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World’s Best Beaches for 2021: Travelers Weigh In

Lockdown takes a back seat to summer plans and safe travels

March 26, 2021

As lockdown takes a back seat to summer plans and safe travels, a new poll from Tripadvisor has that right place to head as the travel company’s annual Travelers’ Choice Awards names the world’s top vacation worthy beaches.

From sweeping white sand and turquoise waters in tropical climates, to dramatic cliffs and pounding surf in some of the most secluded spots on Earth, the awards are based on the quality and quantity of reviews and ratings from travelers have given for beaches, gathered over a 12-month period. New for 2021, the survey takes into account the volume of “saves” for beaches on Tripadvisor site — reflecting the position that many travelers were in for much of 2020: unable to travel, desperate to explore, lusting after the beaches they wished they could visit.

“Your last trip to the beach probably feels like a lifetime ago, but with vaccine programs rolling out worldwide, safely making that beach getaway a reality just might be in reach. In fact, a recent Tripadvisor survey revealed that 60% of travelers are very likely to take a beach trip in 2021,” said Christine Maguire, vice president and general manager, global media business at Tripadvisor.

For this year, Australia’s Whitehaven Beach took the top spot. The remote Australian paradise, located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, is only accessible by boat, seaplane or helicopter and is lauded by travelers for its gorgeous soft white sand and postcard perfect turquoise water.

Next, Florida’s Saint Pete Beach took not only the title of number one beach in the United States, but is also rated fifth in the world. Of the 25 best beaches in the U.S., Florida and Hawaii dominate the list, with over 30 percent of the winners located in the Sunshine State and almost 30 percent in the Aloha State.

Top 10 Beaches in the U.S.

1. Saint Pete Beach – St. Pete Beach, Florida

Comments: The most perfect place to watch the sun set over the ocean.

Top Thing to Do: Shared 2 Hours Small Group Sunset Cruise of St. Pete Beach

2. Ka’anapali Beach – Lahaina, Hawaii Comments: This beach is so gorgeous and accessible to everyone.

Top Thing to Do: Snorkel & Whale Watch from Ka’anapali Beach

3. Moonstone Beach – Cambria, California

Comments: Beautiful beach and a great place to look for moonstones and jade.

Top Thing to Do: Cruise down the scenic Moonstone Drive during sunset

4. Wailea Beach – Wailea, Hawaii

Comments: The walkway along Wailea Beach offers breathtaking views of the Maui coast.

Top Thing to Do: Makena Turtle Town Eco Adventure in Maui

5. Cannon Beach – Cannon Beach, Oregon

Comments: Haystack Rock at low tide is incredible with all the tide pools and sea creatures.

Top Thing to Do: Oregon Coast Day Trip: Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock

6. Napili Beach – Lahaina, HawaiiComments: There’s a small natural reef about 30-50 yards in, and tons of marine life living on it.

Top Thing to Do: Maui Whale Watch Cruise from Lahaina Harbor

7. Ogunquit Beach – Ogunquit, Maine

Comments: At high tide you can walk out hundreds of feet and still be only waist high.

Top Thing to Do: Check out the scenic outlooks of Perkins Cove.

8. Wai’anapanapa State Park – Hana, Hawaii Comments: This black sand beach (produced by volcanic activity on the island) is otherworldly along the beautiful coastline.

Top Thing to Do: Full Day Road to Hana Adventure Tour with Pickup

9. Madeira Beach – Madeira Beach, Florida Comments: Very nice, flat beach. You can enjoy a very nice walk for miles.

Top Thing to Do: Calypso Breeze Daytime Tropical Buffet

10. Kailua Beach Park, Kailua, Hawaii

Comments: Kailua offers plenty of everything: sand, wide open space, fewer crowds, and a good park to go with it.

Top Thing to Do: Full Day Kailua Beach Guided Tour To Mokulua Islands

Whitsunday Island, Australia

Top 10 Beaches in the World