The best beach vacation spots are as numerous as there are bodies of water on the planet. More than 70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered with water. While about two-thirds of this water is in oceans, there are thousands of lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and streams. Most people find that the best beaches to visit are ocean and sea beaches, and these consistently rank in the top for vacations of all sorts, whether they are the best luxury vacations, cheap vacations, romantic honeymoon vacations, or active family vacations.
Among these, it is the best tropical beach destinations that attract the largest number of visitors. These include the Caribbean, Hawaii, and the coast of Brazil in the Western Hemisphere, with the Caribbean and Hawaii drawing the largest number of American visitors. The Caribbean is closest to the United States, and draws the most tourists, who have more than 7,000 islands to choose from. Popular spots for the best cheap vacations here include Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and the US Virgin Islands. You can actually save money before you ever travel to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, since they are United States territories and Americans coming from the US do not need passports. Here you will find numerous all inclusive properties favored by families with children and couples.
The best tropical beach destinations for those looking to experience the height of luxury in the Caribbean might be Anguilla, known for its over-the-top luxury resorts and opulent villas. The Hawaiian Islands also boast both cheap beach resorts and exclusive luxurious oceanfront accommodations, with the latter providing the preferred accommodation for destination weddings and romantic honeymoons. If you want to party on some of the world’s most famous beaches, you might head to Ipanema Beach and Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro during the legendary Carnival in Brazil.
Some of the best tropical beach destinations can also be found in Asia, particularly on the coasts of the Southeast Asia countries of Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Beautiful Phuket Island in Thailand has, in fact, been one of the best beach vacation spots since the 1960s when hippies and beach bums “discovered” it. It still has an exotic and hedonistic reputation that is almost legendary. Also exotic are the islands of the South Pacific, which have names that evoke an adventurous and romantic lore that stretches back to novels like Robinson Crusoe and Mutiny on the Bounty. Fiji and Tahiti in particular are prime destinations for honeymoon couples.
Many of the best beaches to visit will be found on the more than 1,700 miles of coastline along eastern Australia, which offer some of the best surfing in the world. You can hang out at famous Manly and Bondi Beach in the beautiful city of Sydney or find secluded stretches of sand on the country’s Gold Coast. Here you will also find superb scuba diving along the 1,500 miles of the Great Barrier Reef.
For glitz and glamor, you will find the best beaches to visit in Europe, specifically along the sparkling French Riviera near the jet-set cities of Nice and Cannes on the Mediterranean. For young people looking to party in famous discotheques with international headliners performing, look to Ibiza—also in the Mediterranean. After partying all night long, revelers will head to the little Spanish island’s beaches, most lined with music bars. Then, of course, there are the Mediterranean’s Greek Islands, which always appear somewhere on the list of the world’s top beaches. Mykonos is known for its vibrant nightlife and party atmosphere, and Crete boasts numerous magnificent beaches in addition to ancient Minoan ruins.
Just about anywhere you live, you will find less famous and less exotic beach destinations that are more modest and closer to home. To the vast majority of the world’s population who don’t have the means to travel to faraway places, the best beach vacation spots can be very close to home. If you live in New England, you can head to the rugged and picturesque shores of Maine or Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire, which boasts numerous public beaches like Weirs Beach. Popular weekend getaways for those in the UK include Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which is located in a coastal region that draws as many as 7,000,000 vacationers each year. In the midwestern United States, you can head to the Great Lakes, the largest group of freshwater lakes on earth. Here you will find city beaches from Chicago to Milwaukee to Buffalo, as well as remote beaches in the wilderness forests of Canada. Virtually every country in the world has a beach somewhere that can be accessed easily and cheaply by local residents. There are Mississippi River beaches and Alaska beaches, Russian beaches around the Black Sea and a beach on Lake Nakuru in Kenya where locals can both swim and do their laundry.