Our travel writers never sit still. And especially now that summer is coming, we asked our members to tell us about their favorite beaches all around the world and what makes them special. If you’re planning a summer beach vacation, here are our picks for the best of the best!
Cisco Beach, Nantucket
There are no signs, but a dirt road leads to one of the most beautiful beaches on Nantucket. During the shoulder seasons, it’s not unusual to have the entire stretch to yourself. The surf can be unpredictable, but rough waters make it popular with surfers. What you’ll find is a wide open space perfect for gatherings of friends and family. When the golden hour arrives, everything calms down and seals pop their heads up from feeding just offshore. Sunsets are spectacular and the perfect finish to the day.
Alison Abbott, greenwithrenvy.com
I think once you have been on a private beach in the Maldives, you are spoiled for life. Sugar white sand surrounded by clear teal waters and no other humans for miles. The perfect amount of sunshine and the views for miles are the icing on the cake!
Kimberly Fisher, kimberlyfisher.com
Cerro Brujo Beach, Galapagos Islands
How can a Tropical Travel Girl who has visited many beaches throughout the world choose a favorite beach? I have many favorites for different reasons, but one beach in the remote Galapagos Islands, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, holds special memories for me. Cerro Brujo Beach, San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, is a wide white sand beach that is the perfect place to observe and photograph scores of sea lions that seem totally unaware of the presence of humans. Located on the north coast of San Cristobal Island, it is said to be one of the first sites visited by Charles Darwin in 1835. Snorkeling, bird watching, or just taking in the natural beauty are other ways to enjoy this little piece of paradise.
Debbra Dunning Brouillette, tropicaltravelgirl.com
No one knows for sure how many beaches there are on the 12.7-mile long island of Skopelos – not even the locals, whose ancestors scaled the craggy green pine and white granite Skopelian terrain back 100 generations to haul water and supplies on mules up the mountains from the sea. But the beach at Panormos offers just what we need, a view of the crystal clear water as we can watch the sun rise and set, great restaurants just a few paces away and a panoramic view of the beach nearby at Limonari.
Tom Talleur, rovertreks.com
Hendry’s Beach, California
I love Hendry’s Beach (Arroyo Burro Beach, Santa Barbara County), only 10 minutes from my home in Santa Barbara, because it is a beautiful beach with stunning ocean views. This is an off-leash dog beach where locals bring their canine friends to play with one another on weekends. The Hendry’s Beach Restaurant has a special space where dogs can sit in a protective area while their owners enjoy breakfast or coffee at the start of the day. This beach is renowned and people who travel to California with their dogs bring them to Hendry’s for a memorable time by the ocean.
Bonnie Carroll, lifebitesnews.com
Espadilla Beach, Costa Rica
Espadilla Beach inside Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica is a beautiful beach. To reach the beach, it’s a 30-minute walk through the rainforest park, filled with exotic flora and fauna, trilling birds, colorful butterflies and maybe even a lounging sloth. White sand, warm turquoise waves, and green palm trees provide a welcome shade patch. This protected beach has it all.
Janice Nieder, janicenieder.com
Dewey Beach, Delaware
The perfect time to visit Dewey Beach, Delaware is Spring and Fall to escape the crowds. Even though Rehoboth Beach is just to the north and Ocean City, Maryland is 25 minutes south, Dewey Beach is low key, unlike these two famous neighbors. Find a wide open golden sand beach without all the glitz and crowds found north and south of this beautiful oceanfront playland.
Kurt Jacobson, Tasteoftravel2.com
Road Bay, Anguilla
My favorite beach is Road Bay in Sandy Ground, Anguilla. On an island full of world-renowned beaches like Shoal Bay East, the beach at Road Bay stands out for one reason – it’s like coming home. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many great people at the numerous beach bars and restaurants that line its shores. Add stunning sunsets, bobbing boats and the island’s nightlife and you have a beach scene few places can replicate in the Caribbean.
