Picture for a moment slender palm trees swaying as the sun’s morning rays throw long shadows across sands still cool from night’s embrace. Seabirds circle aloft and track a school of snapper just offshore. The calm seems overwhelming, interrupted only by waves caressing the shore. You unfurl your blanket and sit before azure waters as emerald green hills guard the approach. Can you picture it? Are you almost able to smell the seawater and fresh air? If so, you’re like us…absolutely in love with a great beach. Believe us when we say we’ve searched long and hard to make a list of the world’s 10 best beaches to visit in 2019. From the sunshine coast in the US to Queensland Down Under, from remote Bora Bora to Grand Cayman. Without further ado, these are the top-10 best beaches to visit in 2019.
Table of Contents
8. Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
9. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
10. Whitehaven Beach, Queensland
There’s good reason why Florida is known as the Sunshine State. The Gulf Stream carries warm waters northward past Key West, South Beach, and Fort Lauderdale. Add copious amounts of sunshine and you’ve got the recipe for some great beaches. Grab a ticket to Miami International Airport or Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and let’s hit the sands. Florida’s Atlantic Coast from Key West to Fort Lauderdale is basically one long beach. Venture over from central Miami and start along gorgeous South Beach. This upscale development is packed with resorts. Trendy restaurants and cafes dot the streets near South Pointe Beach. Take a stroll through South Pointe Park and north along Washington Street. The Florida Jewish Museum is a great place to duck in if you want to get out of the sun. Otherwise, bring your lotion and enjoy the 3.5 km stretch of pristine sands. If your travels bring you instead into Fort Lauderdale don’t fear because there’s plenty of great shoreline up there too. Fort Lauderdale Beach is part of another extensive stretch of truly impressive coast. Enjoy the harbor area and head into central Fort Lauderdale along the Tarpon River to experience the great nightlife on offer. South Florida is the place to be. Young, hip, and trendy, its vibe is about thoroughly enjoying all life has to offer.
We head now to Thailand, a country that has long enchanted travelers. World-famous resorts cater to all comers. Of the many stunning locales for fun in the sun, Krabi tops our list for 2019. Located along Southern Thailand’s Indian Ocean coast, the region is known for its sheer limestone cliffs and rock formations dotting the countless coves and bays. Catch a flight into Krabi Airport from where you can get transportation into town. Rather than opting to go direct to the beach, you might consider a stop at Khao Khanab Nam Caves. The caves contain a number of eye-catching stalactite formations and are a popular attraction in Krabi. Okay okay, enough stalling, let’s get to the beach. There are many from which to choose; but if you ask us, Railay Beach comes out on top. Accessible only by boat due to the surrounding limestone cliffs, Railay is gorgeous. Can hike up to Railay Viewpoint for an excellent panoramic view to the waters below. Several hotels and resorts dot the peninsula. Be sure to book ahead if you intend to come during peak season. Snap some photos with the two large cliffs that flank either end of the beach. These are the iconic symbols of Railay and definitely something you want to capture for your social media feeds.
Indonesia’s resort island of Bali is legendary. If you ask people what they think when they hear the words tropical resort, chances are a good many will name Bali! Flights arrive at Ngurah Rai International Airport just outside the island’s principle city, Denpasar. This is the place to get your bearings and check out the local culture. Jimbaran Beach lies south of the airport and is one of the island’s most-frequented stretches. Famous for its spectacular sunsets, the endless ocean seems to swallow the sun whole. Feel the magic of the moment as the sky glows with twilight’s embers. In addition to the famous seascapes, the open-air seafood stalls are a major attraction. Enjoy a candlelit seafood dinner while admiring your surroundings, then walk once more along this beachfront paradise. North of Ngurah Rai is Kuta Beach, a great place for sunbathing or enjoying the surf. Kuta is set in a crescent-shaped bay that creates sheltered conditions at either end, perfect waters for beginners. Stronger breaks make the middle sections a paradise for professional wave-riders. When not shooting the curl, you can find a variety of traditional Balinese handicrafts in the shops along the seaside. Also, there are many star-rated hotels, bars, and clubs in the area. Finally, if you’re venturing to Bali, don’t pass up the opportunity to visit the magnificent Tanah Lot. Its unique offshore setting provides the perfect backdrop for sunset photos. Constructed in the 16th century to honor the Hindu sea god, Baruna, Tanah Lot is one of Bali’s most-visited landmarks.
