Top 8 Best Places to Vacation Near the Water

Top 8 Best Places to Vacation Near the Water

Have you been craving a coastal breeze? How about the gentle spray of the ocean, or the leisure activities that come with lake time? There are plenty of wonderful vacation destinations that can combine a relaxing getaway with water adventure. But out of this selection, it can be tricky to separate the high-quality destinations from those that simply have a body of water nearby.

The perfect balance of leisure, adventure, great weather, and delicious food is just a scroll away! In this article, we detail the top 8 destinations in Europe, North America, and Asia to visit when you are looking for an idyllic waterfront vacation spot in 2023.

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Kauai, Hawaii, USA

  • Weather: The temperature in Kauai is very consistent, with highs around 72-77ºF, and lows of 54-62ºF throughout the year. Rainy days are frequent, however, with an average of 13-23 days of rain per month. Definitely expect rain on your trip, but be prepared for warm, humid days.
  • Average Budget for a 7 Day Trip: Solo travelers to Kauai can expect to budget at least $2,500 for a 7 day trip. There are a few reasons for this higher price tag: Lihue Airport sees high average flight costs, hotels are priced higher due to frequent tourism, and cost of goods is higher in Hawaii due to it being an island!
  • Top 3 Places to See in Kauai: Wailua Falls, Na Pali Coast State Park, Hanalei Bay.

Kauai is one of the most well-loved of the Hawaiian Islands, with nearly 1 million annual visitors in 2021 despite the continuance of the COVID-19 pandemic at the time, according to the State of Hawaii. The island is full of geologic intrigue, plenty of hiking trails, and more than enough beaches to enjoy ocean views from.

Mystical forests and waterfalls can be found around the island, including the famous Wailua Falls, which are a must-see. Water activities include kayaking, diving, snorkeling, surfing, and more!

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Kauai is full of geologic intrigue, plenty of hiking trails, and more than enough beaches to enjoy ocean views from. Photo: Francois Seuret / Shutterstock.com

Hvar Island, Croatia

  • Weather: Hvar, Croatia definitely has some seasonal temperature variation! Warmer months are from May to October with highs around 73-86ºF. The cooler months are mild, with temps around 55-59ºF. Rainy days are on the rare side with the rainiest months being November and December with an average of 8 rainy days per month.
  • Average Budget for a 7 Day Trip: A solo trip to Hvar, Croatia averages around $1,800. Hotels and vacation are fairly cheap in Hvar, and so is local food! Plan to budget extra for transportation, though, to fully take advantage of Hvar’s coast. Water taxis to other islands and sights are a must do!
  • Top 3 Places to See in Hvar: Dubovica Beach, Brac Island, Blue and Green Caves.

For a destination that pairs historical intrigue with gorgeous blue water, Hvar, Croatia is the choice for you. Hvar features gorgeous fortresses, cathedrals, and historical centers from the 1500s and 1600s alongside gorgeous coastal views.

Hvar features gorgeous fortresses, cathedrals, and historical centers from the 1500s and 1600s alongside gorgeous coastal views. Photo: Pawel Kazmierczak / Shutterstock.com

Located off the Dalmatian Coast, Hvar Island is one of a few stunning islands that are part of Croatia, and it is certainly the most popular for tourists. One of the reasons that tourists love Hvar is because of its potential for exploration and its opportunities for relaxation.

If you’re just into it for the water, there is no shortage of water activities including boat tours, snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing, and more!

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If you’re just into it for the water, there is no shortage of water activities including boat tours, snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing, and more! Photo: xbrchx / Shutterstock.com

Langkawi, Malaysia

  • Weather: Expect warm temperatures year round in Langkawi! The weather here is very consistent, with average highs range from 87-90ºF and lows from 77–79ºF. Months with the least amount of rain are late November to April. Many people recommend to avoid the rainy season from September to November which comes with 2+ hours of rain per day!
  • Average Budget for a 7 Day Trip: Langkawi is one of the cheaper destinations on our list with an average budget for a solo traveler of around $1600. Airfare is likely to be your largest expense, as hotels, food, and activities are very affordable in Langkawi.
  • Top 3 Places to See in Langkawi: Langkawi Sky Bridge, Pulau Payar Marine Park, Black Sand Beach (Pantai Pasir Hitam).

