The Coastal Plain in Israel stretches from the Carmel Range in the north, to Gaza and Egypt in the south. At its center is the sprawling Tel Aviv metropolitan area. The Sharon is the part of the coastal plain located north of Tel Aviv. It is famous for its orange groves, some of which are now being replaced by new housing developments. The Southern Coastal Plain, as its name indicates, has less of an identity. It is mostly known for its cities - Ashdod and Ashkelon. Almost all of the Sharon has publicly accessible beaches. But as usual, don't swim without a lifeguard. South of Tel Aviv, the beaches in rural areas are mostly closed military zones.