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“Waterfront living is considered by many to represent the pinnacle of luxury. The panoramic vistas, fresh water-cooled breezes and recreational amenities that come with estates on the water exude a tranquil atmosphere that must be experienced to be fully understood. The following is a curated collection of some of my favorite waterfront locales.”
–John Brian Losh, Chairman/Publisher, Luxury Real Estate Magazine
Illustrious for its picturesque location along the shores of Lake Geneva, the resort town of Montreux has become one of the most popular destinations in Switzerland. Thanks to its exceptionally mild climate, an exotic assortment of lush Mediterranean plant species flourish; with almond, mulberry, cypress, magnolia and even palm trees growing around the lake. Enhanced by a breathtaking backdrop of the snow-covered Alps, Montreux’s remarkable blend of a verdant lakeside paradise with wintry mountainous landscapes offer enthralling panoramic vistas unlike that of anywhere else in the world. A flower-trimmed promenade borders Lake Geneva, along with historic architecture and estates redolent of the Belle Époque, connecting Vevey and Montreux to the medieval Chateau de Chillon, a renowned 13th century castle and the most visited Swiss historical sight. Beside the region’s ancient significance is an international culture of art where numerous music festivals are hosted every year, most notably the Montreux Jazz Festival, in which the world’s most talented jazz, blues and rock musicians have been featured since its debut in 1967. Many legendary artists have made the waterfront town their home including David Bowie and Queen’s Freddie Mercury who was noted saying, “If you want peace of soul, come to Montreux.”
North Shore of Massachusetts
Stretching from Boston up to the border of New Hampshire, the North Shore of Massachusetts encompasses some of the most beautiful and interesting expanses in New England. Nature lovers can relish in the region’s multiple wildlife sanctuaries, like the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, a 4,662-acre conservation area on Plum Island that is home to more than 800 species of birds, plants and animals, as well as the Crane Wildlife Refuge overlooking Ipswich Bay. Within this preserve is Crane Beach, known to be among the finest beaches on the East coast, and also one of the world’s most important nesting sites for piping plovers. Singing Beach, in the charming town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, is another popular beach attraction where an unexplained phenomenon causes the sands to resonate when walked upon, creating a distinctive creaking noise below visitors’ feet. Along with miles of pristine beaches, the North Shore of Massachusetts is rich with antiquated history. Well known cities such as Salem, the locale of the infamous witch trials, and Gloucester, home of the oldest seaport in the country, can be found. Smaller communities such as Lawrence, Swampscott and Ipswich have too played significant role in shaping the nation’s history as some of the first settled regions in the United States.
Laguna Beach, California
Atop a spectacular cliffside overlooking some of the finest beaches throughout California lies the scenic coastal town of Laguna Beach. A radiant retreat that has been drawing artists and outdoor enthusiasts alike to its shores for over a century, Laguna Beach has blossomed into one of the most illustrious destinations in the United States. The region is home to seven miles of paradisal coastline, naturally developed with breathtaking features like dramatic cliffs and rock formations, sea caves, tide pools, secluded coves and of course, numerous sandy beaches; so many that it has more beachfront lodging than any other city in California. In addition, Laguna Beach is a bird sanctuary and marine life refuge with a dolphin population off the coast that exceeds more than that of Florida, Hawaii and the Caribbean combined. It is an ideal spot for coastal fun from scuba diving and snorkeling to skimboarding and volleyball. The city also ranks No. 1 in the nation in economic impact of the arts per capita, hosting several art festivals every year including the Laguna Art-A-Fair, Laguna Beach Music Festival and Laguna Dance Festival.
Vero Beach, Florida
Recently ranked among the top ten in Coastal Living’s ‘2018 America’s Happiest Seaside Towns,’ Vero Beach is a true waterfront haven for nature enthusiasts, water sports fans, art aficionados and ultimately those who love all things beach. Its subtropical location provides a plethora of natural blessings including parks and botanical gardens, an enticing network of inlets, coves and lagoons along with 23 miles of pristine white sand beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. Often sparse with people and abundant with marine life, its beaches are home to manatees, rays, four coral reefs and more than 200 species of fish, among others. Additionally, over a quarter of the world’s sea turtle population nests and hatches on its shores every year. This, together with the late 19th century shipwreck of Breconshire only 400 yards off the coast, has established the region as a coveted scuba diving and snorkeling destination, as well as furthered its reputation as ‘The Treasure Coast.’ Downtown Vero Beach is a charming setting, blissfully absent of any high-rise structures exceeding four stories, and is comprised of designer boutiques, expertly curated art galleries and a variety of upscale beachfront bistros where seafood fans can get fresh local fish and bask in the coastal scenery.
