What are ThirdHome members saying about their luxury home exchange trips to Galapagos and Western Cape

ThirdHome Exchange members recently returned from Western Cape, South Africa and Galapagos, Ecuador. Keep reading to learn about their ThirdHome travel experiences!

Beautiful exterior

Private pool

Relaxing outdoors

Galapagos Villa | Pto. Ayora, Ecuador

Casa La Iguana Villa is a spectacular property located right on the waters of Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. During their, guests will feel the fresh ocean breeze from every one of the 5 bedrooms. This tropical oasis will take your breath away around every turn! The natural beauty that surrounds this home is just a bonus amenity in addition to a jacuzzi, private pool, outdoor entertainment area and more!

ThirdHome member Bob says, “Casa la Iguana was exceptional. The photos of the property are great and in person Casa la Iguana was even better. Best of all was the service we received from Marianna and Fernando. They truly made our stay at Casa la Iguana very relaxing and enjoyable. Every detail was taken care of for us, including Fernando greeting our arrival in town at the dock and Marianna cooking the most enjoyable breakfast and dinner for us.” Click here to read more of Bob’s review.

Charming décor

Outdoor living space

Incredible views

Cape Winelands Villa | Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa

Cape Winelands Villa is surrounded by vineyards and spectacular mountain views! This 4-bedroom home is only an hour drive to the center of Cape Town if you’re looking to visit the vibrant city but is just a stone throw away from the picturesque Paarl/Franschhoek Valley. If you’re a wine connoisseur, this is your ideal base to explore the beautiful winelands of South Africa!

ThirdHome member Lyn says, “We have stayed in many big houses around the world, this one is just special! In fact, the owners of Donkerkloof are the most special couple! Thank you Lise & Jadrick for being so generous and kind to us! ” Click here to read more of Lyn’s review.

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next ThirdHome Exchange trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our Exchange Club? Click here to learn more about ThirdHome.

What are ThirdHome members saying about their luxury home exchange trips to Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii and Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico!

ThirdHome Exchange members recently returned from Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii and Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico! Keep reading to learn about their ThirdHome travel experiences!

Private Pool

Outdoor Relaxation

Open Air Home

Kona Sunset Hale | Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii

Kona Sunset Hale is a beautiful residence situated directly on the beach! Just steps away from the stunning Hawaiian waters, this luxurious beach home will not disappoint. There are two master suites both with California king beds and ocean views, while the third bedroom has fabulous mountain views. Relax poolside or walk down to the sandy beaches all while soaking in the sun in this dream-like paradise!

ThirdHome member Sandra says, “What a fantastic trip. We had great communication with [homeowners] Susan and Walt. I can not say enough about their gorgeous home. Impeccably designed everything you could ever think of wanting was available, and the 180 degree ocean VIEW was mesmerizing.” Click here to read more of Sandra’s review.

Stunning Entrance

Contemporary Interior

Modern Jacuzzi

Casa Xuul L’lk | Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico

This absolutely stunning home is located in the heart of Tulum, Mexico. Experience the modern and free-spirited atmosphere of Tulum while staying at Casa Xuul L’lk! This residence offers guests five bedrooms and can sleep up to 14. Enter the home by walking up the palm-tree linked walkway, step through the contemporary interior and take in the breathtaking views of the turquoise water of Tankah Bay!

ThirdHome member Julie says, “You can walk on the rocks and listen to the ocean from the hot tub on the roof or your private pool just off of the beach. We spent most of our time here because we just wanted to stay in the lovely villa.” Click here to read more of Julie’s review.

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next ThirdHome Exchange trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our Exchange Club? Click here to learn more about ThirdHome.

Both islands have plenty to offer, but these two distinct islands cater to different types of travelers and offer distinct coastlines.

Maui, the second largest Hawaiian island, is a well-known resort island with 30-miles of pristine beaches. Aside from a gorgeous coastline, Maui offers lush rainforests, farm-to-table dining and world-class golf. Overall, Maui offers more in the way of resorts, traditional beachfronts and nightlife compared to the Big Island. The landscapes are also a bit more predictable than the Big Island.

