Posted by: traveljunkies | September 28, 2010

10 Secret City Beaches

Courtesy of Yahoo Travel

Copenhagen, Denmark

There is more to wonderful Copenhagen than fishing and Carlsberg. The Danish capital, famed for its blend of historic charm and flashy new architecture, is three miles from Amager Beach Park. Divided in two parts – one on the mainland, and one on the 2km-long island – the lagoon in between is shallow, making it perfect for kids. Adults might prefer a dip in the beach’s Helgoland Baths, which includes a nudist bath with separate departments for guys/girls, open until the end of August.

Vancouver, Canada

The 192 parks are better known, but Vancouver has a dozen beaches with clean water, sandy shores and spectacular views, all manned by lifeguards until the first week in September (except Wreck Beach). Among them are Second Beach in Stanley Park and Kitsilano Beach, which have huge, outdoor heated swimming pools. You can take a barbeque to any of the beaches as long as it’s at least 30 inches off the ground.

Malmo, Sweden

Sweden’s third most populated city (after Stockholm and Gothenburg) is known as the City of Parks. It also has the country’s highest concentration of restaurants per capita, making it famous for its food. It’s somewhat of an added bonus then to discover Ribersborg beach, in walking distance of the city centre. Having been granted a Blue Flag award for the quality of its water, the mile and a half stretch of sand is often referred to as ‘Scandinavia’s Copacabana’.

Chicago, USA

Step away from Chicago’s Michigan Avenue (aka the Magnificent Mile), and you’ll find yourself in Oak Street Beach – a people-watching extravaganza in the middle of the bustling city better known for its shopping, dining, culture and nightlife. The clear, blue water is open for swimming from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day (this year, that’s 31 May to 6 Sept), and is also popular for beach sports like rollerblading or volleyball.

Edinburgh, Scotland
There are several UK beaches within easier reach from a city than you’d think, but one most worth mentioning is Portobello. Located along the coast of the Firth of Forth, three miles to the east of Edinburgh’s city centre (about a 20-minute bus ride), it’s a great way to spend a day if you’re over for the festival. If it’s not warm enough for a dip in the sea then grab a fish supper from one of the nearby chippies and take a stroll.

New York, USA

Most people think of Central Park when they’re all shopped out and need a break from the hustle and bustle of NYC, especially on a sunny day, but a good shout is Brighton Beach, in Brooklyn’s Coney Island. Brighton Beach and Ocean Parkway subway stop makes it easy to get to, and once you’ve soaked up some rays and recharged your batteries, the rides at Coney Island’s retro theme park are a good way to spend an afternoon.

Hong Kong

The image that springs to mind when we think about Hong Kong is packed pavements, neon signage, steam-filled canteens, and slow-moving traffic, but it also has a long coast interspersed by twists and turns, home to several bays and beaches, and the mountain prevents large waves from reaching the shores, so they’re perfect for swimming or frolicking in the sea. With its clear azure water, Repulse Bay is the most spectacular beach in Hong Kong and easily accessible by bus or taxi from Central District.

Barcelona, Spain

Ok, it’s not exactly a secret, but Barcelona has so much to offer, it’s easy to overlook the beach. Sure, Spain offers much more luscious shores elsewhere, but it’s a very nice little bonus if you’re in the city for the footy, or you fancy a break from all the nightlife, shopping and sightseeing. Even if it’s not a rest you’re after, there are plenty of things to do, including windsurfing and kite surfing.

And now some fake city beaches…

Paris, France

The Paris Plage recreates beach life each summer with the use of fake sand, swimming pools suspended over the Seine, and watersports like kayaking. Open until 20 August.

600m of sand turns the path next to the canal into ‘Bruxelles les Bains’ in the summer months. Attractions include beach volleyball, BBQs, trampolines and boat trips. Open until 22 August.

Cliff Chapman

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