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    World's Ten Best Beach Cities

    By By Christina Valhouli
    July 29, 2014, 5:42:46 AM EDT

    Who says you have to decide between a beach vacation and an urban escape? In these 10 cities around the world, you get the best of both worlds, which is to say you'll find excellent stretches of sand as well as vibrant dining, cultural, and nightlife scenes. So after a morning of museum hopping and gallery browsing, head to the beach for sun and sand before heading out on the town again. Sometimes when it comes to travel, you can have it all.

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    SydneySydneysiders are spoiled for choice when it comes to the beach. Once you've seen the Opera House, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and toured Sydney's museums, it's time to hit the beach. Bondi is the closest to the city center and arguably its best surfing spot. Don't miss the 4 Pines Brewing Company here, and brave souls can dive with sharks at Manly Sea Life Sanctuary. To beat the crowds, try one of Sydney's lesser known beaches such as Balmoral or Bronte. The Adina Apartment Hotel Bondi Beach is just one block from the beach.

    Insider Tip: For a twist on the beach experience, head to one of Sydney's public saltwater pools, which are often located right on the shore.

    Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Sydney Guide


    Hong Kong

    Most travelers to Hong Kong spend their days eating, shopping, and craning their necks to take in the skyscrapers. But Hong Kong's beaches are a welcome break from its frenetic pace, although they are largely overlooked. Lantau Island offers the city's largest stretches of sand as well as an outpost of Disneyland. Other sandy options include Shek O beach and Chung Hom Kok. Lamma Island has several secluded beaches, and the Royal View Hotel is located steps from Lido Beach.

    Insider Tip: Lantau Island is home to the world's tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddha, which sits at 112 feet high.

    Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Hong Kong Guide



    Miami Beach is famous for its miles of beach and hedonistic nightlife, but travelers should also soak up its culture and museums. Explore Miami's Art Deco District, and be sure to carve out time to visit the area's museums, such as the elegant Vizcaya and the Bass Museum of Art. Or catch a performance at the Miami City Ballet, the eighth largest ballet in the U.S. There is no shortage of beachfront hotels, but for a taste of Art Deco style, check into The Betsy.

    Insider Tip: Gianni Versace's former Miami mansion has been turned into a luxury hotel, the recently reopened The Villa by Barton G.

    Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Miami Guide

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