When city dwellers in The Hague and Amsterdam get a craving for sand and sea, they retreat to Scheveningen. This coastal resort town in the western Netherlands has nearly everything you'd want for your seaside holiday, including a well-kept beach, a buzzy pier and plenty of amusements to pass the hours between swimming and sunbathing.
Scheveningen Beach is the area's major draw, with four kilometres of golden sand where you can spread out your blanket and go for a dip in the North Sea. There's also a promenade tracing the beach that offers not only scenic views of the water but easy access to scores of restaurants, bars and cafés in which to refuel throughout the day.
Scheveningen's pier supplements leisurely beach-bumming with high-flying entertainment. Zip lining and bungee jumping are two of the pier's most popular activities, and festivals provide more themed fun throughout the year. On the mainland, you'll find plenty of other distractions to occupy your free day and night hours, including a cinema, aquarium, museum and the Grand Hotel Amrâth Kurhaus – a waterfront landmark housing a glitzy casino.