As we just spent Memorial Day a couple weekends ago driving up the Southern California coast, it got me thinking of the other beautiful coastlines I’ve seen around the world and which I am drawn to more than others. Some people just seem drawn to the ocean, to stretches of white sandy beaches and hot temperatures. To be honest with you, I’ve never been that person. With my fair skin and natural dislike of hot weather, I’ve always preferred cooler climates with rocky coastlines over sandy white beaches and palm trees. While I’m not a huge fan of beach destinations usually, I’m still very much a fan of coastlines around the world, of being near the ocean and seeing how each coastline in each different place can be so different than somewhere else.
I find the layout of the way the ocean meets land to be really beautiful, how the rocks form, how the ocean filters into the land, the clouds coming in over the water as they meet land, the green mosses that grow on the shoreline rocks. Some of my favorite places in the world are on a coastline and while I have so many more to see as of yet, here are some of my favorite coastlines, some of the most beautiful, the most serene, the most intricate places I’ve seen.
Hawaii has a plenty of white sand beaches if that’s your thing, Personally, out of all the Islands, I like Oahu because of the diversity in its coastlines. Not only do you have the sandy, palm tree-lined beaches of Waikiki and the North Shore, you also have the rocky cliffs of the East side of the Island around the corner from Hawaii Kai and the giant seemingly fake green mountains rising out of the ridges of the Windward side of the Island. My favorite spots are the rocky beaches on the North Eastern side of Oahu, where the waves crash into lava rock, the colors of the sky float in over the open Ocean and you can just make out the edges of Moloka’i in the distance.
While some like the Riviera in the Summer time when it’s full of people sunbathing on the beaches, I actually like it in the cooler months before or after peak season. Our March visit was the perfect temperature, not cold but not quite warm either, that perfect mix in the middle. The rocky cliffs to the East of Nice jut out over the Mediterranean, seemingly suspended. The rocky beaches along the crescent shaped Promendade des Anglais are quiet that time of year, filled with the occasional local taking in the view of the water, young people biking along the walkway or the small groupings of tourists taking in the gorgeous views. The clouds and the water roll in over the rocky shores and bring new life, while the orange tinged town of Southern France offers a very unique colorful palette of blues and greens and oranges.
Still one of the most beautiful coastlines I’ve seen in my travels, the Oregon Coast (particularly in the stretch from Cannon Beach down to just South of Newport) is truly breathtaking. Ranging from stretches of open beach, to giant rock islands seemingly floating just off the coast, to rocky ridges and rocky tidepools, the Oregon Coast is a beautiful place. And while our beach towns leave something to be desired, the coastline itself is truly a beautiful sight.
I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing many of the coastlines on the East Coast of the United States, though our trip through New England last year including Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island did provide some gorgeous ocean-side places. My favorite and the most beautiful, in my opinion, were the rocky coastlines of Rhode Island, Newport in particular. I was particularly overwhelmed with the colors of this area of the coastline: deep grays in the ocean and clouds, light tan rocks and cliffsides covered in olive green moss and ground cover. The ocean seemed expansive in Rhode Island, inlets taking over parts of the land and bridges over the water abounding. The ocean seemed much more powerful here, like if it wanted, it could take out anything in its path. That is both the terrifying and beautiful power of the ocean.
I loved the town of St. Andrews for a number of reasons. I loved the tiny Scottish streets, the incredible Sticky Toffee Pudding, the colorful stone buildings, the cathedral ruins, but what I loved most about the town is its gorgeous and breathtaking coastlines. Whether you visit the beaches near the famous Old Course, the rocky tide pools and lookouts below the high street through town behind the University, or stare out over the endless views of cliffs and rocky coastline from the lookout above the cathedral ruins, each is stunning. The way the clouds seem to linger and be drawn in with the tide, the way the dark rocks hold contrast to the sky, St. Andrews is stunning for more reasons than one.