Jan: I grew up with a house on the Jersey shore - a great house with a waterview and only a block from the beach. I also spent an entire summer working at an ocean front beach club -- checking badges (a Jersey thing) by day and serving seaside cocktails (also maybe a Jersey thing) by night.
So I think I know beaches. And while I I love the white sand and great body surfing of the Jersey shore, my favorite beach is on Martha's Vineyard. The one above. It's called Long Point and its in West Tisbury. I like it because it has both a terrific ocean beach (that you can see) and a fresh water pond (not pictured) and when you go from the ocean to the pond, the pond feels incredibly warm. At the same time, it's refreshing, because it's washing the salt off.
You go to the Jersey beach for action, you go to Long Point for peace. At sundown, the view across the pond and marshes is incredibly tranquil. I used to picture it in my head during plane takeoffs to try to get me to stop hyperventilating. Sometimes it even worked.
There are downsides to the beach, the first being, you have to be a member of the Trustees For Reservation -- which is actually a terrific environmental organization -- or pay the day fee. And you have to get there before 11 a.m. or after 3 p.m. because its very limited parking. But that also means, the beaches are NEVER crowded. And although I don't think there's an actual rule about it -- no one ever brings a boom box. All you ever hear are children laughing (okay, sometimes crying) and the waves.
Anyway, EVERYONE has a favorite beach. Come tell us about yours.