Per the name, the Big Island (island of Hawaii) is the largest island comprising the Hawaiian archipelago, twice the size of every other Hawaiian island put together. This huge island features about 266 miles of coastline. Its sheer size allows for a variety of climates across the island. Experience tropical weather at sea-level and freezing cold temperature at the heights of Mauna Kea volcano. It’s even possible to snowboard and ski at the top of Mauna Kea, albeit with no ski lifts to take you to the summit. As a whole, Big Island is able to offer more in the way of diverse landscapes, hikes and volcanic exploration.

Maui Beaches

Maui’s beaches are what you’d typically imagine from a tropical beach. Soft white and gold sands make up most of Maui’s best beach retreats.

On the northern coast of Maui, you’ll find Baldwin Beach Park, Ho’okipa Beach Park, and Honomanu Bay.

Baldwin Beach Park Maui Hawaii

Baldwin Beach Park is one of the most popular beaches in Maui due to its beauty and public amenities, which include a large parking area and public showers and restrooms.

Ho'okipa Beach Park Maui Hawaii

Ho’okipa Beach Park is more known for its water sport conditions, drawing crowds from surfing and kiteboarding enthusiasts.

Honomanu Bay is more difficult to access and more of a hidden local gem. But its surrounding jungles and gorgeous ocean vistas make it worth the trek.

On the southern coast of Maui, you’ll find Makena Beach State Park, Charley Young Beach and Palauea Beach.

Makena Beach State Park Big Island Hawaii

Makena Beach State Park, the most photographed beach in Hawaii, features nearly a mile of pristine white beachfront that’s perfect for snorkeling and swimming. Beware that Makena Beach State Park is divided into Big Beach and Little Beach, the latter being one of Hawaii’s nudist beaches.

Charley Young Beach Maui Hawaii

Charley Young Beach features nearly a mile of golden sand and lava formed tide pools, perfect for paddle boarding and snorkel exploration.

Palauea Beach Maui Hawaii

Palauea Beach is a medium-sized beach frequented by locals. Clear water conditions make Palauea great for diving and snorkeling, but be careful swimming alone here, as there are no lifeguards at this beach.

On the eastern coast of Maui, you’ll find Wai’anapanapa State Park, Hamoa Beach and Koki Beach.

Wai'anapanapa State Park Beach Maui Hawaii

Wai’anapanapa State Park (easy for you to say) is one of Maui’s few black sand beaches and features lush tropical surroundings, deep blue waters and public bathrooms/showers.

Hamoa Beach Maui Hawaii Hana

Hamoa Beach, a crescent silvery-colored beach adjoining the Travaasa Hotel, is a great family-friendly beach with shaded picnic spaces and crystal clear water.

Koki Beach Park Maui Hawaii

Koki Beach is a golden stretch of beach that’s popular among local surfers. Strong rip tides and a lack of lifeguards makes it a more dangerous swim, so use precaution. This beach is perfect for picnics and sunbathing.

On the western coast of Maui, you’ll find Honulua Bay, Kapulua Bay and Ka’anapali Beach.

Maui vs Big Island Beaches Honolua Bay maui

Honolua Bay is a popular surfing and snorkeling spot for more seasoned swimmers. There aren’t any public amenities available at this beach and it must be accessed via boat or by a short jungle hike. This beach is one of the most vibrant and hidden gems on Maui.

Kapalua Bay Beach Maui Hawaii

Kapulua Bay is part of Kapalua Resort, but still open to the public. It’s also a sheltered beach, making it perfect for families looking for calm tides. Watersport equipment is available for rent at the beach activities desk.

Ka'anapali Beach Maui Hawaii

Ka’anapali Beach is a public stretch of beach that runs alongside several shops, restaurants and bars. This beach is appealing to large families or groups who might want to engage in a variety of activities within a close area. This beach is also located amongst many of Maui’s top resorts like Marriott’s Maui Ocean club and The Westin Maui Resort. Lifeguards, bathrooms and showers are available at Ka’anapali Beach.

See Maui Exchange Properties

Big Island Beaches

Many of Big Island’s beaches are colored by the island’s heightened volcanic activity, making for black and green sand. White sandy beaches can still be found in some areas of Big Island.

