13 Strange Facts About Beaches That Will Definitely Surprise You

Slather on the sunscreen and soak in these beachy snippets of wisdom.

From coastal and rocky to glassy and green, we now know beaches as fun-filled places to catch waves and rays, and have leisurely laid-back days. But it wasn’t always this way. These havens of respite have previously been viewed as threatening wildlands where pirates ran rampant, natural disasters claimed lives, and terrifying monsters lurked beneath the surface. The world’s beaches are home to fascinating history, enthralling trivia, and even swimming pigs. Here are 13 fun facts about beaches that might blow you out of the water.

The Mediterranean’s 11 Most Beautiful Places to Go Swimming

The Caribbean has nothing on the Mediterranean, and these 11 places prove it.

Too often, when travelers think of Europe, they think about its history, cities, and visiting the places they’ve read about in books or seen splashed across silver screens. But beyond the historic cathedrals and towering castles, Europe also has beaches—beautiful, sunny, picturesque beaches along its Mediterranean coast. There, you’ll find landscapes and views that promise to rival anything you’ll see in the Caribbean. It can be hard to know where to find these beaches, though, especially if you’re looking to get a bit off the beaten track. Here’s our guide to 11 of the most gorgeous places to take a dip in the Mediterranean Sea.

11 Under-the-Radar Things to Do in Curaao

An ABC Island made easy as 123.

On the surface, each Caribbean Island seemingly blends together with its sugary white sand beaches, swaying palm trees, and turquoise blue waters. But to see the Caribbean islands as interchangeable is a mistake. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll discover that the islands vary greatly in culture, cuisine, architecture, and offerings. Curaçao is one such country, a Dutch Caribbean Island whose capital city of Willemstad looks as though Copenhagen got up and took a tropical vacation. From street art splashed walls to an innovative culinary scene, medicinal gardens to women-empowering art initiatives—there are many reasons to travel to Curaçao. Known as the “C” in the ABC islands (comprised of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao), this island is defined by its storied past and the pastel-colored homes that dot its capital. This is an island whose solid infrastructure makes it a Caribbean breeze to travel through and whose tap water is not only safe to drink but considered the finest quality. Between its thriving culture and stunning beaches, there are many reasons to up and travel to Curaçao.    

The 13 Best Spots for a Classic American River Float

Grab the pool noodles, the floaties, a cooler, and some friends.

There’s nothing that says “summer” quite like grabbing a few inner tubes, a cooler (or two!), and some friends and family for a sunny and relaxing afternoon trip down the river. Across the U.S., there are seemingly countless spots to enjoy time spent on the water encountering some special sights that could otherwise not be spied from ashore. But here are 13 of the best spots for a classic American River float (with no need for a boat!). 

The 13 Best Mexican Shore Towns to Visit

Not including Cancun!

Chances are you’ve seen a photo of Cancun with its turquoise-blue waters, white-sand beaches, and towering resorts rimming the shoreline. News flash: this is not the only waterfront town in Mexico that offers nightlife, hotels, dining, beaches, and culture. In fact, it’s among the most well-trodden, which is not necessarily a good thing. If you’re looking to venture off the beaten path, there are plenty of charming coastal towns along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Some are big—like Mazatlán or Acapulco—while others are very small, such as Todos Santos or Akumal, with only a few thousand residents. But no matter their size, they are excellent spots to add to your Mexico itinerary.