Travel might be complicated right now, but use our inspirational trip ideas to plan ahead for your next bucket list adventure. This article originally appeared in Travel+Leisure.
As summer approaches, you likely have one thing on your mind: the beach. But not all sandy stretches are created equal.
Many different criteria define the perfect beach: the sand, the waves (or lack thereof), the level seclusion, the public transportation and accessible parking, the boardwalk, the activities, and even the amount of shaded trees.
Some blissful stretches are found alongside an ocean with striking rock formations or mountains in the distance, while others sit on a picturesque lake or river. Some are surf havens with stellar waves, and others are family-friendly spots with powder-soft sand, calm swimming conditions, and a bustling boardwalk, chock-full of restaurants, shops, and water sports rentals.