On the northern part of Big Island, by Kohala and Waimea, you’ll find Waipi’o Valley Beach, Kauna’oa Beach, and Hapuna White Sand Beach.

waipi'o valley beach, big island, hawaii

Waipi’o Valley, home of ancient Hawaiian kings, is also home to a gorgeous black sand beach. Getting to this beach requires a long hike and the beach is known for dangerous currents, so proceed with caution.

mauana kea beach, big island, hawaii

Kauna’oa Beach or Mauana Kea Beach is a half-mile sugar white sand beach with calm waters. But Hapuna’s most exciting time of day comes at night when the Manta Ray’s come to feed on masses of plankton. The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel uses a floodlight to attract plankton for a late night Manta Ray show, thus the aptly named Manta Ray Point at Hapuna Beach State Park.

hāpuna beach state park Big Island Hawaii

Hapuna White Sand Beach is a beautiful beach, but also one of Big Island’s most crowded. An alternative activity to swimming, sunbathing or snorkeling here is to hike the Ala Kahakai coastal trail, which runs through Hapuna White Sand Beach.

On the southern tip of Big Island, you’ll find Papakolea Green Sand Beach and Punalu’u Black Sand Beach.

papakōlea green sand beach Big Island Hawaii

Papakolea Green Sand Beach is more remote and require longer hikes to access. But the unusual green sand and calm swimming conditions make it worth the effort.

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach is another remote beach that’s popular for spectating Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles and hiking. Snorkeling can also be fun in the calmer coves adjoining Punalu’u. This beach area features picnic areas and restrooms but does not have a lifeguard.

On the eastern part of Big Island, by Hilo, you’ll find Isaac Hale Beach Park, Richardson’s Beach and Ocean Park, and Carlsmith Beach Park.

Isaac Hale Beach Park Big Island Hawaii

Isaac Hale Beach Park only recently became a black sand beach after the 2018 volcanic eruption on Big Island. The eruption also created several thermal ponds, kind of like natural hot tubs! These ponds are not cleaned/treated so enter at your own risk!

Landscape with turtles in Richardon ocean park near Hilo, Big island, Hawai
Landscape with turtles in Richardon ocean park near Hilo, Big island, Hawaii

Richardson’s Beach and Ocean Park is a black sand beach that’s frequented by families due to its calm waters and tide pools. A marine conservation area within the park makes for superb snorkeling and water visibility. Richardson’s Beach has a lifeguard, shower and restrooms available.

Carlsmith beach park is one of best places to swim and snorkel close to Hilo. Lava and a reef protect the inner swimming area, making it almost like a swimming pool.

Carlsmith Beach Park, right down the road from Richardson’s Ocean Park, is protected by a surrounding lava and reef barrier making it perfect for children. There isn’t a beach exactly, but a lawn and walkway to enter the water. Think of it as one giant lava formed pool! Turtles also frequent this cove, and lifeguards, restrooms, showers and picnic areas are available.

On the western part of Big Island, by Kailua-Kona, you’ll find Manini’owali Beach and Kamakahonu Beach.

Manini’owali Beach is a white sand beach surrounded by lava rocks at the rear. Dolphin sightings are common off the coast here and the snorkeling is spectacular during calm tides. This beach requires a short walk from the parking area and does not include any public amenities.

Kailua-Kona, United States Big Island Hawaii

Kamakahonu Beach is directly next to King Kamehameha Hotel, and is a well-known children’s beach. Located in a heavily sheltered bay, there are almost no waves at Kamakahonu, making it perfect for small children learning how to swim and snorkel. Beach equipment rentals are available on site.

See Big Island Exchange Properties

Which island is right for me?

Both Maui and Big Island have an abundance of amazing beaches. What you should really consider is what type of travel you prefer, laid-back or active. Maui’s resorts, thriving nightlife, and easy access beaches will best serve travelers who like to unplug and relax on vacation. Big Island is for those seeking lots of activity. Many of Big Island’s most brilliant beaches are guarded by lush jungles and lengthy hiking trails. If you enjoy hiking and exploration, then Big Island is probably the destination for you.

Be sure to check out ThirdHome Rentals for more Hawaii travel opportunities.


Hawaii is a land of many unique wonders and vistas. Vivid color palettes make up the landscape of this chain of Polynesian isles. Verdant green mountains, black volcanic lava fields, golden beaches and turquoise waters find their way into every outdoor Big Island excursion.

