AAA Travel Tips / The World's Most Underrated City Beaches

The World's Most Underrated City Beaches
By Samantha Brown , Host of “Samantha Brown’s Places to Love”
March 31, 2022
There’s something lovely about city beaches.
One of the coolest features a city can have is the ability to skip out of the office, plop down in the 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 L.A., Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, South Beach in Miami. Here are some lesser-known options:


Do all the sightseeing 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.


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 months from now.


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 Manly is via a 30-minute ferry from the city center. That’s the main bonus — you get to enjoy being on a boat in beautiful Sydney Harbour on your way there. Once there, you find yourself in an oceanfront resort town with restaurants, bars and hotels.
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 Harbour. Bring good walking shoes and water with you!