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The World’s Most Underrated City Beaches

There’s something lovely about city beaches.

One of the coolest features an city can have is the ability to skip out of the office, plop down in sand and do nothing but stare at the sea (or lake!) for the rest of the day. We all know the famous ones, Venice Beach in LA, Ipanema Beach in Rio, South Beach in Miami. Here are some lesser-known options:


Do all the sight-seeing you can in this beautiful city. Then follow Las Ramblas down until you hit the Columbus Monument, hang a left and follow until you get to the area of Barceloneta. This area was the Olympic Village where the athletes stayed during the 1992 summer games. Now it houses all kinds of restaurants, bars and clubs. One of the best hotels in the city, Hotel Arts, is right on the beach.

The World's Most Underrated City Beaches


OK, maybe the Windy City isn’t best known for its beaches. But if it’s hot out and you have the afternoon free and clear you can’t beat spending time on Lake Michigan. The most central beach is Oak Street beach… It’s just a few minutes’ walk from the Magnificent Mile. My advice,  use lots of sunblock and think about how cold the very same spot will be 6 month from now.

The World's Most Underrated City Beaches


Australia’s most famous beach, Bondi, is also the closest to the city center of Sydney. Bondi is great, but my favorite is Manly Beach. The best way to get to Manley is via 30 minute ferry from the city center. That’s the main bonus, you get to enjoy being on a boat in beautiful Sydney Harbor on your way there. Once there you find yourself in an oceanfront resort town with restaurants, bars and hotels.

The World's Most Underrated City Beaches

Tip: If you want to burn off some energy, do the walk from the spit bridge into Manly. It is a stunning trail that takes you along the spectacular rugged coastline of Sydney Harbor. Bring good walking shoes and water with you!

Ever been to the beach while visiting a city? Where are your favorite city beaches?

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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. I went to the beach in Barcelona one very busy August day a few years back and it was beautiful. Looking forward to exploring the south of France this year! Of course, I was spoiled by living and working steps from the beach in Ocean Beach, San Diego.

  2. Seattle has some great public beaches including some on Lake Washington where everyone swims in the summer. Alki Beach is great with views of the city and Golden Gardens is a favorite for young and old.

  3. San Diego has great beaches too! Right the across the bridge from Downtown SD is Coronado, with a beautiful beach (sparkling, clean blue water, soft sand, a great view of the Hotel Del and Point Loma; perfect for a bonfire at night!). Not to mention La Jolla, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Silver Strand, etc.! So many to choose from with so many different environments!

  4. The beaches in Tel Aviv are phenomenal and just a hop, skip, and jump to all of Israel’s top commercial and cultural institutions.

  5. Surprised you didn’t include Rio de Janeiro. Hard to beat Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon beaches and the Baja beaches in the city.

  6. I used to work in downtown Miami and drive to Key Biscayne in 20 minutes (in traffic) and a group of us would cook out dinner at the beach often.

  7. Atlantic City boardwalk and beaches are beautiful…and historic. The casino backdrop at night is spectacular.

  8. While not normally associated with beaches, the best city in the world–NY–has many beaches close-by: Jones Beach, Rockaway, Coney Island…and others.

  9. Glad you mentioned Oak Street Beach here in Chicago, but also, it is connected to every other beach by the uninterrupted bike path that goes for miles, to every other beach, and lakefront spot. North Avenue beach also should get a mention, it’s a great place for a massive amount of volleyball games on the weekends!

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The World's Most Underrated City Beaches
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