Given its number of truly spectacular destinations, there’s no surprise Thailand would feature more than once on our list of the top-10 best beaches to visit in 2019. Located in the Andaman Sea, Phuket is Thailand’s resort island par excellence. The wide, beautiful beaches, white sands, and emerald waters have earned Phuket a stellar reputation. Incredible nightlife, luxury resorts, and high demand are all testaments to its popularity. Phuket International Airport is located on the island’s northern peninsula. Phuket City and some of the more popular beaches are clustered in the south. Transportation to that section of the island is not hard to secure, especially if you’re staying at one of the larger resorts. Once you’re ready to hit the sands, make for Karon Beach on the southwest coast. Less hectic than nearby Hat Pa Tong, Karon is a popular place for families and couples. The relaxing atmosphere and long shoreline make it easy to find some space to enjoy a picnic or some romantic time together. Climb up to Karon View Point for a spectacular panorama across the bay and South Phuket. Those looking for a taste of the Phuket nightlight should wander up to Patong Beach. This popular area features a host of cafes and bars catering to foreign tourists. After dark the streets are lively with the sounds of music and revelry. Basically it’s hard to go wrong anywhere on Phuket so don’t worry too much. Find an appealing piece of sand and stake your claim to a memorable vacation.
In the western Philippines, there is an island archipelago with unique geology and majestic scenery. Known locally as “Heaven on Earth,” travelers who venture here cannot help but to agree. El Nido sits on the northern tip of Palawan Island, roughly 420 kilometers southwest of Manila. Towering limestone formations enclose great bays filled with emerald and sapphire waters. Schools of multicolored aquatic life swim in pristine currents, which are largely protected against development. El Nido’s reputation has grown in recent years after ranking as one of the world’s top beaches, yet it still retains an exquisite charm and local flavor. El Nido’s principle draw is the scenery. White sand beaches dot the countless inlets and coves around Bacuit Bay. The beaches run and recede into the distance while rocky outcroppings and limestone pillars maintain solemn watch. Crystal clear Pacific waters lap against the rocks and roll gently onto the shores. When day is finally exhausted and night’s embrace complete, El Nido’s relative remoteness makes for fantastic stargazing. A great tapestry of stars shine overhead, sparking like diamonds in the tranquil skies. Using a long exposure camera you can trace and capture the Milky Way laid out like a magic interstellar highway. The magnificence on display makes El Nido as much a nighttime paradise as a daytime one. El Nido is a jewel in any traveler’s belt. It is, indeed, nothing short of heavenly.
O’ahu has a lot to offer once you manage to get outside Honolulu. The island is world-famous for its incredible beaches and epic surf scene. The North Shore is where you will find the famous breaks at Sunset Beach and Banzai Pipeline. However, surf aficionados know to straight for Waimea Bay. It was here in 1957 that Greg Noll and a handful of others revolutionized surfing and brought the big into big wave riding! Waimea has long loomed large in the surfing community. This is the place to be if you want to test yourself against the best. If you travel here from Honolulu, stop along Route 99 at the Dole Plantation to see the pineapple fields. Sunset Beach, Banzai Pipeline, and Waimea Bay form a trio of excellent sands all in close proximity to each other. Every year in November and December, Sunset and Banzai hold events that are part of surfing’s prestigious Triple Crown. Waimea’s waves are epic during these times as well. Fortunately, if you’re not keen to paddle into 15 meter swells, the beaches are far tamer during the rest of the year. Most O’ahu locals favor Waimea during the hot summer months. Basically any way you slice it, the beaches along the North Shore rank among the best in the world. Come see why we’ve added this incredible stretch to our list in 2019.
Caribbean vacations are the very definition of a good time. Tiki torches, thatched roof huts, kettle drums…what’s not to like? In considering your Caribbean vacation, there’s a strong case to be made for Aruba. These lovely islands off the cost of Venezuela pack a big punch. Queen Beatrix International Airport in Oranjestad is your gateway. You might also elect to come ashore as part of a regional cruise. Most major cruise operators make port calls into Aruba. Explore the town for a bit and take an opportunity to hunt for a great souvenir or two. Afterwards head up to Palm Beach on the island’s northwest coast. This incredible beach offers merriment aplenty. Dotted with palm trees, the scenic landscapes make for great photos. Restaurants along the waterfront offer candlelit dinners on the beach, perfect for a romantic engagement. Given its westward orientation, Palm Beach is a great place for a sunset stroll. If you happen to tire from the waves, head over to Bubali Bird Sanctuary where you can explore the protected wetlands and catch glimpses of over 80 species of migratory bird. Finally, on Aruba’s norther tip is California Lighthouse. Built in the early 1910s, this lighthouse is a local landmark that offers panoramic views. Don’t forget to add it to your social media feeds.
