Last updated: 07:00 AM ET, Wed April 01 2015

5 Beaches to Visit with Sand the Colors of the Rainbow

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | April 01, 2015

5 Beaches to Visit with Sand the Colors of the Rainbow

Photos courtesy of wikimedia commons unless otherwise stated

Everyone wants to go to the beach in the summer, and normally their first thought is to seek out a pristine, white sanded shore. Well, why not other colors? Here are a few places with sands ranging across the full spectrum of the rainbow that will no doubt will end up on your list.

Purple Sand - Pfeiffer Beach, California

Pfeiffer Beach, not to be confused with the beaches at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park or Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, lies at mile marker Mon 45.64. It is actually not on state park land but situated on Los Padres National Forest property. You are most likely to see purple sand after a winter storm, as the coloring comes from eroding manganese garnet in the hills washing down to the beach.

Green Sand - Papakolea Beach, Hawaii

On the Island of Hawaii lies one of only four green-sand beaches in the world. The color comes from the mineral olivine found in the enclosed cinder cone. The beach is only accessible by foot, through a rugged path trek followed by a climb down the cinder cone slope.

Black Sand - Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland

Continuously voted one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet, the Vík í Mýrdal Beach has a beach that is black as night, a coloring from basalt deposits. One of the wettest places in all of Iceland, the location is about a one and a half hour drive south from Reykjavik. The village only has 291 residents as of 2011.

Pink Sand - Harbor Island, Bahamas

Probably one of the more "common uncommon" colors of beach sand is pink, and Harbor Island is one of the most beautiful examples. The color is a result of microscopic animals called Foraminifera washing up on shore. To get there, you can fly from Nassau or Fort Lauderdale, and rent a bicycle or golf cart to get to the beach.

Red Sand - Red Sand Beach, Kaihalulu Bay, Hawaii

Photo courtesy of Maui Photo Tours

Also located at the base of a cinder cone, Red Sand Beach is one of very few red sand beaches in the world. The beach lies on the Kaihalulu Bay and is difficult to access. A visitor must hike through private property (not recommended) and down a steep, slippery, cliff-side path to the beach. Due to its seclusion, it is often frequented by those wishing to remain topless (and bottomless, too). The color red comes from the crumbling cinder cone hill above the beach.  

So there you go, five uncommon colors of sand in some prime beach areas. What other colors have you seen in your travels?  Let me know in the comments below.

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