Suns out, buns/guns/bikinis out, am I right?! Summertime equals beach time for us, and luckily we have a beach expert — no, really — to weigh in on the best beaches in the world: Ashlan Cousteau and her hubby, Philippe, explore the planet on the Travel Channel’s hit show “Caribbean Pirate Treasure,” so she really knows what she’s talking about. Get your daydream (or vacation-booking) fix with these seven amazing beaches.
Saint Tropez, France
What could be better than drinking chilled rosé while overlooking beautiful boats docked in this iconic French Riviera town? Maybe playing a few rounds of pétanque with some locals clad in white linen or sunbathing on the sand of beach club Nikki? Don’t worry, you can do it all here. And to avoid the crowds and the overly obnoxious mega-yachts, I recommend visiting during the sailing regatta held every year at the end of the summer. That’s when I go.
Rincon, Puerto Rico.
Perfect waves, perfect sun, incredible people. We were lucky enough to film here for this season of Caribbean Pirate Treasure. In this quaint beachside town, your day will be filled with time in the ocean, eating healthy local food and sipping a few cold Medallas. We loved our time here. We went a few months after Hurricane Maria and we so inspired by everyone there. A great way to help Puerto Rico is to go visit! Support local businesses and families by spending money through tourism.
Bald Head Island, North Carolina
I grew up in NC and loved spending summers on her gorgeous beaches. But my favorite is this tiny island on the Outer Banks. Only accessible by ferry, Bald Head Island has no cars, the only modes of transportation are golf carts, bicycles, and your feet. Sweeping sand beaches with dunes and waist-high seagrass line the beaches which are the nesting grounds to several protected species of sea turtles. You can even sign up to go out with researchers to help look for nests. I visit almost every year with my girlfriends from college.
Boasting 33 miles of coastline, Malibu has everything. You can catch some waves at Surfrider Beach, soak in the sun on wide Zuma Beach, and hike the seaside hills of the Santa Monica Mountains. One of my favorite spots is Leo Carrillo State Park, as it’s dog-friendly and has some little alcoves in the rocks, perfect for a picnic. If you see me and my dog Kenai Cousteau, say hi!
Cabo Pulmo, Mexico
A two-hour drive north from Cabo San Lucas, brings you to the sleepy village of Cabo Pulmo. This is an established “no-take” marine park (meaning no fishing of any kind is allowed) and has made the water there teaming with wildlife. You can see everything from giant schools of fish to turtles, rays, birds, and whales. It’s a must-see destination for any diver or snorkeler. We’ve taken a bunch of our friends here twice.
Tofo Beach, Mozambique
Tofo, on the Ponta da Barra peninsula, is a quant surfing village with a local market selling all sorts of fresh produce and cute sarongs. The waves are easy here, as the coast is protected by a reef wall…perfect for easy surfing and snorkeling.
Castaway Island, Fiji
Philippe and I just came back from visiting Fiji and Castaway is a place like no other. A four-star resort set on a little private island, with a caring staff, gorgeous water, and a decorated chef. Take your lover, take your kids, or take yourself. Oh, and the Tom Hanks movie Castaway was filmed on the island next door — make sure you can set up the tour of it accompanied by the champagne brunch. Wilson will be waiting…