When you travel to a tropical locale you want to hit the beach. No doubt about it! As mentioned before, Santo Domingo doesn't have much beach area to talk about. There's a few very small spots here and there along the Malecon. Nothing you'd want to write home about.
But, take the 25 minute drive to Boca Chica and you're in for a treat! I prefer Sundays because that's when the locals are there, so you're not surrounded by just a bunch of tourists. It's really exciting and festive. Be prepared to have to fend off the "salespeople" and definitely take your camera.
Now, if you want tranquility then you MUST take a trip a bit further to Guayacanes. It's not anything like Boca Chica. It's quiet, except for the locals. It's a beautiful area, in a rustic way. It seems to be a fishermans area. There are some pricey homes here that access the beach (fenced in, of course) and I sat at a fabulous restaurant while waiting on my cab. Not much else in this quaint little spot.
1. relaxing at Boca Chica
2. strolling the beach at Boca Chica
3. catch of the day at Guayacanes
4. beach home in Guayacanes