Hawaii’s marvels are best exhibited on The Big Island, Hawai’i. Keep reading for the best Big Island hikes to be found during your next Hawaiian stay.

Best big island hikes


As a general rule, the Big Island’s jungle hikes can be found on the east side of the island, whereas your beach treks will be centered around the Western Kona coast. General hiking concerns such as poison ivy and snakes are not a great concern in Hawaii. Lava, however, can make for some treacherous walking conditions. Always be sure to observe and heed all posted warning signs in park areas and respect “No Trespassing” signage in private areas.


Kilauea Iki Hike Best Big Island Hikes

Kilauea Iki and Crater Rim Hike

Starting point: Crater Rim Trail, Pāhoa, HI 96778

Distance: 3 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Feel the earth bubble beneath you as you trek across the lava fields of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Kilauea Iki’s last eruption in 1959 left the crater filled with hot lava that steams to this day. The rising steam and surrounding jungle make this hike a testament to the raw strength of nature. Be sure to stay close to the marked trails to avoid breaking up the thin trail crust.


Mauna Ulu Hike Best Hikes on Big Island

Mauna Ulu Hike

Starting point: Napau Crater Trail, Pāhoa, HI 96778

Distance: 2.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Translated, Mauna Ulu means “the growing mountain” in Hawaiian. Delicately stacked rocks outline the path through the lava fields caused by the Mauna Ulu’s ongoing eruption from 1969-1974. Stay within these rocks to avoid treacherous ground while uncovering the aftermath of one of Hawaii’s most dramatic eruptions. Lava flows the size of Niagara falls dotted the landscape in the initial 7 months, leaving behind molted trees, unique surface patterns and large fissures in the ground. You’ll be in awe of mother nature after this volcanic hike.


Papakolea Green Sand Beach Hike Best Big Island Hikes

Papakolea Green Sand Beach Hike

Starting point: S Point Rd, Naalehu, HI 96772

Distance: 5.6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Green beaches are a very rare geological feature. Papakolea Green Sand Beach got its emerald green hue from a mineral found in lava called olivine. Walk along the shores of the southern Big Island Coast while enjoying ocean views, ancient temples and views of the cinder cone responsible for the unique nature of the beach. Do not disturb the temples or natural features you encounter on this hike. Although this hike is longer than the aforementioned volcano hikes, you’ll be hiking at less of an incline.


Waipi'o Valley Hike Best Big Island Hikes

Waipi’o Valley Hike

Starting point: 48-5546 Waipio Rd, Waimea, HI 96743

Distance: 3.8 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Welcome to “The Valley of the Kings” otherwise known as Waipi’o Valley. This valley was once the permanent home of Hawaiian royalty until the late 18th-century. A tsunami in 1946 would erase all other signs of civilization in this lush grove, save for a few small communities that still call it home. This hike includes scenic ocean views from the cliffside, waterfalls and a hike along a black sand beach. Just below the parking area you’ll find Kaluahine Falls, a beautiful waterfall that drops directly into the ocean. This hike is perfect for travelers looking for the perfect Instagram moment.


Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail Best Big Island Hikes

Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail

Route: 62-3461 Kawaihae Rd, Waimea, HI 96743

Distance: 15 miles

Difficulty: Hard

The longest trail on this list belongs to the Ala Kahakai trail which actually covers 175 miles of Big Island, running through ancient Hawaiian sites and villages. A condensed 15-mile roundtrip trail starts at Spencer Beach Park and runs to the Mauna Kea Resort area. Pass through beautiful beachfront trails and ancient Hawaiian culture on this hike. Although, this is the longest hike, it is relatively easy to get to and requires little climbing.


These hikes barely scratch the surface of all the hiking opportunities to be found on Big Island. Be sure to visit the National Park Service website to view some maps of Volcanoes National Park and other popular Big Island hiking destinations before your trip.

Interested in discovering Hawaii from a whole new perspective and conquering a Big Island hike?


Check out our Exchange availability in Hawaii by clicking below! Discover some of the best Big Island hikes or visit another one of the beautiful islands Hawaii has to offer.


Hawaii Stays

So, before booking your next family beach trip in the United States, make sure you research the destination or choose from these kid-friendly beach vacations.

Top 10 Kid-Friendly Beach Vacations in the United States

There are plenty of kid-friendly beach vacation options with ThirdHome!

