The Northeastern US and southern Ontario are gripped by a heatwave so fierce that typing out a long introduction to this story is pretty much impossible.

Conserve your energy, grab a tub of ice cream, dump ice cubes in your bed and imagine yourself on one of the best urban beaches in the world.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

ipanema brazil

When it comes to beach culture, no one does it quite like the denizens of Rio de Janiero. It may not be Brazil’s capital (geography!), but it’s definitely the capital of fun in South America. Rio has 25 miles (40 kilometres) of shoreline and it looks like they haven’t wasted an inch of it. Photo: jitaku/Flickr

Tel Aviv, Israel
tel aviv National Geographic once aptly dubbed Tel Aviv’s beach front as “Miami Beach on the Med.” Sounds about right to us! Photo: Niko Kahkonen/Flickr

Barcelona, Spain

barcelona Some beachgoers avoid the food served at restaurants near the beach and opt for a picnic instead. We’ve got nothing against a beach picnic, but when you’re in Barcelona, one of the culinary capitals of the world, even the restaurants down at the beach are a veritable Three Michelin Star experience. Photo: jcarlosn/Flickr

Sydney, Australia

bondi beach Sydney is not short on beach space, but the legendary Bondi Beach is the city’s sandy crown jewel. Photo: A Beach Cottage/Flickr

Lisbon, Portugal

tamariz beach lisbon There aren’t many European cities that are surrounded by beaches. Lisbon is one of the few to hold this auspicious distinction and its beaches are undeniable beauties. Photo: Miguel Teixeira/Flickr

Honolulu, Hawaii
honolulu
Honolulu has been a beach bum destination since the 19th century. Surf the rolling breaks or just let the day melt away while you stare out at the Pacific. Photo: wallyg/Flickr

Vancouver, Canada

kitsilano beach 2 What’s that line about Vancouver? Ski during the day and hit the beach at night? We’re too hot to figure it out, but Kitsilano Beach is looking awfully good right now. Photo: janheuninck/Flickr

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