Visit Visakhapatnam – also called Vizag (vie-zag) – during the holiday season and you’ll see domestic tourism in rare form: balloons, fairy floss (cotton candy) and, of course, weddings! But the crowds only enhance the area’s kitschy coasts. The run-down boardwalk along Ramakrishna Beach has spunk, and nearby Rushikonda beach is Andhra’s best.
The old beach-resort vibe exists despite the fact that Vizag is Andhra Pradesh’s second-largest city, famous for shipbuilding and steel. It’s big and dusty, but surrounded by little gems: sweet beaches, a gorgeous temple and, further out, the Araku Valley and several ancient Buddhist sites.
If you're here in December or January, seek out Visakha Utsav, the city's annual festival with events on the beach.
Yo! Vizag (₹25), available at bookshops, lists events.