Mine is found in Alabama. Gulf Shores Beaches to be exact. It is not because it's exotic, it's not because it's the most beautiful beach to be found in any corner of this round earth.
No, it's because I have one memory from my childhood. A happy memory of my dad, and a joke about sharks bumping the legs. Wearing my sister's pink bikini and feeling self conscious about it. Playing in the sand with siblings, splashing in the waters edge, wading out to a sandbar.
Also, it was the first beach I had ever seen.
I was nine years old, and my first breath taking view of any beach wasn't even a view of the open ocean like one might find on the Eastern shore, but of the Gulf of Mexico. Still, to my 9 year old mind it was an expanse of ocean, far larger than I could have ever imagined.
The day after Christmas, we took our children to Gulf Shores. Even my husband had commented that we weren't driving that far South for a Holiday and leaving without visiting the beach, even if it was cold and we needed our jackets.
My children thoroughly enjoyed combing the beach for shells, and there was a brief moment of excited babbling when they unearthed a crab claw. They were thrilled.
Even the smallest of the Littles enjoyed her brief walk on the beach (until a wave crashed over her feet, soaking her pant legs).