Some people opt for baggy sweatpants, and others dress in formal attire. Mid-flight fashion is usually dictated by comfort or your destination. However, have you ever walked on to your flight wearing a bikini or swim shorts and sandals? For these airports, you might even say it’s destination-appropriate. These seven airports are so close to the beach that you’ll be asking your neighbouring passenger to slather on your sunscreen during the flight’s final approach.
With less than 10 minutes between baggage collection and the silky sand, you don’t have time to worry about finding your hotel. When landing at these airports, your primary focus will be finding a square foot of sunbathing real estate. Though one or two of these airports are so far off the beaten track, you’re more likely to be fighting turtles for space on the beach than fellow humans. That’s what dreams are made of in 2022!
1. Los Angeles International Airport, United States
Where better to start than the west coast. LAX is situated right on the beach, making it a perfect candidate for this list. Though, if you’ve attempted to run to the beach from LAX, you’ll know it takes a fair detour to get there. That aside, it would be criminal to leave this iconic spot off the list.
With Playa Del Rey beach north-west of the runway and Dockweller State beach parked directly behind the runway, you can see that dreamy Californian sunset before you even get to the hotel. Dockweller State beach is also a fan favourite amongst plane spotters as international flights land and take off right above your head. For those with the patience that legends are made of, Santa Monica pier and beach is approximately one hour away via the Big Blue Bus 3 route.
2. Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, Australia
Unlike LAX, you can quite literally be at the beach in under ten minutes from Sydney Airport. After all, the harbour city is home to over 170 beaches, many of which are nestled away in the Eastern Suburbs and Sutherland Shire, which neighbour the airport.
If you are set on stepping off the runway straight on to golden sands, Dog beach is directly adjacent to the international runway. In 20 minutes, you can reach Kyeemagh beach, and in 30, you can be sipping a cold one on Brighton-Le-Sands beach.
In half an hour, you can also visit the world-famous Coogee Beach or lesser-known but equally beautiful Maroubra Beach. Bondi is a fair bit further away, with public transport taking around an hour to reach the TV destination.
With Sydney’s plethora of choices, you can even find a secluded beach that feels like a remote paradise less than a 10-minute drive from the airport. Congwong Beach and Little Congwong Beach may not be as famous as Bondi or Coogee, but they offer up privacy and space while maintaining Sydney’s high standards of quality coastline. Be warned, however, as clothing has become somewhat optional at little Congwong over the years! Cue the LITTLE Congwong jokes…
3. Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport, France
Bonjour de la cote d’azur, et bienvenue au paradis! If you’re new here, I’m french. Despite my french bias and love for the south coast, Nice Côte d’Azur Airport stakes a good claim for the best airport within 10 minutes of a beach.
In less than a three-minute drive from the terminal, you can be sunbathing and swimming in the french riviera. Don’t drive? No problem! It will take you 20 minutes or under on a bus. Want to walk out of the airport on to the beach? That’s possible too! The nearest stretch of sand is at Californie Plage. However, for a beach that satisfies the french people’s high standards, I recommend venturing out to Plage de Sainte-Helene.
4. Kahului Airport, Hawaii, United States
Providing international connections for the small pacific island of Maui in Hawaii, Kahului has a pleasant surprise lining the north boundary of the airport. In less than 15 minutes on foot, you can be strolling along pristine Hawaiian sands and catching a wave in translucent turquoise water.
From terminal to beach-goer heaven, Kanaha Beach Park is just the start of a trail of paradisiacal Hawaiian beaches adjacent to the international airport. For a less-frequented beach off the tourist trail, grab a taxi or hire a car and head to the unnamed beach at the end of the main runway. Access is via Stable Road, t-shirts optional, surfboards essential!