Travel and Leisure — July 17, 2014 at 5:00 am

7 Unusual Beaches

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Most dream of beaches have white sand, glistening aqua-blue shorelines, and perfectly shaped palm trees. Believe it or not, but some beaches host quirky qualities such as sharing shorelines with cows, glass, and hot springs. Although unique, you can still suit up with your beach gear to enjoy offbeat characteristics of these unusual beaches.

Cow Beach, Goa, India
Cow, the sacred animal, is a holy animal in the Hindu world. Although popular with humans, cow beach is populated with cows enjoying the sunshine. Although they are basking in the warmth, and holding their sign to “Eat More Vindaloo Chicken,” man and cow mingle the shorelines to enjoy a refreshing afternoon at the beach.

davehuge / iStock / thinstock.com

davehuge / iStock / thinstock.com

Hot Water Beach, New Zealand
During low tide, Hot Water Beach transforms into a day at the spa welcoming achy knees and sore backs to bath in nature’s goodness. Locals bring shovels to dig holes and “wells” for the hot water to bubble up into these tiny pools. Once high tide comes in, the hot water party is over until the next low tide.

tupungato / iStock / thinkstock.com

tupungato / iStock / thinkstock.com

Glass Beach, California
Wear your sandals as the sand are tiny pieces of beach glass and rock to composite a colorful shoreline. Once a dumping ground for Fort Bragg’s waste, is now a “sea of glass” thanks to the ocean smoothing out the cut glass. This seems to be the perfect beach for artists to collect glass, but unfortunately collecting glass is off-limits.

e.b.harding photography / iStock / thinkstock.com

e.b.harding photography / iStock / thinkstock.com

Maho Beach, St. Maarten
If searching for a quiet beach nap, head away from Maho Beach. This is the perfect beach for those to get up close and personal to Boeing 747’s and Airbus planes landing on the strip. What appears inches, is only feet away from the beach as these jet planes fuel a roaring land at Princess Juliana International Airport.

Chalabala / iStock / thinkstock.com

Chalabala / iStock / thinkstock.com

Papakolea Beach, Big Island, Hawaii
Not many places in the world have a green sand beach. What seems like an algae or mold infested beach is actually tinted due to volcanic activity. The iron and magnesium rich flow is first dried into a crystal formation once the magma cools. The beach is difficult to access and may require a 4WD vehicle.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/77649267@N06/8208394051

https://www.flickr.com/photos/77649267@N06/8208394051

Petroglyph Beach, Alaska
This chilly beach is covered with more than 40 petroglyphs etched in stone. Scientists believe the artwork was created from Tlingit who carved the drawings more than 8,000 years ago. The drawings symbolize the creatures who are important to the natives such as killer whales, birds, spirals, salmon, and unique faces. The carvings are most visible at low tide.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/brewbooks/1112010966

https://www.flickr.com/photos/brewbooks/1112010966

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
More than 38,000 interlocking basalt columns cover the seashore and descend toward the sea. Natural volcanic eruptions created perfectly hexagon-shaped towers, which look similar to honeycomb patterns. The causeway is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

audioworm / iStock / thinkstock.com

audioworm / iStock / thinkstock.com

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