Langkawi is an up-and-coming resort destination in Malaysia which is fully entrenched in natural beauty. Langkawi’s tourist activities are all rooted in appreciation for the lush jungle and pristine waters, which makes Langkawi a very authentic destination.

Lovers of warm, humid climates and jungle vibes can enjoy the rich culture of Malaysia and the stunning scenery in a trip to Langkawi. From jet skiing to parasailing to beginner snorkeling, Langkawi has plenty of options for the thrill seekers and the water enthusiasts alike.

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Langkawi is an up-and-coming resort destination in Malaysia which is fully entrenched in natural beauty. Photo: Leonid Sorokin / Shutterstock.com

Mallorca, Spain

  • Weather: Mallorca is another destination with fairly mild temperatures. Most months hover around the low 60s, but be aware of June, July, August, and September as warmer months with temperatures in the mid 80s Fahrenheit!
  • Average Budget for a 7 Day Trip: Mallorca is shockingly affordable, with an average price for solo travelers of around $1200. Hotels cost an average of $71 per night, and worldwide economy flights to Palma de Mallorca Airport are around $700 on average.
  • Top 3 Places to See in Mallorca: Cala Millor, Magaluf, Palma de Mallorca.

Mallorca, also known as Majorca, is an idyllic Spanish island in the Mediterranean. Pairing gorgeous Mediterranean views with rich Spanish culture, Mallorca features historic 13th century buildings and Gothic architecture overlooking vivid blue water.

Pairing gorgeous Mediterranean views with rich Spanish culture, Mallorca features historic 13th century buildings and Gothic architecture overlooking vivid blue water. Photo: trabantos / Shutterstock.com

Over the years, Mallorca has become known as a luxury vacation spot in Europe, which has made it all the more enjoyable. From Michelin star restaurants to local farmers markets, you can enjoy whichever version of Mallorca you wish to.

Shopping opportunities are just as plentiful as beach opportunities, which include water sports, kayaking, and snorkeling. 

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Over the years, Mallorca has become known as a luxury vacation spot in Europe, which has made it all the more enjoyable. Photo: Serenity-H / Shutterstock.com

Key West, Florida, USA

  • Weather: Expect warm temperatures on your trip to Key West! Temperatures range from highs of 75-91ºF, with the warmer months being July through September. Expect rainy days in August and September, with an average of 11 days of rain per month.
  • Average Budget for a 7 Day Trip: Key West is a bit pricier than other destinations on this list, primarily due to higher cost of hotels. Solo travelers should expect to budget at least $2,500 for a 7 day trip and see an average price of hotels of $175 per night.
  • Top 3 Places to See in Key West: Duval Street, Dry Tortugas National Park, Southernmost Point Buoy.

Key West is the furthest south in the United States and is well-known for its reputation as an all-inclusive tourist destination. With shopping, nightlife, beaches, and even a bit of history, Key West is a must-visit for those looking for an American waterfront vacation destination.

Snorkeling, kayaking, and day cruises are just a few of the many water-related fun opportunities in Key West, which features Caribbean culture and bright blue water.

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With shopping, nightlife, beaches, and even a bit of history, Key West is a must-visit for those looking for an American waterfront vacation destination. Photo: Policas / Shutterstock.com

Jeju Island, South Korea

  • Weather: Jeju Island in South Korea experiences all four seasons, making the winter months a time you likely want to avoid. From December to February, temperatures stay in the low 30s Fahrenheit. Jeju has a mild spring and fall, but a nice, warm summer from June to August with temperatures in the 70s to 80s.
  • Average Budget for a 7 Day Trip: Solo travelers should budget at least $1,500 for a trip to Jeju Island, but possibly more depending on airfare. Flights to Jeju International Airport are spendy and will be most of your budget, but the costs of airfare are balanced by low hotel and activities prices. The average hotel cost per night is only $45, and travelers only need to budget about $50 on activities and food due to low prices.
  • Top 3 Places to See in Jeju Island: Jeju Stone Park, Daepo Haean Jusangjeolli Cliff, Hyeopjae Beach.

