This Is Your 12-Month Endless Summer Travel Guide

From Rio to Bora Bora, the sun never sets on this itinerary

By Diane Rommel

 
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08 February 2017

Here's the thing about winter: it's optional.

It's always 5 o'clock somewhere, and it's always 78 degrees and sunny somewhere, too. Just maybe not in the city you're in at the moment. 

Ergo, a handy 12-month planner with our suggestions for the best beachside weather all year ’round. 

JANUARY
Destination: Manly (the city in Australia, not the descriptor)
Average temperature: 82° F
Why there? A 20-minute ferry ride from Sydney (the boat goes past landmarks like the Sydney Opera House), Manly combines big-city attractions with a relaxed, beach-town vibe.
Best edamame (and scene-y Japanese) we've ever had outside Tokyo: Sunset Sabi
Breakfast on the beach? Best enjoyed at The Pantry, which is literally on the sand.
Your new workout: Surfers head out to the main beach, fringed by towering Norfolk pines, before sunrise.
Get there now? $618 on China Southern from LAX

FEBRUARY
Destination: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Average temperature: 82° F
Why there? Why not, more like: Brazil’s party capital is at its busiest and best during Carnaval. Hope you like all-nighters, girls in feathers and dancing in the streets.
Best beach: Leblon, the East Hampton of Rio: not as gritty at Copacabana, quieter than Ipanema.
Second best beach: Arpoador, the crook of the elbow between Copacabana and Ipanema.
How we like our acai: Always, with granola.
Your new workout: There are more gyms per capita in Rio than any other city in the world (estimated), but for a change from the air-conditioned, try the open-air Flintstone’s Gym.
Get there now? $786 on Avianca from MIA

MARCH
Destination: Hue and Hoi An, Vienam
Average temperature: 78° F
Why there? The beaches near Hue and Hoi An in central Vietnam are as beautiful as their equivalents in Thailand with a fraction of the crowds — plus the country’s well-developed rail system makes it easy to travel north-south.
If you don’t like trains: Consider a motorbike tour between the two cities along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Unless you just want to sit by the beach: In which case, we like Thuan An.
When in Hoi An: Tradition demands that you have a custom-made suit done up by one of the city’s dozens of tailors.
Get there now? $461 on China Eastern from SFO to Hanoi, then train or plane to Hue

APRIL
Destination: Sayulita, Mexico
Average temperature: 91° F
Why there? The woman who coined the word “gyp-setter” runs a boutique hotel there, which should provide a sense of the vibe: worldly, insular, aesthetically minded.
Don’t know how to surf? Fix that problem stat, at Lunazul.
So you want to eat fresh fish, on the beach, but don’t want to cook it yourself: Try O Restaurant, which will do all that and provide you with a margarita to boot.
Get there now? $260 from LAX to Puerto Vallarta, then drive

MAY
Destination: Bali, Indonesia
Average temperature: 82° F
Why there? Despite the attention, there’s still no better mix of rich local culture, killer waves, beautiful interior landscapes (think: dense jungle/terraced rice paddies) and cheap prices.
Be specific about cheap? $10 a night in Denpasar
But nobody wants to stay in Denpasar: $63 a night on the beach in Candidasa
But I can spend a little more than that for something special: If you really want to break the bank, head to the Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay, but everyone loves the Viceroy, for about $500 a night.
Get there now? $670 on China Southern from LAX to Denpasar

JUNE
Destination: Big Island, Hawaii
Average temperature: 82° F
Why there? It’s a toss-up for us between Kauai and here — but we gave the Big Island the edge because volcanoes.
How best to explore them? Molten lava is at this moment flowing into the sea, so conditions are, to say the least, variable. But for updates, check the National Park Service’s page, which often includes such unexpected delights as videos of emerging lakes of lava.
Prefer cold to hot? Mauna Kea, the highest point in Hawaii, is at press time closed — no kidding — for snow. (Mauna Kea means “White Mountain”; that’s why.) By June, the peak should be clear and accessible again.
Get there now? $668 on Hawaiian from LAX to Hilo