1. Assateague Island, Maryland

This sliver of oceanside paradise extends from Southern Delaware, through Maryland and all the way to Northern Virginia. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll be focusing on the Maryland segment of Assateague Island National Seashore near Ocean City. The wild horses that roam the island are one of the main attractions for visitors. The horses are technically wild but are effectively tame. Just don’t feed them! Your kids will love swimming in the Atlantic, exploring Ocean City and taking pictures with the locals.

See Maryland Beach Homes

2. Clearwater Beach, Florida

kid-friendly beach vacations

Florida’s Gulf west-facing coast is filled with splendid beaches, many of which are great for kid-friendly beach vacations. But few Floridian beaches offer Clearwater’s level of kid-friendliness and number of activities. Clearwater has been voted “Best Beach Town in Florida” a number of times due to its cleanliness, safe and shallow waters, walkability and surrounding activities. City workers rake the sand every morning and local law enforcement patrol the beaches every day, leaving a safe and fine talcum powder-like grain behind for eager families to relax on. Your kids will love swimming in the crystal clear surf. They don’t call it “Clearwater” for nothing!

See Clearwater Beach Homes

3. Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts

kid-friendly beach vacations

A longtime, Cape Cod favorite, Coast Guard Beach is the perfect Northeastern family getaway. You’ll find rolling dunes, marshlands and big waves at Coast Guard Beach. If you look close enough, you might also catch a sea lion swimming offshore. The beach also has historical significance. 65 days out from Plymouth, the Mayflower made its first landfall in the New World at Coast Guard Beach. If you’re a family that loves history, you won’t find a lack of it in Cape Cod.

See Cape Cod Homes

4. Corolla Beach, North Carolina

kid-friendly beach vacations

The Outer Banks of North Carolina have always been a family-favorite beach destination. The long stretch of communities, that make up the Outer Banks, all have something different to offer. The town of Corolla, where Corolla Beach is located, is known for its seclusion and wealth of shopping and dining options. Take your family to the Center for Wildlife Education, the Kitty Hawk First Flight Museum or observe the majestic beauty of Corolla’s Wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs that roam the shores. The beach itself is immaculately kept and less populated than other parts of the Outer Banks, making Corrola Beach the perfect destination for kid-friendly beach vacations.

See Outer Banks Homes

5. Gulf State Park, Alabama

kid-friendly beach vacations

Alabama’s Gulf Shores boasts 3.5 miles of unspoiled white sand beaches. With that much space, it’s very easy to find a quiet secluded spot for your family. Plus, the Orange Beach area has plenty to offer children of all ages. The Wharf, one of Orange Beach’s busiest spots, offers unique shopping, entertainment and dining for your family. Gulf Shores is also home to the country’s largest artificial reef program, making it a wonderful destination for charter fishing. This area is very popular for kid-friendly beach vacations.

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6. Hanalei Bay Beach, Hawaii

kid-friendly beach vacations

This nearly 3-mile long horseshoe beach is located on the northern coast of Kauai Island, amidst a picturesque mountain backdrop. Hanalei Bay is a well-kept secret and hasn’t been widely commercialized for tourists, making for a secluded old-school Hawaiian feel. You won’t find any large crowds or loud music in this turquoise blue gem. The intensity of the waves also changes depending on your location on the beach. The far-side, near the pier, offers weak waves for beginners. The closer you move to the middle, the larger the waves get. This beach is perfect for children learning how to surf or boogie board.

See Kauai Homes

7. Hilton Head, South Carolina

kid-friendly beach vacations

The southern region of Hilton Head, near Coligny Beach, is the best beachfront for a quality day with the family. Although the popularity of Hilton Head might make this beach more crowded than others on this list, it’s easy to see why families flock back to Coligny Beach every year. The number of shopping and dining amenities in the area makes it so convenient! The beach also has fine white sand that is hard-packed for comfortable sitting and sunbathing. Shallow waters with flat sandy bottoms also make the beach safe for first-time swimmers.

