By now, most of the world has heard about the terrifying mosquito-borne Zika virus that causes birth defects and other maladies. Recently, Mashable’s article on how some travel insurance plans did not cover Zika further frustrated holiday-makers and fanned debate. As travelers plan their summer beach vacations, the Zika virus will definitely be a concern, especially for those who are pregnant. The good news is that there are still plenty of beaches in the world that are Zika free (including beaches in most of the US). Pack your swimsuit and book a ticket to one of these five beach locations that have not yet reported a Zika outbreak.
Charleston, South Carolina
I have to admit, Charleston is not the first place that comes to mind when I think “beach vacation,” but it should be. South Carolina’s accessible and beautiful beaches make for a great vacation spot and are perfect for families as well. Packed with southern charm, these beaches are a great destination for surfers and loungers alike. Local accommodations range from beachside cottages to luxury resorts, so there’s something for everyone. Be sure to visit Folly Beach, an eclectic community with a unique vibe of its own.
In addition to their natural beauty and a fun, laid-back vibe, Miami beaches provide great people-watching opportunities as well. If you’re traveling with kids or dogs, there are plenty of beaches where they are welcome to frolic. Whether you opt to stay at a kid-friendly resort or a quiet boutique hotel, your time in Miami is sure to be a blast. Do me a favor and eat some amazing Cuban food while you’re there too.
When one thinks of European beaches, typically destinations like Spain, Greece, or the South of France come to mind first. France’s northern region of Normandy also offers beautiful beaches and warm waters (in the summer months). Normandy is an incredibly charming and historically rich part of the country (it’s a prime destination for World War II buffs), and offers a decidedly European beach vacation experience. Be sure to eat some crêpes and drink some cidre (hard cider) – both delectable regional specialties.
Another Zika-free European destination is Cornwall in the UK. That’s right, rated among the best in the world. Cornwall’s beaches offer gorgeous views and clear water. Sennen Cove is great for surfers, while Par Sands Beach is the perfect place to take your four-legged friends. To escape the crowds and lounge on the sand, head to the rugged, secluded Duckpool Beach.
San Diego, California
A great year-round vacation spot, San Diego offers wonderful beaches for surfers, families, dogs … you name it. If you get tired of the sand and sun (yeah, right!), don’t worry. There are plenty of other activities in San Diego to keep you entertained – from great Mexican restaurants to historic missions to the fantastic museums located in Balboa Park. San Diego is a great place for travelers of all ages.
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Have you visited any of these great beach locations? What are your suggestions for fun things to see and do? What other Zika-free beaches would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section!