JULY
Destination: Fiji
Average temperature: 73° F
Why there? There’s a reason “South Pacific” and “beach paradise” go so easily together — and remote Fiji is the exemplar. Plus, Fijians have a well-deserved rep as the friendliest people for thousands of miles in all directions.
How to choose an island: Get out of the city and you’ll find something to like about anywhere you head — but we prefer the Mamanucas for the social life.
Want to get a little farther away? Try the Yasawas.
Even farther: Take a look at Kadavu.
Like, seriously, just fish and coral: Beqa Island.
Get there now? $766 (non-stop!) on Fiji Airways from LAX

AUGUST
Destination: Amagansett, New York
Average temperature: 79° F
Why there? Crowds be damned, Amagansetts’s beaches are some of the best in the country. You’ll get fewer crowds (and warmer water) in September, but — hey — the swallows go back to Capistrano, and everybody goes to the eastern end of Long Island in August. Also, most people skip Amagansett on their way to Montauk, so that counts for something.
About those crowds: Escape them in Hither Hills State Park, up off the water.
Where to stock up: The farmer’s market.
Where to spot a Real Housewife: Stephen Talkhouse.
Where to get legitimately good Mexican food: La Fondita.
Get there now? $28.25 on Long Island Rail Road from Penn Station

SEPTEMBER
Destination: Essaouira, Morocco
Average temperature: 72° F
Why there? More relaxed than Marrakesh, Essaouira is where the beach crowd goes for weekends on the water.
Also: Tablet — our favorite hotel booker — has six properties in Essaouira. Five are under $150 a night, and two are under $100.
Of those two, we pick: Villa de l’O, a 12-room boutique hotel with a spa and within spitting distance of the sea
Try this: Essaouira is one of the kitesurfing capitals of the world. Try it out with an instructor at Explora Morocco.
For something less active: Auberge Tangaro offers group and private instruction.
Even less active: They also have beer and a fireplace for cool evenings.
Get there now? $649 on British Airways from JFK to Marrakesh, then private car or bus

OCTOBER
Destination: Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Average temperature: 80° F
Why there? FP has an entirely different vibe from Fiji.
More specifically: Open your wallet.
And in return … Think overwater bungalows. Crystal-blue water. Swimming with stingrays.
At the top of the market? The Overwater Royal Otemanu Villa With Pool.
It’s overwater, with a pool? It seems impossible. But at around $3,000 a night, “impossible” should be on the menu.
Speaking of: The resort also has a lagoon-side Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
But for $3K a night, I don’t want to leave the room: Your private butler will obviously address that for you.
Get there now? $1110 on Hawaiian from LAX to Papeete, then local air service to Bora Bora

NOVEMBER
Destination: Seychelles
Average temperature: 82° F
Why there: It’ll be underwater soon enough. Also, it’s paradise.
Sounds expensive: Once you get there, it doesn’t have to be — take, for example, this self-catering studio, which clocks in at $65 a night.
Too many islands to choose from? Charter a boat to take you to a half-dozen of them. Les Rochers Charters will go where you like, offering two staterooms with queen beds and “ample room for sun bathing.”
Get there now? $815 on Turkish from JFK

DECEMBER
Destination: Cape Town, South Africa
Average temperature: 77° F
Why there: The dollar (for now) is holding steady against the rand, which still makes this a bargain. Also, Cape Town is one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
Where to head specifically? The beachside neighborhood of Camps Bay if you like a little bit of a scene, Clifton if you like it more sedate.
But the water’s cold! Then go to Durban. There are more sharks in Durban.
Where to stay? Lots of choices — we’d aim for an Airbnb in Camps Bay with a view or the Twelve Apostles for a bit of  a splurge.
Where to avoid? We love the Tamboerskloof neighborhood, but you’ll need wheels or taxis to get to the water.
Get there now? $761 from IAD on Ethiopian

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