I love beaches. As a kid we used to vacation all the time in Cape May, NJ. While “Jersey” beaches often get a bum rap because of dirty water and beaches cluttered with litter, the beach at Cape May has always received high reviews. Now being on vacation this week at Myrtle Beach, SC, while swimming in the Mediterranean waters of the Tel Aviv beach four times in the last four months, a family member just asked me, “What beach do you like the best?” To be honest, it’s hard to say.
For me, what goes in the running to help me decide on which beach I like the most are the following: water temperature, water clarity, size of the waves (for body and boogie-board surfing), sand quality, and “atmosphere.” Hands down, Tel Aviv’s Med Sea scores high for water temperature and clarity. Th water here at Myrtle Beach is equally as warm if not warmer. While on tour we usually have only one day in Tel Aviv (the first night and next morning), there’s not too many oceans or seas around the world that can match the Med’s waters. While the Red Sea has the fish and coral, the Med Sea is a clean and clear body of water. What the Med Sea lacks are big waves. There are too many rock jetties and breakers that are set up to protect the beach front to allow for big waves. No don’t get me wrong, the beaches of Ashkelon to the south, for instance, have great waves for body surfing. But the Tel Aviv beaches are more protected, probably like the Caesarea beaches were in the days of King Herod hen he built his famous harbor.
The white sand beaches of the Med Sea are quite beautiful as well. While Cape May’s beaches boast of the famous “diamonds,” the whiteness of Tel Aviv’s beaches can literally blind one’s eyes with brightness. One can easily burn your feet walking across these white sand traps.
Myrtle Beach also has long white beaches, with a gradual incline into the water. These beaches are also big waves that that plow you over and even, let’s say, lower your short level (if you know what I mean) during high tide if you catch a wave the wrong way. The endless hours of fun and frolic riding waves can be both exhausting and rewarding at the same time. So I also give a thumbs-up to these South Carolina beaches lined with tourists from many States.
So while each beach is nice in its own right, the atmosphere of each beach is unique in its own way. The Tel Aviv beach is crowded with Israelis, and it’s always fun the cultural distinctions. Families are families anywhere, and to see a bunch of Israeli kids having fun with their mom and dad in the water is delightful. Cape May (where many memories from my childhood days are sketched in my heart) and Myrtle Beach (where we are this week for the very first time) are packed with vacationing families as well, making it fun to interact with people, asking where they are from, and sharing smiles and conversations with many.
I have to say that facing westward, sunsets are spectacular in Israel, while the Atlantic Ocean sunrises aren’t too shabby either. One thing I must say about Tel Aviv though… too many European guys wear speedo bathing suits!
So which beach do I like the most? Actually it’s hard to say. I like them all for what they uniquely offer. I guess I simply love the ocean regardless where I am!