If you were to ask me where my happy place is, I wouldn't skip a beat. I love the beach. There is something that makes me feel so at peace when I imagine myself by the water. The sound of seagulls and the crashing of waves. The smell of the saltwater and the feeling of hot sand between my toes. There's truly nothing like it.
2020 was a year that we will not forget and I learned a great many things about myself during this time. One of those things was that I love to travel. It resets my soul, helps me feel balanced and there is something quite exhilarating about the feeling that you have left it all behind. I don't know about you but I try not to pack any of my usual stress and worry when I get ready to go.
While travel might not be in my immediate future, I took solace in the fact that I can get away virtually, by looking at the best our beautiful planet has to offer and perfecting my bucket list.
Join me by making a rum punch and put on your lei, because we are about to set sail.
Here are 30 beautiful beaches that I would love to visit.
1. Ostional, Costa Rica
Don't get me wrong, white sand beaches are gorgeous, but there's something enchanting about beaches with sand darkened by volcanoes.
This beach on the western coast of this Central Latin American country is renowned for its turtle nesting sites.
If you come during the rainy season, you may see hundreds to even thousands of turtles come to shore to nest. Believe me, it's a sight to see.
There is not one beach on this U.S. island that leaves visitors disappointed.
Whether you're going for the waves or the picturesque mountain and ocean views, Hawaii is one of the best vacation spots.
The islands have all kinds of beaches, so if you're interested in exploring, you can sink your feet into black, green, red, and even green sand.
3. Camiguin Island, Philippines
If you want to see paradise on a budget, head over to the Philippines in Southeast Asia.
This serene island is surrounded by beautiful beaches like the one you see above.
Most people don't venture out too far, so you could have this strip of sand all to yourself if you're traveling in the low season. Just bring an umbrella and lots of sunscreens!
4. McWay Falls, Big Sur, California
There's nothing that makes me feel calmer than the sound of waves crashing on large rocks.
This coastline located on the state's central coast is famous for its seaside cliffs and winding turns. McWay Falls is an 80-foot-tall waterfall on the coast of Big Sur in central California. During high tide, it is a tidefall, a waterfall that empties directly into the ocean.
For a truly authentic evening, explore McWay Falls via drones on Youtube and make this California Spaghetti Salad and eat while you watch.
5. Boulders Beach, South Africa
This beach close to Cape Town is home to endangered African penguins.
Rangers don't recommend visitors getting too close to the wild animals, but you can still snap a few good pictures close to them.
6. Falassarna Beach, Crete, Greece
You can't go to Greece without visiting the ruins of the ancient city of Falassarna and its breathtaking beach.
This long beach is covered in soft sand, making it great for morning walks. It has also been voted as one of the top 10 best beaches in Europe.
If you really want to make a getaway, try putting on an hour of the relaxing waves of a Greek beach from YouTube and making Gyros with Greek Chicken to eat while you watch. Lounge chairs and towels optional!
7. Kaputaş Beach, Turkey
Kaputas is located on the Mediterranean coastline in Southwestern Turkey.
This beach is known for its soft white sand and clear blue waters.
It's also very well-maintained, so it's unlikely for you to run into garbage there. Surprisingly, there's no entrance fee, but you do have to pay to rent out an umbrella.
8. Koh Nang Yuan, Thailand
These two small islands are connected by a long strip of white sand.
You can do a short hike up one of the mountains to see this spectacular view, or you can enjoy swimming with its marine life.
If you know how to scuba dive or snorkel, this is the place to be!
9. Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda
This Caribbean beach is voted to be one of the most beautiful in the world, attracting thousands of tourists every year. Just look at that crystal clear water!
It's great for kids and the elderly because there's also an adjacent beach that's low-tide. As a tourist spot, it lies on the main island's south coast, in the parish of Southampton.
I highly suggest looking for videos of this stunning location and making these Piña Colada cupcakes to eat while you watch them.
10. Tayrona National Park, Colombia
This beach located on Colombia's Caribbean coastline isn't just great for swimming, there's also so much around it that's a must-see.
You can find coves, coastal lagoons, a rainforest and even an aquarium at the national park.
11. Grand Anse Beach, Grenada
This two-mile stretch of pristine white sand on the Caribbean island is basically heaven on Earth.
All you need is a good book, and you'll be spending a solid day just relaxing on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
12. Copacabana, Brazil
If you like people-watching, sunbathing, and being surrounded by constant entertainment, this beach in the country's famous city of Rio de Janiero is the place to be. Copacabana is one of Rio’s liveliest neighborhoods.
Well, we can't quite physically transport you there (yet), but this Mermaid Water will definitely make you feel like you are sitting by the ocean!