Tom Westerhof, beachbarbums.com
Dune du Pilat, France
Bordeaux is synonymous with some of the best wine, but did you know that one of the world’s most beautiful beaches is a mere 30 miles from the city? It’s Dune du Pilat, and not only has it been named one of the world’s 50 most beautiful beaches by The Guardian, it’s also Europe’s tallest sand dune. Towering over 100 meters above the Atlantic Ocean, the dune provides an unparalleled view over the Bassin of Archachon and France’s largest maritime pine forest. There are no services here, so pack a blanket and a picnic. The Atlantic laps at the base of the dune, where you might also encounter some of the resident seals that curiously come to have a look at swimmers on occasion. And if you’re adventurous, you can even sign up for a tandem paraglide from the top of the dune or take a wine tasting cruise, dropping anchor and sipping your way through Bordeaux’s appellations.
Jennifer Dombrowski & Tim Davis, luxeadventuretraveler.com
St. John, US Virgin Islands
St. John, the smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, remains largely unpopulated with two-thirds of the island forming part of a national park. The island’s mountainous peaks reach 1,300 feet, but the uncrowded beaches steal the show. My favorite beach, Cinnamon Bay, ranks as the perfect family spot. The shoreline’s calm, crystal clear waters gradually increase in depth. Go barefoot as toes love the white, talcum powder soft sand. You’ll also find palm trees, seagrapes for shade and excellent snorkeling, especially around the little cay. Enjoy food and drink at the RainTree Café or find plenty of watersport rentals nearby.
Debi Lander, bylandersea.com
French Leave Beach, Eleuthera
Eleuthera is known for its pink sand beaches, turquoise ocean, and secluded snorkeling spots. It is a small outer island of the Bahamas, just a quick flight from Nassau. What might surprise some visitors is the lack of resorts and restaurants on the island. If you are looking to truly get away, this is a fantastic place for your next vacation. My favorite beach is French Leave Beach, also known as Club Med Beach, located on the Atlantic side of the island and just a few minutes from the main town of Governor’s Harbor.
Dana Freeman, danahfreeman.com
Not normally touted for its beaches, Pescara, Italy is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy. The blue water and fine sand beaches are clean and beach umbrellas of all colors beckon sun lovers. Besides frolicking in the pleasant water and playing in the sand, visitors can enjoy food and drink from cafes that line the beach or join in the passeggiata (a leisurely walk) up and down the beach.
Christine Cutler, coldpastaandredwine.com
South Sea Island Beach, Fiji
Located in the unspoiled turquoise waters of the South Pacific, Fiji is home to 333 islands known for their pristine secluded beaches, luxurious all-inclusive resorts, and spas. Guests are welcomed with the greeting “Ni sa bula vinaka,” which translates to ‘wishing you happiness and good health’. The island’s rich cultural diversity is reflected in its cuisine, art, and festivals. Foodies are spoilt for choice between French pastries, tropical fruits, Asian noodles, and Indian-influenced curries. Fiji Airways provides non-stop flights from San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Honolulu. Located minutes from the international airport in Nadi, Port Denarau offers a variety of resorts for honeymooners and family vacationers alike. For diving, coral viewing, and adventure sports, head out on a day trip with South Sea Cruises from Port Denarau. A 30-minute cruise will bring you to uninhabited islands where you can enjoy snorkeling, nap on a beachside hammock, or feast on a Fijian bbq while watching traditional dancers. The best time to visit is during the dry season from May to October.
Daleya Uddin, dolceandmasala.com
Diani Beach, Africa
While many travelers flock to Kenya for safari adventures, one of the best kept secrets in Africa is that Kenya’s eastern coast is home to some of the best beaches on the entire continent. No list of great beaches would be complete without the inclusion of Diani Beach. With its white sand, free roaming camels, and unmatched tranquility, it truly is one of the most spectacular beaches I have ever let my bare feet sink into.
Edward G Young III, rebornstronger.com