Best Beach Towns Around the World

The mountains or the beach? If you answer this age-old question by picking the beach without fail, you’re not alone. To help you plan your next beach getaway, we’ve compiled 10 of the best beach towns around the world that can quickly become a stone’s throw away with your Bilt Points.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

This coastal town is most famously known for its expansive golf courses, bike paths, and boardwalks leading to the island’s many beaches. The Harbor Town Lighthouse is surrounded by restaurants, shops, and bakeries, and you can also hop on a sailboat or dolphin cruise here. Best of all, Hilton Head Island’s weather is moderate year-round, and you can avoid the large crowds by visiting in spring or fall.

Getting there:

Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) is about 45 minutes away. It’s even cheaper to get to SAV, as new low-cost carriers Avelo Airlines and Breeze Airways have launched a swath of new nonstop routes in the last year. Alternatively, you can use your Bilt Points by transferring to one of our many transfer partners or by booking directly through the Bilt Travel Portal powered by Expedia.

Pro tip: Bilt’s new Transfer Search tool in the Bilt app allows you to compare award availability across all Bilt airline transfer partners in one convenient search, helping you make the most of your points. Plus, it details how to transfer your Bilt Points.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

This tiny island is tucked away just 30 miles south of Cape Cod but is undeniably one of the most lovely getaways in the Northeast. There are plenty of boutiques and restaurants within walking distance from Nantucket’s rolling dunes and gorgeous lighthouses.

Getting there:

The airport is a breeze to navigate and is a quick 10-minute drive to downtown. American Airlines Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, and United offer summer seasonal service to Nantucket Memorial Airport (ACK).

Seaside, Florida

Its motto, “A Simple, Beautiful Life,” captures the essence of the charming town of Seaside. Known for its pastel-colored beach houses, Seaside is simply picture-perfect and overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. Seaside’s many beaches nearby are accessible to the public, and Seagrove Beach and Rosemary Beach make the top of our list.

Getting there:

Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) is about an hour away, serviced by Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Southwest Airlines.

Laguna Beach, California

The city of Laguna Beach is an iconic destination located squarely between Los Angeles and San Diego. There are more than 100 restaurants from seafood to Mexican, and even a few different breweries and wineries to discover. For a perfect day in Laguna Beach, spend your afternoons at the idyllic Treasure Island Beach and watch the sunset at Crystal Cove National Park, overlooking Laguna Beach’s rugged coastline.

Getting there:

You can get to Laguna Beach in 20 minutes if you fly into Orange County’s John Wayne Airport (SNA), or you can fly into San Diego International Airport (SAN) or Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) for more nonstop routes.

Cartagena, Colombia

This historic fishing village is located on the Caribbean coast, so you’ll get the best of both worlds: crystal-clear waters with white-powder sands and incredible history to discover in Cartagena’s Old Town. Bocagrande is a beautiful beach that offers skyline views and close proximity to a great mix of popular bars, restaurants, and cafés.

Getting there:

American Airlines, Spirit Airlines, JetBlue Airways and United all offer nonstop flights to Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG), less than 30 minutes to downtown.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

People often overlook Puerto Vallarta for more popular beach destinations like Cancun or Cabo. Sure, you’ll find pockets of paradise in any of these Mexican cities, but Puerto Vallarta is a stunning destination nestled on the Pacific Coast. You’ll not only have access to Los Muertos, one of the most popular beaches in the region but excellent cuisine, shopping, and historic sites in the city center.

Getting there:

Virtually every U.S. airline flies to Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR), just a quick 15-minute drive to Puerto Vallarta.

Ponta Delgada, Portugal

Ponta Delgada is the capital city of the Azores, otherwise known as “Europe’s Hawaii.”

If you’re an adventure seeker, explore the island’s impressive rainforests, volcanoes, and hot springs, or simply hang around the beach municipality of São Roque. As a heads up, you’ll want to plan your vacation in the summer months from June to early September to avoid heavy rainfall.

Getting there:

From many cities along the East Coast, it’s easier to get to Ponta Delgada than Honolulu thanks to United’s (relatively) new nonstop from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). Ponta Delgada - João Paulo II Airport (PDL) is under 10 minutes from all of the action.

Alicante, Spain

This Mediterranean city is located on the southeast portion of the Iberian Peninsula, where you’ll enjoy warm temperatures year-round. Discover jaw-dropping castles, cathedrals and basilicas in the second-largest Valencian community in the world. Spend all day at El Postiguet, the main beach in Alicante, then make your way to El Barrio for a nightcap at one of many bars and clubs.

Getting there:

While Alicante–Elche Miguel Hernández Airport (ALC) is under nine miles from the city center, you’ll likely have a quick layover first in Barcelona (BCN) or Madrid (MAD).

Canggu, Indonesia

Does starting off your morning with a vinyasa yoga flow and artisanal lattes — with the sound of waves crashing — sound appealing to you? The village of Canggu is the gateway to some of Bali’s volcanic black sand beaches, balanced by rice paddies and dozens of beach clubs, great for socializing day or night.

Getting there:

The closest airport to this far-flung destination is an hour away from Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS). While there aren’t any nonstop flights from the U.S. to DPS, you’ll find that it’s absolutely worth the trek once you land in paradise.

Gold Coast, Australia

Just 20 miles south of Brisbane, Australia’s Gold Coast is the perfect blend of city and nature. Gold Coast’s impressive skyline is the perfect backdrop to the 40+ mile stretch of beaches. Our picks? Snapper Rocks or Surfers Paradise, though there are nearly two dozen beaches to discover.

It’s easy to navigate the city of Brisbane thanks to ample public transportation options, from buses to trams to trains. Gold Coast boasts international cuisine from high-end Japanese outposts serving up sushi and saké to casual Australian cafés serving up Instagrammable acai bowls.

Getting there:

The closest major airport to Gold Coast is Brisbane Airport (BNE), located roughly an hour away. Did you know? United Airlines inaugurated 3x/weekly service between San Francisco (SFO) and Brisbane last year, becoming the first U.S. airline to service this exciting Australian destination.

Bottom Line

While this list just barely scratches the surface of the world’s greatest beach towns, we hope that you’re inspired by these splendid beach destinations that offer something for every traveler. With daylight saving time on the horizon, winter will be over before you know it — so be sure to take that well-deserved time off and book a rejuvenating beach vacation soon.

And don’t forget to check out Bilt’s new transfer search tool to quickly compare award booking options, ensuring you’re getting the most out of your Bilt Points.