Growing up in South Florida I always had the beach readily available to me. The Atlantic was a convenient trip from my house. Now that I live in landlocked Nashville, I miss the ocean being at my doorstep. Here are come great oceanfront cities in the world.

flickr/chany crystal
flickr/chany crystal

Tel Aviv, Israel

Surfing and spending lots of hours on the beach are more than welcome in Tel Aviv. This modern Israeli city sits on the Mediterranean and has some of the most delicious food in the region. In recent years, the historic port of Jaffa has had some life breathed into it. It has been up-and-coming in recent years with a vibrant gallery and cafe scene.

flickr/Dennis Jarvis
flickr/Dennis Jarvis

Tallinn, Estonia

The city of Tallinn is perched on the edge of the Baltic. It is one of the most intact medieval cities in all of Europe. When visitors wander through the city, they’ll make their way into Old Town. Not far beyond that is the Lennusadam Seaplane Harbor; the interactive wartime museum with submarines and warships to explore.

flickr/Kenny Louie
flickr/Kenny Louie

St. John’s, Canada

Irish music pours out of the seafront bars and dips into the chilly waters off the coast. St. John’s is Newfoundland’s largest city yet it feels more like Dublin. You may be lucky enough to see an iceberg float into the harbor or see whales breach offshore.

flickr/Nathan Rupert
flickr/Nathan Rupert

San Diego, California

Not far south of San Diego is the U.S.S. Midway. It is the country’s longest-serving aircraft carrier…since WWII. Leaving the clean downtown area, head back north to San Diego for great surfing. If surfing isn’t your thing then stay dry on the boardwalk. There are shacks selling fresh fish tacos up and down the coast.


Marseille, France

The city of Marseille got a new piece of tourism. A stunning Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations is a huge box covered in latticework. Marseille has been a port city for years–serving as a crossroad between continents. Be sure to grab a seat on the rooftop of the museum to get a spectacular view of ships and yachts leaving and entering the harbor.

flickr/Richard Giles
flickr/Richard Giles

Perth, Australia

Sitting on the edge of the continent is Western Australia’s largest city. The Indian Ocean is at the city’s toes with migrating birds a-plenty. Marine life is abundant as well. Marmion Marine Park is an easy way to spot sea lions, dolphins and migrating humpback whales.

flickr/Nam Nguyen
flickr/Nam Nguyen

Brisbane, Australia

The Australian city of Brisbane gives everyone there the best of both worlds. Brizzie is a sophisticated city and has all the amenities that a global city can offer. For those wanting to get away from the concrete jungle, there is easy access to beaches, rain forests and the world’s first koala preserve. The Story Bridge climb and a cruise on the Brisbane River give visitors the cosmopolitan panorama.


Durban, South Africa

South Africa seems to have some of the most beautiful waterfront scenery in the Southern Hemisphere. And, the city of Durban is no exception. It happens to be the continent’s busiest seaport where Indian and African influences are blended. That goes for restaurants, beaches and promenades.

flickr/U.S. Pacific Fleet
flickr/U.S. Pacific Fleet

Vladivostok, Russia

The terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway is located in Vladivostok. It is also home to the country’s Pacific Fleet. Visitors walking along the Golden Horn Bay you can see the fleet floating in the harbor. This is Russia’s window to the Far East.

flickr/Jimmy Emerson
flickr/Jimmy Emerson

Portland, Maine

The east coast Portland is just as breathtaking as the west coast. A lighthouse, the Portland Head Light, was authorized by George Washington and is a great foreground for photos. Many waterfront lobster shacks line the coast bringing in the freshest lobsters you can find in the area.


Josh is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee.


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