Borth y Gest (20min drive) On the tidal estuary of the River Glaslyn, follow the coastal path from the harbour (where there's free parking and icecreams) to discover beautiful sandy coves. The 3rd beach along is our favourite. On a clear day, the views over the estuary to the Rhinog Mountains to the south and the Moelwyn Mountains to the east are stunning, especially in the spring when there can still be snow on the summits.
Black Rock Sands (20min drive) A big expanse of flat sandy beach. Drive onto the beach and set yourself up for the day. £5 parking in peak season.
Criccieth (30min drive) A pebble beach with fish and chips and icecream shops between the beach and the castle. Parking £1 for 4 hours.
Harlech (35min drive) A short walk through the sand dunes to four miles of golden sand. A mile inland is Harlech castle and plenty of cafes.