We could all use a beach vacation every now and again, but taking a long trip to a far flung destination isn’t always possible. Enter: long weekend beach getaways. When you’re in need of some sand and surf, but short on time, a rejuvenating long weekend trip is the perfect way to get your fix before heading back to work on Monday (or Tuesday, if you can squeeze in a four-day weekend).
We’ve done the legwork and searched the globe for beach destinations with the best chance for ideal weather (sunny, dry, comfortable days) in May. Get your Kindle loaded up with some good beach reads — you’ll need them for hours of doing nothing but lazing in the sand — and prepare to slip into a deep state of bliss.
From the calm Caribbean waters, the windswept shores of Nantucket, or a protected lagoon in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the best beach destinations combine breathtaking natural scenery, inviting waters, and a sense of escape. Here are our favorites—from Anguilla and Jamaica to Mozambique – we’ve rounded up 5 of the best long weekend beach getaways.
Best Beach for Privacy-Seekers
Location: Maundays, Anguilla
Located on the white sands of Anguilla’s Maundays Bay, considered one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel features 108 guest rooms, all of which are beachfront and feature large private verandas or balconies. Guests can relax on the sandy shores, or take part in beach volleyball, yoga, or water activities like kayaking, paddle-boarding, and sailing. Kick back on a private terrace, feeling the ocean breeze, then watch the sunset from The Cap Shack, with a rum punch in hand and toes in the sand.
Best Beach for a Taste of the Europe in the Tropics
Location: Baie Longue Terres Basses, Saint Martin
Set above Baie Longue, St. Martin’s most sublime beach, La Samanna, A Belmond Hotel brings a touch of European glamour to the Caribbean island of Saint Martin. Reserve a bamboo beach cabana—complete with private butler service!—and feel your cares float away while lounging on a large sofa bed and listening to the waves lapping on the shore. The 83 rooms, suites, and villas all have sea views—choose from a deluxe oceanfront room with a private balcony to a cottage just steps from the sand, or a private villa set in the cliffs above the bay. Guests can take a cruise around the island, and when the day is done, enjoy French fare at the L’Oursin restaurant overlooking the sea.
Best Beach for an Adult Getaway
Location: Nantucket, Massachusetts
The Wauwinet is the only hotel on Nantucket with access to not one, but two private beaches. An adults-only escape built in 1876 by ship captains, the 32-room “inn by the sea” is a place to unplug, relax, and soak up breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Get another perspective on the sights by taking a spin on the Wauwinet’s 20-passenger Lady Boat, available for lunch and dinner cruises and private charters.
Best Beach for a Creative Escape
Location: Oracabessa Bay, St Mary, Jamaica
Famous for being the place where Ian Fleming penned all 14 James Bond novels, GoldenEye is steeped in retro glamour and creative cool. Today, the 52-acre estate—a collection of villas, cottages, and beach huts on Jamaica’s Oracabessa Bay—is owned by music producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Chris Blackwell. It’s impossible not to feel inspired while relaxing on the property’s secluded beaches, with palm trees swaying overhead, or on a lagoon-facing private terrace, overlooking tranquil waters.
Best Beach for Nature-Lovers
Location: Benguerra Island, Mozambique
Feel one with nature at andBeyond Benguerra Island, a rustic-chic retreat on a quiet protected lagoon off the coast of Mozambique. Located within the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park, a marine reserve is home to around 140 species of birds, the hotel allows guests to feel in total harmony with their environment. Warm waters, colorful corals, powdery shores, and freshwater lakes are all a part of the allure, plus unique adventures like “castaway picnics,” sunset dhow cruises, scuba diving, and bareback horseback riding on the beach.