Chennai’s long coastline is home to several beautiful beaches that can rival even those in Pondicherry and Goa. From the perennially crowded Marina Beach to hidden gems such as Akkarai Beach and Sadras Beach, here are some of the best sandy shores in and around Chennai that deserve your attention.
Located just south of Besant Nagar Beach is the more restful and residential Thiruvanmiyur Beach. A great hangout spot in its own right, Thiruvanmiyur Beach features large walkways with street food stalls and food trucks serving Chinese and fast food delicacies. The beach is extremely popular among evening walkers and running-enthusiasts and the area around the beach is also home to a number of indoor and outdoor sporting arenas, particularly for badminton and table tennis. The area around the beach also has a number of amusement options, such as Planet Adventure Paintball.
Mahabalipuram’s scenic beaches have often played second-fiddle to its historic landmarks, such as the Shore Temple. However, the mushrooming of new-age cafes, shacks and resorts on beaches near the town – such as Pallava and Ideal Beach – have resulted in renewed interest. Like Kovalam, Mahabalipuram has also become a popular surfing destination, thanks to the presence of highly-rated surf schools like the Mumu Surf School and Surfboard Rental.
The sandy and secluded Sadras Beach is the closest you can come to finding a genuine hidden beach so close to a metropolis such as Chennai. Located behind the historic Sadras Fort, the beach is popular for its breathtaking sunrise views. Much like the fort, the beach hardly attracts any visitors due to its secluded nature. However, the beauty of this beach, along with the intriguing history of the fort, make it a destination well worth visiting.