By: Lynn Parramore
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Dreams of barefoot strolls and barely-there beachwear help coax us through the gray days of winter. You know how it is. On a clear summer night, when the warm wind kisses your skin and the sun slips down into the sea, even the most jaded city slicker starts to feel the sap rising. So break out the bikinis and bring on the heat. Summer is here, and it’s time for a little reckless abandonment.
While some of the beaches on our list are family-friendly, we focused on places where adults get to play in a giant sandbox.
In Pictures: North America's Sexiest Beaches
For many urban jungle dwellers, the stimulation of breathtaking scenery and perfect temperatures is enough to kick-start the libido. The topographically-blessed states of California and Hawaii offer perhaps the most gratifying combination of untamed nature and unrestrained sexiness. Picture yourself cavorting among hula dancers in the lush tropical wonderland of Maui’s stunning Kaanapali Beach. Or perhaps you’d rather be frolicking with ripped surf kings beneath the rainbow-laced mountains of Kauai’s Hanalei Bay.
California’s La Jolla Cove, with its rugged sandstone cliffs, is another one of those pinch-me beautiful places etched into our minds from countless movies and postcards. These are places that demand we peel back as many layers of prudery — and clothing—as we dare.
Maybe you prefer your own private paradise? Two of our top picks boast special temptations for those vacationing as couples. Amid the lavish resorts of Mexico’s Playa del Carmen, couples indulge in massages surrounded by lush, fragrant gardens. Private infinity pools, secret dining spots, and Mayan saunas right on the beach are all here for the taking. Laguna Beach, a coastal jewel set between Los Angeles and San Diego,, offers hidden coves beyond the more scene-y stretches where you and your amour can steal away from prying eyes. For adults-only romance, Miami’s South Beach delivers plenty of sexy hotels where you can lounge on secluded beach-beds.
If you’re ready to keep up with the best, Cabo San Lucas is world-famous for attracting thirsty college kids, cruise ship revelers and fashionable party people from every corner of the world. From a casual beach-bar refreshment to a full-throttle dance-a-thon, Cabo delivers an endless array of sensual summer entertainment. For a très chic party-scene, South Beach scores again with its jet-setting sun worshippers from near and far who don’t know the meaning of the word “no.” Deco and decadence go hand-in-hand in this haven for fun-loving models and flamboyant beach boys.
California’s Manhattan Beach and Pacific Beach are the best places to check out the buff boys and girls of summer as they glide along on rollerblades and leap gracefully among volleyball nets. If the golden SoCal scenery wasn’t enough, PB’s tanned, twenty-something surfers and MB’s well-muscled professional volleyball players are attractions that no summer pleasure-seeker should miss. Their enviable physical perfection urges you strike a pose on a surfboard and take a turn at wind-surfing, sailing, or sea kayaking. You not only feel sexy, you look sexy, too, and that’s half the game. No skills? No problem. Get a local beach babe to show you the ropes.
Finally, some may call it swimming with the sharks, but there are people who like a little bling-bling with their bikini. Main Beach, East Hampton, is the most happening section of the fabled Long Island playground where the rich and famous gather every summer. Each way you turn, A-listers, celebrities, trust-fund bunnies and house-sharers are blowing off serious steam. Chasing hot Hamptonistas in velvet-roped clubs is certainly not a sport for the timid, but there are plenty of seaside bars for more low- key flirting. Of course, if you’re ensconced in one of the multi-million-dollar mansions that line the beach, the party will be coming to you. Bonus: East Coast surfers flock to the Hamptons to pick up swells.
Of course, the only way to be sure which beach is the sexiest is to get out there and try them all. That’s a summer assignment we highly recommend.
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