Trust me, this isn't an image from the movie Avatar!
There are several beaches on these islands located in the Indian Ocean that are home to bioluminescent plankton.
These aquatic organisms thrive in warm coastal waters, and light up to ward off predators.
14. Ang Thong National Marine Park, Thailand
Mu Ko Ang Thong is a marine national park in the Gulf of Thailand in Surat Thani Province. This archipelago of 42 islands is a sight to see if you get a chance to hike up one of their mountains on their main beach.
It's also home to monkeys that are not shy to steal your food!
15. Elafonissi Beach, Greece
This beach located on the island of Crete is famous for its fine white and pink sand.
The water is shallow and warm, so it's great for people who are looking to just get their feet wet.
16. Black Sands Beach, California
This beach in Sausalito is anything but ordinary. The sand here is dark because of all the different type of dark minerals in the area.
Most people come to see the sand itself, rather than to swim in the water. That being said, it's still a great place to swim!
Pineapple Pina Colada Dump Cake made me feel a little better about not being on the beach. The flavor manages to mimic my favorite tropical drink, but without the booze!
17. Navagio Beach, Greece
Also known as Shipwreck Beach, this majestic beach is an exposed cove situated on the coast of Zakynthos.
Tourists flock to get breathtaking aerial and ground shots of the incredible Mediterranean water and the big boat covered by sand.
18. Byron Bay, Australia
This beach in New South Whales is great for surfing and scuba diving.
Even if you're not too keen on venturing far out into the ocean, you may still get a glimpse of bottlenose dolphins, rays, whales, and sea turtles.
Might I recommend putting some shrimp on the barbie and making some Grilled Shrimp Cocktail for a little taste of the outback without leaving home?
19. Cala Deia Beach, Spain
This small beach is incredibly rocky, but that's what makes it stunning.
If you're looking for somewhere with a picturesque view and great food, this place in Mallorca, Spain is perfect for you.
There are two restaurants here that serve fresh seafood and traditional Mallorca food.
20. Trunk Bay, US Virgin Islands
This beach on St. John's island has a 225-yard-long underwater trail of reefs.
If you're not interested in snorkeling, at least get a pair of goggles. The marine life here is incredible, and you'll regret missing it!
While shrimp boils vary from coastal town to coastal town, most contain shrimp and corn and all of them make me think of summer.
21. Diamond Beach, Iceland
This incredible glacial lagoon is one of the most visited tourist sites in the northern country.
The large pieces of ice look like giant diamonds, which look otherworldly in pictures.
Fun fact: Two James Bond movies were filmed here.
22. Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
These islands are a huge tourist attraction, all thanks to the 2000 movie The Beach, starring Leonardo Di Caprio.
What people love about these islands is that the beaches are surrounded by incredibly high mountains.
23. Playa Paraiso, Mexico
If you're looking for an all-inclusive getaway, this beach in Mexico is the perfect one or two-week vacation spot.
This white sand beach is so beautiful you'd think you got transported to an alternate universe.
24. Hidden Beach, Mexico
Not a lot of people know about this hidden beach in Mexico, and you actually need a permit to get there, but it's totally worth it.
The Playa Del Amor is the result of a series of bombings by the Mexican government in the 1900s.
The tide washed up and created this small beach that is now considered one of the most incredible beach destinations in the world.
25. Glass Beach, California
This beach in Fort Bragg was known as "The Dump" before it was given the name "Glass Beach."
In the late 1940s, people were dumping all their trash here, which included lots of glass.
Once people stopped littering the beach, the waves wore down the shattered glass pieces into these smooth, colorful trinkets you can see today.
26. Maho Beach, Saint Martin
Maho Beach has beautiful brown sand and crystal clear water, but that's not the reason why everyone wants to go there.
The interesting, or rather scary, part about this beach is that an airport is very close by, meaning people are only a few meters away from having their heads touch the wheels of a landing airplane!
27. Algarve Caves, Portugal
The renowned ocean cave of Benagil is located on the south coast of Portugal, and can only be reached by boat.
The cave is incredible, but the hole in its domed ceiling is what tourists flock to see.
28. Lucky Bay, Australia
This beautiful white sand beach in western Australia may be called Lucky Bay, but you don't have to be lucky to spot kangaroos or migrating whales.
You know a beach is perfect when animals like to hang out there.
29. Pig Beach, Bahamas
This uninhabited beach in the Bahamas is the only place in the world you can swim with pigs.
How awesome is that?
30. Long Beach, Vancouver
Canada isn't the first place that comes to mind when we think of incredible beaches.
This 10-mile long beach is situated within Pacific Rim National Park Reserve in Vancouver, British Columbia.
If you want to go on a neverending romantic walk, this is the place to go!