Best Beaches in the World

For some beachgoers, calm atmospheres do the trick. For others, white sand and blue waters define a beach's excellence. And for others still, access to entertainment and acitvities helps a shore stand out. U.S. News considered user votes, expert opinion, atmosphere, accessibility, affordability and a variety of other factors to come up with our suggestions for which beach you should visit next. But before you grab your towel and hit the sands, contribute to next year's ranking by voting for your top choice below. 

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Why go: It's hard to compete with the coral sands of Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach. Brimming with luxury hotels and casual restaurants, the Cayman Islands leave travelers with little to complain about. Head to Eden Rock for some primo diving. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Cayman Islands

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Why go: With endless miles of white- and chocolate-sand beaches and swaying palm trees, Kauai sure is nice to look at. Po'ipu Beach, Hanakapi'ai Beach and Lumahai Beach are just a few of this island's stunning shorelines. Many of Kauai's beaches also feature water sports opportunities. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Kauai

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Why go: Seychelles' Anse Source d'Argent stands out as one of the world's finest beaches. Located on La Digue Island in the Indian Ocean, this beach is easily recognized by its massive boulders. But remember: This is just one of several beaches worth visiting. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Seychelles

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Why go: If your ideal beach borders on warm seas filled with tropical fish, look no further than the Maldives. You'll have your pick of 3,000 coral reefs to explore. And when you're not under the water, you'll find plenty of sand on which to sprawl, as well as luxury resorts and year-round sunshine. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Maldives

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Why go: Anguilla's powdery sands lure visitors to its shores. But there's more to this Caribbean retreat than seaside views and laid-back ambiance. With more than 33 beaches to choose from, sun-seekers should have no problem finding a prime spot to lay down a towel. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Anguilla

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Why go: Bali's beaches are backed by green hills and ancient temples, making for a unique photo op. Kuta and Seminyak's sands draw travelers far and wide, while Lovina Beach's pebbly shores and calm waters are appealing for beachgoers seeking seclusion. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Bali

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Why go: Look out over a shore of colorful seashells as you claim your spot on Bowman's Beach. The island boasts a calm ambiance that you'll experience everywhere from the shoreline to Periwinkle Way. At the end of the day, head to Captiva Island to watch the sunset. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Sanibel Island

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Why go: It's no wonder Shakespeare chose Corfu as the backdrop for his play,"The Tempest." This Greek island features white sand and memorable rock formations. As you soak up the sun and splendor of Myrtiotissa beach, you'll detect the aroma of olive leaves and cypress trees. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Corfu

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Why go: Composed of 40 islands and cays, Turks & Caicos suffers no shortage of beaches. Located on the eastern edge of Providenciales, Grace Bay Beach is popular for its calm water and classic Caribbean scenery. If you can't snag a spot there, try Pillory Beach or Governor's Beach. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Turks & Caicos

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Why go: The beach in Yucatán Peninsula retreat runs alongside the town's main thoroughfare, La Quinta Avenida. With shops and restaurants aplenty on this street, La Quinta is a big part of Playa del Carmen's tourist appeal. For the best sunbathing, find a spot on the beach's northern end. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Playa del Carmen

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Why go: Home to some of the world's most famous beaches, including Copacabana and Ipanema, Rio intoxicates travelers with its scattered coconuts and striking landscape. Beach bums looking for quieter shores should head to Prainha or Grumari. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Rio de Janeiro

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Why go: In ideal proximity to many of the area's resorts and restaurants, Wailea Beach draws travelers from around the world to Maui's southern coast. The calm waters here are suitable for both swimming and snorkeling. And you'll have access to vendors renting out watersports equipment.  Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Maui

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