Best beaches on Earth
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The list started with 54 famous beaches, grouped by type, which voters then ranked. One point came across loud and clear: you don’t have to travel far to experience a spectacular beach. In fact, U.S. beaches won in most categories, from seclusion to people-watching.
In the Caribbean, meanwhile, all-inclusive hotels and endless activities—snorkeling, bodyboarding, sea kayaking—are some of the reasons that families love Seven Mile Beach, in the Cayman Islands.
Read on to find the best beach for your next trip.
Wailea Beach, Maui, HI
Best for Activities: Thanks to a clutch of mega-hotels along Wailea’s small beach coves, there are plenty of expert guides on hand at this top-ranked beach for activities. They’ll lead the kids on snorkeling, canoeing, and boogie-boarding excursions.
Seaside Beach, Seaside, FL
(Photo: Steven Brooke)
Best for Families: Pastel wood-paneled houses border dunes on this picture-perfect Gulf Coast beach, ranked No. 1 for families. After games of waterfront Frisbee, the entire crew can take cruiser bikes into town for a casual seafood dinner.
Bahia Gardner, Española Island, Galapagos
(Photo: B.O'Kane / Alamy)
Best for Wildlife Viewing: Most travelers visiting Darwin’s famous islands stop at this top-ranked beach, Bahia Gardner, where explorers share the sandy shore with sea lions, red lava lizards, Española mockingbirds, and other native wildlife.