No two snowflakes are the same, they say. And when it comes to beaches, some say as long as they have water and sand, that’s all that matters. I beg to differ. You cannot equate a “northern” beach with a “southern” one . . . and by northern, we’re talking about those above the 49th Parallel.
The northern one has cold (bracing) water. It doesn’t warm up until August, which means you may have two months of swim time. The southern one has temperate water and is swimmable a good portion of the year, if not all year round (depending how far south you go).
The northern one is flanked with pines and oaks, the southern with palms and banyans (depending how far south you go).
The northern one is usually fresh water (fresh re geographical positioning and not necessarily connoting clean). The southern one is often salty (depending how far south you go).
Northern ones seem to be littered with debris, while southern ones generally aren’t. Maybe that’s because southern ones have more tourists (prime for reaping revenue) while northern ones seem to cater more to local crowds.