There is truly something for everyone on Jeju Island, with rich cultural experiences, spa tourism, and gorgeous preserved nature. Photo: Nattee Chalermtiragool / Shutterstock.com

Jeju Island is a stunning tourist destination that is loved by Koreans and foreigners alike. There is truly something for everyone on Jeju Island, with rich cultural experiences, spa tourism, and gorgeous preserved nature. Did we mention that there is plenty of stunning sea surrounding the island?

Water activities are plentiful, as well as white sandy beaches to relax on. You can try out some of the world-renowned diving sites, paddleboarding, and even jet boating! For those who like fishing, deep-sea fishing experiences are also available.

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Jeju Stone Park is one of the most-visit places in Jeju Island. Photo: MEzairi / Shutterstock.com

Nice, France

  • Weather: Like other Northern Hemisphere destinations on our list, Nice experiences seasonal temperature differences that include a mild winter and a warmer summer. Winter month travelers (November through March) can expect highs in the 50s Fahrenheit, while summer travelers (June through September) can expect temperatures in the 80s. Expect very little rain in Nice in the summer, with an average of only 1-2 rainy days per month!
  • Average Budget for a 7 Day Trip: Solo travelers to Nice should budget at least $1700 for their trip, which includes moderately priced airfare and hotels. For daily transportation and food, we recommend budgeting $50 to $100 per person. If you plan on preparing your own meals, you can save quite a bit of money in Nice.
  • Top 3 Places to See in Nice: Parc de la Colline du Château, Promenade du Paillon, Villefranche-sur-Mer.

There are plenty of beaches in Nice, with four miles of beach stretching the city limits. Photo: Sergii Zinko / Shutterstock.com

Filled with museums, gorgeous architecture, and plenty of sights to see, Nice is a great pick for those who want balance in a water destination. This French Riviera city features stunning blue water and a heavy dose of French culture. From art museums to 17th century statues, visitors can fully immerse themselves in Western European history and take a stroll along the water right after.

There are plenty of beaches in Nice, with four miles of beach stretching the city limits. If you are looking to travel around the area, you might also consider beaches near Cannes or Antibes!

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From art museums to 17th century statues, visitors can fully immerse themselves in Western European history. Photo: Sergey Dzyuba / Shutterstock.com

Malibu, California, USA

  • Weather: Malibu has plenty of sunshine and warmth even in its milder months, with temperatures between 67-72ºF in the cooler months of November through April. Summers are warm and see 0 days of rain on average, with highs between 87-89 degrees Fahrenheit in the months of May through September.
  • Average Budget for a 7 Day Trip: On the higher end of the price range, Malibu solo travelers should budget at least $3,000 for this luxe destination. Hotel prices are the culprit of most of the cost for Malibu vacationers with an average hotel cost of $230 per night. Food and activities can also be pricey, depending on where you choose. Budget up to $250 per person per day for eating and activities.
  • Top 3 Places to See in Malibu: Zuma Beach, El Matador State Beach, Point Dume State Beach and Preserve.

Malibu is one of the world’s most famous beach cities. Photo: Nick Fox / Shutterstock.com

Malibu is one of the world’s most famous beach cities. In fact, the beaches here are almost as famous as the celebrities that live nearby. Located in sunny Southern California, Malibu is an upscale tourist destination featuring excellent eats and plentiful surfing opportunities just outside of Los Angeles.

At the same time, Malibu has a surprising small town feel with plenty of opportunities for beginner surfers and plenty of activities. There’s plenty to enjoy in Malibu beyond the beaches, too. You can go hiking at one of the many trails in the areas and then take a trip to the Malibu Pier and shop at some local businesses.

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