See Hilton Head Homes

8. Kailua Beach Park, Hawaii

kid-friendly beach vacations

This 2.5 miles beach on Oahu gives Hanalei Bay a run for its money. Located only 30 minutes from Honolulu, Kailua Beach is one of the most easily accessible beaches in Hawaii. The water is a clear turquoise blue like Hanalei Bay and the sand is equally as inviting. But calm waters and additional park amenities make this beach stand out. Beach showers, bathrooms, grills, kayak rentals, lifeguards and volleyball courts are available to visitors. This beach usually features a kid-friendly beach crowd and should be perfect for a family-friendly Hawaii holiday.

See Kailua Beach Homes

9. Kiawah Beachwalker Park

kid-friendly beach vacations

Just southwest of Charleston and two hours up the coast from Hilton Head is Kiawah Beachwalker Park. This well-kept park sits on the west end of Kiawah Island and includes a number of park amenities including drink vendors, picnic areas, restrooms and dressing areas. A cooperative of county commissions all pitch in to make sure that Kiawah Beachwalker Park is as clean as possible for visitors. A gentle surf and a large number of accumulated tide pools make Kiawah Beachwalker Park a perfect place for first-time swimmers. If you value solitude, beautiful sunsets, and miles of uninterrupted beachfront, Kiawah Island might be the place for you!

See Kiawah Beach Homes

10. Menemsha Beach, Martha’s Vineyard

kid-friendly beach vacations

Named Travel + Leisure‘s Best Sunset in Massachusetts, Menemsha Beach is a must-visit for anyone staying in Martha’s Vineyard. This small secluded beach has a sleepy New England feel and is close to some of the island’s best seafood vendors. The calm surf and amenities provided at Menemsha Harbor make this beach very popular with parents of young children. The beach faces the Vineyard Sound rather than the Atlantic Ocean, making it a calmer experience than other beaches on Elizabeth Island.

See Martha’s Vineyard Homes

11. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

kid-friendly beach vacations

Once Known as the “Nation’s Summer Capital,” Rehoboth Beach was once known as a beach getaway for Washington D.C. locals. It has now grown into the largest beach resort town in Delaware. This small Victorian-style beach town knows how to cater to families. Throughout the summer, the city puts on a number of recreational activities for families including arts & crafts days, children’s entertainment at the bandstand and ocean education activities. If you want an all-American boardwalk, salt water taffy, small-town style holiday, Rehoboth Beach might be the destination for you.

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Lahaina | Hawaii

Just a few steps away from Napili Cove on the island of Lahaina sits this beautiful contemporary home. There are two master bedrooms with private bathrooms, making this a perfect romantic getaway. Large floor-to-ceiling windows, wood finishes and brightly colored accents make this property feel truly at home with the landscape. Unwind on the deck while watching turtles play in the nearby cove. For peace, quiet and stunning views, look no further than this Napili Cove gem.

ThirdHome member Douglas says, “Had a wonderful experience at this beautiful home located in Napili Cove. This was truly one of the most relaxing trips ever! Watched the beautiful sunsets nearly every day. The views from this oceanfront property are absolutely breathtaking.” click here to read more of Douglas’ review

Santa rosa beach florida hawaii

Santa Rosa Beach | Florida

Planning a large family getaway to the beach? Check out this huge home with beach access in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. With room for 14 people, an in-ground pool and the Gulf of Mexico right across the street, this is the ideal beach vacation for large groups. The open floor plan is outfitted with modern furnishings and a kitchen with modern appliances. The in-house elevator makes access to each floor a breeze. A beach trip to the Gulf doesn’t get much better than this.

ThirdHome members Marcia and John say, “The house is in a perfect, quiet area! Right across the street from a great beach. It has wonderful bedrooms, all with private baths. We all had a great time and did not want to leave. Thank you for sharing this wonderful spot.” click here to read more of Marcia and John’s review

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next ThirdHome trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our luxury home exchange club? Click here to learn more about ThirdHome.

The kids have been fighting in the back of the car for hours, you’ve already stopped three times, and the humidity is oppressive. You finally check in to your resort, the kids get their bathing suits on, and you run triumphantly to the beach. Next thing you know a gust of wind has blown sand in your eyes and your youngest daughter is crying because the water is still a frigid 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Why can’t the beaches be ready when you are? Well, maybe you’ve been booking the wrong beach vacations.

