5 miles of beautiful beachfront, and it was far less crowded than any other beaches I had been to in Hawaii.  Staying here for so long was a dream! We were able to take a scuba course, get certified, and spent our time swimming among some of the most beautiful fish I have ever seen. If you are from AZ like me, and want to get Certified, pick Maui!!! The certification among fish and octopus from Hawaii was so much better than any fish I would have seen in an AZ. lake!

3. La Jolla, California:

I will dive into La Jolla throughout the next couple weeks, but a recent trip moved it to the top of my favorite Cali locations. I love a beach that gives me something to do!  Kayaking in the caves was a win, and something I will do so many more times. I loved the charm of the area, and all the yummy places to eat. La Jolla brought a little more local feel to me, and for that reason alone, I will go back time, and time again!

4. Destin Florida:

I first found the appeal to the Gulf side of Florida on a girls trip with life long friends to celebrate our 40th Birthdays. Not only, did the love of women who have unconditionally been by my side for 40 years, bring warm feelings to the area, but the beach itself cannot be dismissed!                                                                                                  

Destin has stunning white beaches, crystal clear water, gentle rolling waves, and warm sunshine. It’s a great family location with so many good places to eat, shop, stay, and tons of things to do! And come on, at this point you know, warm water is a must, and Destin has it. No seeweed + warm water = Perfect Beach

 5. Bali:  

For Jared and I’s 20th Anniversary we decided to use the 100,000 points we had on Korean Air, and fly somewhere amazing!  Hours on the phone with a Reservation Agent, and no clear direction as to where I wanted go, ended up taking us first class to Singapore, and Bali.

In Bali we stayed on Seminyak Beach.  Bali is known for world class surfing, and the beaches feel untouched by the busyness of the world we live in.  Bali felt exotic, and perfect to celebrate something as big as 20 years of marriage!

 In Bali, because of the untouched feel, the beaches can at times have garbage on them.  Stay in a resort area, where cleanup is regular, and if like me, love local treasures… take a walk and find random Bali people pottery washed up on the beach! My car keys sit in such a pot:)

Honorable Mentions… Because I really love the Beach!!! 

Cancun:  Stay on the Peninsula at the GRAND FIESTA AMERICANA CORAL BEACH CANCÚN, There isn’t a bad view from anywhere in the hotel, the pools are gorgeous, and the beach is Amazing!!  (Also check out other Cancun hotels for all inclusive packages.  Cancun can be a very cost effective place to travel!)

Oceanside California… Most of my neighborhood will be here, so kids will be everywhere.  Check out VRBO, for tons of options of condos to stay right on the beach.

Daytona Beach, Miami Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and the Keys…  All offer nightlife, tons of things to do, many options for places to stay, warm water, no seaweed, and beautiful sand.

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