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Gordon Beach – Tel Aviv, Israel

There's something inherently serious about a place like Jerusalem, a major holy site for Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Though it's only about an hour away by car, Tel Aviv feels much more closely aligned with Miami or the French Riviera—it's vibrant, cosmopolitan and remarkably secular. Founded in 1909, youthful Tel Aviv has none of Jerusalem's holy sites, and is instead brimming with nightclubs, art galleries, Bauhaus architecture and six miles of Mediterranean beachfront. Centrally located Gordon Beach is one of the most popular on the Tel Aviv strip, and it's almost always filled with tourists and local families, who can often be seen playing matkot, an Israeli sport in which players use a wooden paddle to hit a small rubber ball back and forth as many times as possible.

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