When it comes to relaxing, nothing puts you in a vacation state of mind better than a beach day. National Relaxation Day on August 15 offers the perfect excuse to kickback and chill — so commemorate the “holiday” by soaking up some sunshine, enjoying salty breezes, and letting your worries roll away with the tide. Find your bliss at one of these seven beaches, each perfect for a laidback day of lazy pursuits.
1. Caladesi Island In Clearwater, Florida
Accessible only by boat or ferry, Caladesi Island is an untouched barrier island along Florida’s Gulf Coast. The undeveloped, three-mile stretch of shoreline off of Clearwater Beach offers a glimpse of “Old Florida” with towering old-growth slash pines and saw palmettos. Stroll and look for seashells, take a dip in the water, and kayak through mangroves — or pack a picnic and umbrella and enjoy doing nothing at all.
Considered to be one of the world’s best beaches, this breathtaking bay nestled within the lush, hilly terrain of St. Thomas offers some of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ calmest and clearest waters. With white sand, shady spots for afternoon naps, and spectacular views of the surrounding rugged coastline, it’s the perfect spot to relax while swimming or basking in the sun.
On Kauai's sunny south shore, the popular Poipu Beach offers golden sand, a natural ocean wading pool, surfing sites, and the winning combination of crystal-clear water and a reef for snorkeling. The crescent-shaped beach is also considered among the safest in Hawaii with a lifeguard on duty seven days a week, so you can kick back and relax worry-free. If you’re lucky, you may spot a Hawaiian monk seal sunbathing!
Pompano Beach is South Florida’s hidden gem, offering the same palm-tree lined shores and sparkling turquoise waters that neighboring Fort Lauderdale is famous for, without all the hustle and bustle. Snorkel a reef, dive an offshore shipwreck, stroll along the fish-shaped pier, grab a bite (or a tropical concoction) from one of the nearby local spots, or simply sink your toes in the sand, soak up the sun and enjoy the art of doing nothing at all.
Escape the busy beaches of San Juan and head down the coastal highway to Luquillo, a picture-perfect beach that’s just a short drive from the city but free of high-rise buildings. Majestic coconut palms offer shade along a mile of soft sand and a reef off the shore protects the beach so that visitors can enjoy calm waters that are perfect for swimming and wading.
6. Playa Norte In Isla Mujeres, Mexico6. Playa Norte In Isla Mujeres, Mexico
On the island of Isla Mujeres just off the coast of Cancun, Playa Norte offers an idyllic stretch of white sand, swaying palm trees, and water that is as calm as it is brilliantly blue. Chairs and umbrellas are available to rent from one of the many vendors that line the popular beach, while beach clubs, restaurants, and palapa bars beckon beach-goers to cool down by sipping something tall and strong.
Nestled within coastal hills, Pismo Beach is a classic beach town that blends natural beauty and surfing charm. The 60-acre Pismo State Beach offers a number of ways to relax. Cast a line or watch the surfers from the historic Pismo Beach Pier, walk along the oceanfront boardwalk, or claim a spot on the sand to take in the spectacular views. There are plenty of seaside shops and local food joints nearby when you’re ready to grab a bite.