Costa Del Sol, Spain
The Costa del Sol of Spain embodies a dynamic collection of resort towns stretching more than 150 km. (93 mi.) along the alluring shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Steeped in culture, the coastal region dates back to the Phoenicians and has since been occupied by Greeks, Romans and Moors; all of whom have inspired the customs, traditions and architecture that have endured for centuries. Historic cathedrals, ancient castles and coveted seaside estates line the miles of varied beaches that make up Spain’s esteemed ‘Sun Coast.’ Urban beaches, like those of the glamorous Marbella, provide a wide range of amenities including exclusive beach clubs, diverse culinary delicacies and a renowned nightlife scene. Cabopino Beach, located in the Natural Monument of the Artola Dunes, a valuable protected nature reserve, provides a more tranquil setting where visitors come to relax and disconnect from the bustle of everyday life. Playa de la Rada, set beside Estepona, one of the few coastal towns that have maintained its pueblo charm and character; exemplifies the best of both worlds. Measuring more than two-and-a-half kilometers, this stretch of coastline caters to residents and tourists alike with access to several beach activities, an expansive seafront promenade, authentic tapas bars and a myriad of recreational areas such as golf courses and parks.
South Lake Tahoe, California
At the south end of the largest alpine lake in North America is a remarkable destination where the breathtaking beauty of the El Dorado National Forest, Sierra Nevada Mountains and Lake Tahoe are contrastingly juxtaposed with the desirable amenities of a world-class resort. Renowned as a preeminent ski region, South Lake Tahoe is also a fun summer locale for hiking, biking, fishing and boating; with an average 300 days of sunshine every year. Premier waterfront living abounds, most notably in the Tahoe Keys, a 740-acre private marina community laced with 11 miles of inland waterways. Nearly every residence has a private boat dock with direct access to the lake, as well as use of their recreational facilities and equipment including tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, a clubhouse, both indoor and outdoor pools and a private beach. Just a couple miles west, lies the tranquil and enchanting Fallen Leaf Lake positioned in a narrow, glacier formed valley. The pristine waterfront is dotted with charming cabins and private piers from which locals launch their kayaks, paddle boards and boats. It is also one of the easiest points from which to explore Desolation Wilderness, a one of the most popular hiking area in Northern California, with more than 30 unique trails, covering 100 square miles.
Indian River Shores, Florida
John’s Island Club is a private, member-owned club optimally located in Indian River Shores on a barrier island paradise between the scenic Indian River Lagoon and Atlantic Ocean. The carefully thought-out community preserves the pristine natural environment, with exquisite English, Georgian and Bahamian-inspired residences strategically placed among majestic live oaks, breezy palm trees and tropical flowers; all within steps of several waterfronts. The Indian River Lagoon is one of the most diverse estuaries in North America, brimming with more than 4,000 different species of birds, fish, crustaceans and mammals, 36 of which are endangered or rare. Members can also enjoy three miles of private sandy beaches along the Atlantic with access to complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas. The picturesque landscape, near perfect climate and world-class amenities at John’s Island Club have long attracted individuals seeking a serene, but active waterfront lifestyle. The club offers use of surf boards, paddle boards, sailboats, ocean kayaks and a variety of additional water sports equipment. It is home to some of the highest-quality recreational facilities in the country, including a spectacular oceanfront Beach Club, newly renovated clubhouse, state-of-the-art fitness center, professional squash, pickleball and Har-Tru clay tennis courts and full-size croquet lawns, among others.
Celebrated as the birthplace of the legendary Kentucky Derby, Louisville Slugger® and several prominent bourbon distilleries, the riverside city of Louisville is home to a fascinating history updated with a wide range of modern-day amenities and attractions. Wonderfully located along the Ohio River, the region enjoys a vibrant outdoor and recreation scene with an intricate Frederick L. Olmsted commissioned park and parkway system meandering through the city, as well as a surrounding scenic 100-mile bicycle loop. An impressive 85-acre waterfront park sits on the banks of the river from which visitors can relax one of its expansive lawns, catch a concert at the open-air amphitheater, ride the oldest operating Mississippi-style steamboat in the world or view a spectacular sunset from The Big Four® Bridge, a historic railroad viaduct built in 1895 that opened to the public as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge in early 2013. In addition to being a destination for outdoor and waterfront fun, Louisville has been named in the top ten of ‘The South’s Tastiest Towns,’ by Southern Living. It has also come to be known as the Culinary Capital of Bourbon Country, a likely result of the numerous James Beard nominated chefs who work throughout the city, often using bourbon as a main ingredient in many of their dishes.
Rosemary Beach, Florida
The charming Gulf-front town of Rosemary Beach is an architectural treasure trove surrounded in tropical scenery. Boasting influences from the West Indies, New Orleans and St. Augustine, every home was custom-designed and meticulously landscaped to reflect a unique taste and lifestyle. The essence of Rosemary Beach comes from the careful blending of its public spaces and private estates, and was designed to offer a sense of community, neighborhood and convenience to residents and visitors alike. Centrally located is the quaint town square, reminiscent of the French Quarter, containing a wonderful collection of high-end fashion boutiques, eclectic coastal shops and diverse culinary selections. Boardwalk promenades, wood-plank paths and secret walkways meander throughout the town leading to a variety of leisurely areas like tennis courts, swimming pools, gardens, parks and of course, the beach. Long stretches of the brightest white sands along with singing sandpipers, the gentle lapping of waves and refreshing breezes off the waters of the Gulf of Mexico make Rosemary Beach such a tranquil and utopian setting. In keeping with the town’s dedication to protecting the environment and its pristine shores, nine dune walkovers provide locals and guests access to the beach while protecting its fragile dune system and preventing erosion.
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