THESE BEACHES ARE CLIMATE CHAMPIONS YEAR-ROUND: Check out THIRDHOME‘s picks for best beach vacations you can take any time of year

Disclaimer: There’s no one perfect climate for everyone. This list attempts to round up temperatures and climates that remain more consistent throughout the year than other popular destinations for beach vacations.

Kailua-Kona beach vacations

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Climate: Temperature is typically between 68°F to 87°F (20°C-30°C). Rarely below 65°F (18°C) or above 89°F (31°C)

Hawaiian Christmas should definitely be on your bucket-list if it isn’t already. There’s nothing like a tropical escape in the midst of mainland cold. Kailua-Kona is on the western side of Big Island, which is considered the leeward side of the island. The leeward side of any island is the side that’s protected by the island’s elevation. On Big Island, west is leeward and east is windward. This makes Kaiulua-Kona one of the most protected beach sites (from rain and storms) in Hawaii.

Where to stay: Click here to see all properties in the Kailua-Kona area or book a stay at this ocean view Equity Residences home in September.

Malaga beach vacations

Malaga, Spain

Climate: Temperature is typically between 45°F to 88°F (7°C-31°C). Rarely below 38°F (3°C) or above 97°F (36°C)

Parts of Southern Spain, such as Costa Del Sol, are notorious for their insufferably hot days in the city. Malaga falls in this category during summer months, but receives welcome gusts of cool wind from the Meditteranean, making the dry heat bearable. The winters in this subtropical-Mediterranean climate are very mild due to the Northern Malaga mountains which block most of the northern cold from reaching the coast. The city has only seen snow once in the 20th century on a February night in 1954. Malaga is touted for being “green” all year round making it a joy to visit any time of year. June, July, and August- the hottest months- usually peak out around 87° Fahrenheit. Many British and German ex-nationals have moved to the area since the 1970’s for the pleasant weather.

Where to stay: Click here to see all properties in the Malaga area.

cyprus beach vacations


Climate: Temperature is typically between 43°F to 92°F (6°C-33°C). Rarely below 36°F (2°C) or above 96°F (35°C)

Another subtropical-Mediterranean climate, the island of Cyprus has one of the warmest climates in the Mediterranean Sea. The climate does shift dramatically the more you travel inland, reflected by the snow covered Troodos Mountains, but the coast is a sunny delight. The coast of Cyprus receives 3,200 hours of sunlight per year compared to foggy London’s 1,540 hours per year. So plan your trip to Cyprus today, and play on the sun-drenched beaches of Nissi.

Where to stay: Click here to see all properties in the Cyprus area.

marseille beach vacations

Marseille, France

Climate: Temperature is typically between 39°F to 84°F (4°C-29°C). Rarely below 30°F (-1°C) or above 90°F (32°C)

Not quite as sunny as Cyprus, but sunnier than the rest of France, Marseille is the perfect mix of beachside fun and French culture. The coastline is spotted with old fortifications and buildings. If you look out into the Bay of Marseille you can see the Frioul Archipelago, which was made famous in the Dumas novel The Count of Monte Cristo. Dry summers and mild humid winters paired with the Mediterranean breeze makes Marseille, and the surrounding coastal region, a delightful holiday destination year-round.

Where to stay: Click here to see all properties in the Marseille area or stay in nearby St. Tropez or Nice.

mykonos beach vacations

Mykonos, Greece

Climate: Temperature is typically between 48°F to 82°F (9°C-28°C). Rarely below 41°F (5°C) or above 86°F (30°C)

Mykonos and the other Cyclades islands of the Aegean all share bright and temperate springs and summers. But many tourists have the misconception that the islands completely shut down in winter. It is true that many of the big resorts and tourist based restaurants are closed in the off-season, but this can work to your advantage. Traveling off-season can help you avoid the tourist traps that would deprive you of a completely immersive island experience. The waters do get cold during the winter months, but the rocky coast is just as beautiful and the views are fabulous. Mykonos itself is too popular to be abandoned during the off-season so most amenities remain open and operational. Several beachside properties in these areas feature hot Jacuzzis as well.