Travelers have long enjoyed the beauty and welcoming atmosphere found on the Cayman Islands. This tiny grouping in the Caribbean Sea has long played an outsized role in the global economy. As a well-known offshore financial haven, investors and the wealthy have long sought to establish corporate entities in and route money through the Caymans. Partially as a result, the local economy caters to tourists with lavish resorts, upscale dining, and all-around luxuriousness. George Town is the capital city located on Grand Cayman Island. Look for a flight into Owen Roberts International Airport 0r make a port call if you’re traveling the region on a cruise liner. Central George Town is well-worth the visit to get a sense for the local culture and sensibilities. Find time for a little shopping before heading out to the resort areas along the coast. Grand Cayman’s northern peninsula is where the action is. This is where you will find Seven Mile Beach along with a host of amazing resorts. It’s convenient to book accommodation near the beach; however, you will want to plan ahead if you travel during peak season. Once you’re squared away give yourself plenty of time to relax and enjoy the scenery. There is no shortage of things to see and Seven Mile Beach seems endless. You will enjoy the long afternoons relaxing in the tropical sun as you sip a cool drink down by the water. Paradise!
9. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Here’s a fun thing to do. Find a globe or hop on Google Earth. Spin it until you’re looking at nothing but the Pacific Ocean, with only the tiniest slivers of New Zealand and Baja California visible off to the sides. Right there, in the middle of all that blue, is Bora Bora! This island group is part of French Polynesia. Fortunately, while it’s in the literal middle of nowhere, Bora Bora is remarkably accessible thanks to its developed tourism sector. Eastern Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, or Los Angeles are your best embarkation points. Various air carriers offer flights into Fa'a'ā International Airport on Tahiti. From here it’s easy to connect to Bora Bora Airport. Find accommodation at one of the resorts located in the lagoon or along the outer reef. It is neigh impossible to go wrong so you can pretty much choose any beach you want. If you’re pining for a recommendation, however, you might venture to Matira Beach where you can explore Matira Point. The waters in the lagoon are calm thanks to the protection offered by the surrounding reefs. Look for a spot that catches your eye and settle into your own corner of heaven on earth. There are plenty of wet bars and restaurants around the various resorts so you can easily grab a snack or a coconut drink. Yep…that’s the life!
The Land Down Under rounds out our list of the top-10 best beaches to visit in 2019. Queensland boasts some truly spectacular scenery, not least because this is where you find the Great Barrier Reef. The beaches here are among the best in the world for snorkeling or reef diving as the crystal clear waters are filled with exotic corals and marine life. Whitehaven Beach is located on the Whitsunday Islands National Park. The beach is a popular camping site with many coming to enjoy rustic surroundings free from luxury development. If you’re looking for accommodation in the vicinity, check nearby Hamilton Island, which has a small airport and cluster of hotels and resorts. Commercial tour operators offer day trips to Whitehaven Beach, or you can charter a boat from a neighboring island. Once you arrive explore the park and marvel at the white sands and pristine waters. Emerald and turquoise colors dominate the beaches and coves. The landscapes are spectacular, as is the sense of tranquility offered by the remoteness and strict environmental protection safeguards. If you camp on the island you can experience Whitehaven Beach is all its glory. Do a bit of planning and make sure you bring all necessary supplies. If this sounds like just the adventure you’re looking for, make 2019 the year you travel to Whitehaven Beach.
Whether it’s Down Under or along the Sunshine Coast, there is no shortage of great beaches in the world. We’ve done the hard job of combing through all the options to put together this list of the top-10 best beaches to visit in 2019. We know you’ll find a one that will stick in your head. These are those places you cannot let go of, the ones you just know you have to visit. If you’re like us and enjoy wide open spaces, clear waters, and beautiful sands, you are going to love the top-10 best beaches. Make 2019 the year you cross them off your bucket list!