Brighton, England

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Brighton is home to an insanely gorgeous palace and an amazing sea life aquarium. It has a rich history, is one of the most LGBT friendly places in the country, and the beach is nothing but pebbles. If you walk further down the beach (away from the pier) you will end up on Brighton’s Nude Beach. I did not venture this far. The pier is packed with people, all trying to win arcade games. It’s a mini carnival, essentially. The aquarium is fantastic, and on one level you can find several giant sea turtles.

Hidden Gem: Sperlonga Beach

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I recently visited this lovely town during a trip to Italy. Sperlonga is a hidden gem, about two hours south of Rome and completely tourist free. It was gorgeous and absolutely relaxing. I did this as part of a day tour, found through Viator (it happens to be the only tour for Sperlonga) and despite the term ‘tour’ it wasn’t like any tours I’ve done before. We spent the day on the beach, relaxing, and part of the afternoon was spent on a boat tour which takes you all along the coast to see the grottos. If you’re feeling adventurous they do pause the boat to allow you to swim into one of the larger and more open grottos. This was honestly my favorite part of Italy, that I got to see.