If you’re lucky enough to live in a beach town, I don’t need to tell you how amazing the lifestyle is. Easygoing cultures seem tied to the ocean somehow, as if the calming waters bring out relaxed nature in all of us.

I’ve compiled a list of the world’s best beach cities so you can see just how the other half (and by that I mean the tan half) live. Hopefully it will help you make it through the long stretches of winter ahead. Enjoy!

Barcelona, Spain

worlds best beach cities barcelona

A mile-long beach that runs the coast of the Mediterranean Sea makes Barcelona a top-tier beach town. With famous Spanish nightlife, indulgent cuisine, and inspiring architecture at your beck-and-call, it’s no wonder that millions of tourists choose Barcelona each summer.

Sydney, Australia

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 11, 2015: Unidentified people at Bondi Beach Australia. Bondi Beach is popular beach in Sydney founded at 1851.

Dozens of beaches surround the town of Sydney, Australia, but Bondi Beach is truly the best one of them all. Giant waves, golden sand, and seriously beautiful people surround you as you spend the day amongst the laid-back Aussies. Grab a beer and a beach towel- you won’t need anything else to have fun at Bondi Beach!

Nice, France

best beach cities french riviera france

The waterfront of Nice, France holds nearly 35 beaches (some private, some public) where the locals and tourists come together to catch a few rays. Notorious with the rich and famous, this party spot is an easy choice for those who love to see and be-seen.

Cape Town, South Africa

best city beaches south africa

There’s a beach for everyone within a short distance from South Africa’s capital of Cape Town. Families love the tidal pools on the False Bay coast, while surfers hit the windy waters of Milnerton and Blouberg. And if you’re looking for a sunset spot unlike any other, don’t hesitate to venture to the Clifton beaches where posh homes overlook the breathtaking views.

Santa Monica, California

best city beaches santa monica california

The Hollywood elite love to venture down to Santa Monica for the laid-back progressive atmosphere and expensive nightclubs. With more than three miles of sandy beaches, it’s easy to join in on a volleyball game or simply people watch by the water.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

best city beaches rio de janeiro

Sun-kissed skin, twenty five miles of coastline, and nonstop partying is everything you need to know about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The epicenter of culture, which brought us festivals such as Carnival, has a beach scene brimming with activities for all ages. Take in the epic views of the mountains, with Christ The Redeemer silently guarding your adventures, as you spend the entire day out on the sand.

Created by Mandy Burkholder