beaches of happiness

“…[O]nly a fool or philosopher would make sweeping generalizations about the nature of happiness. I am no philosopher, so here goes: Money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important. So are friends. Envy is toxic. So is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude."

  • Is the “beaches” here used literally, or maybe it’s one of the terms only Americans know?
    Thank you.

‘Beaches’ is not an idiom; it just means literal ‘beaches’, places where most people find transient happiness. It is used jocularly here.