Destination SpotlightCategory|

Beach Trips Rank as the Top Destination for Travelers Planning “Friend‑cations”

These five beach locales will have besties bonding in no time

There are few better ways to deepen a friendship than to travel together, no matter if you live in the same city or connect from afar. Just in time for International Friendship Day on July 30, Hilton conducted a friend trip survey that found many want their next vacation to be with their buddies to relax and unwind.

As many consider booking their next friend trip, the big question is: where to? According to the new survey, 63 percent said an easy beach trip is the best type of getaway to take with friends. If you’re ready to get back out there and plan an epic “friendtrip” with your bestie, these five gorgeous beach destinations offer sun, surf and plenty of opportunities to make lasting memories.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Located along Mexico’s vibrant Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen is known for its fabulous beach resorts, delicious cuisine and stunning wildlife. If you feel like nature-driven activities, explore the area’s underwater caverns or zipline through the lush jungle. Get to know the flavors of Yucatán by tasting the region’s specialties like succulent cochinita pibil and papadzules, an enchilada-like dish of hard-boiled egg-filled tortillas in a creamy pumpkin seed sauce. If relaxing in the sun is your number one priority, Playa del Carmen’s crystal waters and white sand beaches will not disappoint. The Yucatan Playa del Carmen All-Inclusive Resort, Tapestry Collection by Hilton is an upscale boutique option with a rooftop pool and delicious dining options.

Tybee Island, GA

If you want a relaxing beach destination that’s near a vibrant city, Tybee Island is your best bet. Located 20 minutes from historic downtown Savannah, this southern gem features three miles of palm tree-lined beaches. North Beach is an excellent place to go bird watching and shopping; South Beach is home to Tybee Island Pier and the bustling restaurants and bars along Tybrisa Street, and Back River Beach is perfect to escape the crowds and catch the sunset. Mouthwatering low country cuisine and seafood is the specialty, so get your fill of oysters, crab boils and crispy fried chicken.


There are few cities that know how to party like Miami. Head to South Beach for booming pool parties, all-night clubs and one of the most beautiful shorelines in the country. Wynwood and Downtown have grown immensely in the last few years and have become go-to neighborhoods for dining, shopping, galleries and bar hopping. If you’re interested in exploring Miami’s up-and-coming neighborhoods, head to Little Haiti and Little River or North Beach to immerse yourself in their cool, laidback scenes. Of course, you can’t visit Miami without trying its lineup of signature dishes—think Cuban sandwiches, Peruvian ceviche and fresh seafood like the infamous stone crab. Hilton Aventura Miami is close to all the action and features a gorgeous pool deck and globally inspired cuisine.

Delray Beach, FL

If you love Miami for its beautiful beaches and global cuisine but prefer a quieter locale, travel north to charming Delray Beach. Get your fill of coastal life by renting a stand-up paddleboard or jet ski, or simply relax with your bestie, icy drinks in hand. The area has no shortage of delicious cuisines to explore, from Cuban and Peruvian to Caribbean fare and top-notch barbecue. Delray has a vibrant cultural scene with plenty of galleries, museums and performing arts centers. If you want to be at the center of it all, book a stay at The Ray Hotel Delray Beach, Curio Collection by Hilton (opening September 2021) in the Pineapple Groves Arts District.

Cascais, Portugal

This friendly historical town is only 30 kilometers west of Lisbon and easily accessible by train, bus or car. Stroll through the historical center to see intricate “calçada Portuguesa” (pavement art) and “holiday architecture,” a collection of vacation cottages and palaces that date back to the 1870s. Cascais is full of art, whether you browse the many murals of the Torre district or spend a day exhibition hopping in the Museum Quarter. This fishing town is known for its seafood, but you can find everything from gourmet hot dogs to Portuguese petiscar, which are sharable small plates like grilled padrón peppers and sausage croquettes. There is a beautiful beach for everyone to enjoy, from the sandy shores of Praia de S. Pedro do Estoril to surfer favorite Praia de Carcavelos.

Whether you’re in the mood for a relaxing beach trip or prefer to keep the party going, these destinations are sure to give you both something to reminisce about for years to come.