Where to stay: Click here to see all properties in the Mykonos area or stay at Villa Deep Blue in October.

aruba beach vacations


Climate: Temperature is typically between 77°F to 91°F (19°C-31°C). Rarely below 74°F (16°C) or above 93°F (33°C)

Want all of the thrills of the Caribbean without the unpredictable weather? Visit Aruba! Around 20 miles north of the coast of Venezuela, this Dutch island sits right outside the hurricane zone and receives a constant stream of refreshing trade winds from the north. Cactuses thrive in the semi-arid climate though the island is not uncomfortably dry. The predictability in weather has made Aruba a go-to vacation spot for Americans- so much so that three-quarters of Aruba’s gross national product is made up by tourism and tourism related activities. The other ABC Islands (Curaçao, and Bonaire) also have similar climates.

Where to stay: Click here to see all properties in the Aruba area or stay at the Marriott Aruba Surf Club in December.

Explore any of these prime spots for beach vacations on ThirdHome’s website, and book today!

Ever planned a wedding? It’s a seemingly never-ending gauntlet of picking linens and politely arguing with vendors. The honeymoon, in theory, should be a welcome reprieve from all the stresses of wedding planning, but travel planning can be just as demanding. That’s why ThirdHome offers seamless happily-ever-afters through its Travel & Concierge department. ThirdHome’s Travel & Concierge department doesn’t just book your plane tickets and hotel, they book your entire honeymoon experience. Read more to find out what that full-package experience means.

Lauren Parks recently returned from her honeymoon in Maui. Check out what she had to say about her curated experience!


Liz (ThirdHome’s Director of Travel & Concierge Services) was AMAZING! Our honeymoon was AMAZING! Everything about our ThirdHome Travel & Concierge service was AMAZING! 


Liz provided my husband and I with so many different food options, excursion options and shopping spots. We knew Maui wasn’t going to disappoint! We talked on the phone a few different times and she told us all the best places to hit during our week stay in Hawaii. She knew what to pass on and the places we just had to see!


She was so passionate about Maui and had been there a few times herself- she got us so excited! Liz sent us an organized list of a ton of different options that she recommended. From that list, all we had to do was tell her what we wanted to do and it was planned! I mean how easy (and we needed easy during wedding planning)!


She booked us a car for the week and it was so easy to pick up at the airport!


From the moment we checked into the Kea Lani Resort we were treated like royal guests!  Liz booked us the best room and we really felt at home the entire stay. We went snorkeling, went to dinner at the famous Old Lahaina Luau, went on a helicopter tour (our favorite), had dinner at Mama’s Fish House (a must) and drove the road to Hana.


It was an amazing week and we made memories that will last a lifetime!


Thank you, Liz, for everything you did. Get ready to help us plan our next trip!

– Lauren Parks

honeymoon liz

With 28 years of travel planning experience, Liz Bates is a maestro of curating unforgettable experiences.

Click here to learn more about all the happily-ever-after concierge offerings.

To plan your honeymoon through ThirdHome’s Travel & Concierge program contact Liz at liz@thirdhome.com today!

What are ThirdHome members saying about their luxury home exchange trips (to Spain and Hawaii) this week?

Spain PGA Catalunya

La Selva at PGA Catalunya | Caldes De Malavella, Spain

This designer villa offers a supreme location. PGA Catalunya is ranked the number one golf course in Spain. You can play golf at the property, take a 20 minute drive to the beaches at Costa Brava or explore Barcelona, which is only an hour away. This villa has a private swimming pool, 4 bedrooms, an electric golf cart, gourmet kitchen and more!

ThirdHome member Marilyn says: “We had a wonderful stay at a villa at PGA Catalunya – two beautiful golf courses! Also a wonderful hotel with spa located on the property.” click here to read more of Marilyn’s review

Hawaii Luxury Vacation Home

Blue Sky Villa Maui | Lahaina, Hawaii

Blue Sky is a spacious 5-bedroom home located on oceanfront property. This house has an open-air concept where many of the exterior walls are retractable windows, which ensures you can enjoy the wonderful ocean breeze. All of the living room and dining room furniture matches the guest capacity of the home, so if you bring a large group, everyone can enjoy time together.

ThirdHome member Steve says: “The huge fully opening walls, triple water complex and proximity to the ocean are mesmerizing.” click here to read more of Steve’s review

Members, click here to view all available weeks and plan your next ThirdHome trip. Remember, you must be logged in to your account to see availability.

Want more information about our luxury home exchange club? Click here to learn more about ThirdHome.

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