U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

Most Relaxing Beaches

U.S. News Best Vacations Badge

If you're seeking a feet-in-the-sand, umbrella-drink-in-hand type of vacation, then you should head to a quiet, calm beach where you can really unwind. U.S. News considered sights, distractions and overall atmospheres (for example, destinations that have less of a rowdy nightlife scene) while compiling this list to figure out which beach destinations are the most relaxing. Read on to see the full list, and don't forget to vote for your favorites.

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#1 Tahiti

#1 in Most Relaxing Beaches

The largest of French Polynesia's 118 islands, Tahiti is made up of two regions: Tahiti Nui is home to Papeete, the island's capital, while Tahiti Iti is more isolated and rugged. Seclusion-seekers should head to the latter, though La Plage de Maui can get crowded. For extra space and exotic black sand, go to Taharuu Beach. Read More »

Colorful Tahiti View 25 photos
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#2 Kauai

#2 in Most Relaxing Beaches

Kauai boasts quite a few opportunities to enjoy a quiet day at the beach. You can pack a picnic lunch and head to Hanakapi'ai Beach, or you can catch the sunset along Lumahai. For swimming and sunbathing, it's hard to compete with the calm waves of Hanalei Bay. Just be mindful that rough waters making swimming dangerous during the winter. Read More »

Napali Coast View 38 photos
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#3 Fiji

#3 in Most Relaxing Beaches

"Relaxing" doesn't even begin to describe the Fijian sands; "unreal" and "to-die-for" are much more accurate terms. From many of Fiji's beaches, you'll see lush green terrain in one direction and crystal blue water in another. With 333 islands to choose from, there is also an almost innumerable number of secluded beaches to escape to. Read More »

Fiji View 24 photos
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#4 Maldives

#4 in Most Relaxing Beaches

Adored for its bright blue waters, colorful sunsets and vibrant coral reef, Maldives is a fascinating grouping of more than 1,000 islands. You'll find beaches everywhere you turn, so there's no need to travel far to find that perfect swath of sand (once you get there, that is). Read More »

Prime Real Estate View 29 photos
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#5 Bora Bora

#5 in Most Relaxing Beaches

This volcanic island in French Polynesia has a philosophy called "Aita pea pea," which translates to "not to worry." Add that to the seclusion of the South Pacific and the teal-tinted sea and you've got the perfect recipe for a soothing, if expensive, getaway. Read More »

Welcome to Bora Bora View 27 photos
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#6 Monterey

#6 in Most Relaxing Beaches

An understandably wealthy area of California, Monterey boasts jaw-dropping scenery, award-winning golf courses, massive mansions and miles of picturesque beaches. Check out Del Monte Beach, popular with surfers, or San Carlos Beach, for some relaxation away from all the tourists. Read More »

Monterey View 19 photos
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#7 Lanai

#7 in Most Relaxing Beaches

On Lanai, you're bound to adopt Hawaii's laissez-faire lifestyle. This is made much easier by the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Lanai and the numerous isolated beaches. Polihua and Shipwreck beaches on the north side of the island offer the most seclusion. Read More »

Kaholo Cliffs View 25 photos
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#8 Nantucket

#8 in Most Relaxing Beaches

Nantucket is a popular summertime destination for East Coasters (it does get a bit cold during the offseason), and visitors especially love the calm waters at beaches on the North Shore. However, you'll find quieter beaches and fewer crowds along the South and East Shores. Check out Low Beach on the South Shore for lots of space. Read More »

Brant Point Lighthouse View 16 photos
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#9 Outer Banks

#9 in Most Relaxing Beaches

Some spots of North Carolina's Outer Banks are not meant for R&R seekers, but other areas are ideal for just that. The most reliably relaxing beach is Nags Head, but other smaller towns and beaches are also worth exploring. Use the quiet time to cast a rod, read a novel or walk the seemingly endless shoreline. Read More »

Outer Bank beaches View 32 photos
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#10 Cape Cod

#10 in Most Relaxing Beaches

A beloved summer vacation spot for East Coast-based travelers, Cape Cod (about 70 miles southeast of Boston) features miles of sand dunes, quaint homes, bike trails, lighthouses and delicious seafood. Long Point Beach in Provincetown is quieter than some of the more popular beaches, like Cahoon Hollow Beach and Craigville Beach. Read More »

Waves Crashing Along Cape Cod View 33 photos
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#11 Fort Lauderdale

#11 in Most Relaxing Beaches

Fort Lauderdale is an ideal destination for sun-worshippers wanting to avoid Miami Beach's party scene. Travelers can check out Fort Lauderdale Beach, a popular beach for families that has water sports and chair rentals along with restaurant and shops. For a truly peaceful day, venture to Dania Beach or Hillsboro Beach. Read More »

Skyline View 24 photos
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#12 Dominica

#12 in Most Relaxing Beaches

Dominica is an eco-friendly adventurer's dream getaway, with miles of unspoiled nature in addition to several beaches worth exploring. Check out Pointe Baptiste for black and white sands, coastal views and rock formations. For those seeking a truly isolated beach experience, head to the appropriately named Secret Beach. Read More »

Roseau View 30 photos
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#13 Naples

#13 in Most Relaxing Beaches

Known for its top-notch golf courses, high-end dining and calm beaches, Naples, Florida, is an ideal destination for those wanting to avoid city noise and large crowds. Located 6 miles north of downtown, Clam Pass Beach Park is home to a large boardwalk, mangrove forests and a white sand beach. Read More »

Naples Pier View 18 photos
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#14 Maui

#14 in Most Relaxing Beaches

With more than 30 miles of beaches ringing its figure-eight shape, Maui has a beach for everyone. The large Makena Beach is known for its soft, white sand. Meanwhile, Kaanapali Beach is close to the island's resort area and is excellent for snorkeling. Be sure to check the tide before taking a dip though, as some of the beaches are subject to large waves. Read More »

Hula Dancing View 44 photos
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#15 Santo Domingo

#15 in Most Relaxing Beaches

Clear, shallow waters and white sands characterize the beaches of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The nearest beach is Playa Punta Torrecillas but visitors ought to make a daytrip to one of the more spacious beaches. Boca Chica and Juan Dolio beaches are east of the city – and their isolation makes for an exceptionally relaxing experience. Read More »

Zona Colonial View 20 photos
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