1.Dreamland Beach, Bali
This once-hidden cove located on the Bukit peninsula was first “discovered” around the 1970s and has since become a top destination for surfers thanks to its great shore breaks. Though it has grown in popularity in the last 40 years and new resorts have cropped up, it still retains its hang-ten vibe with small shops and beach shack cafes like Kelly’s Warung, known for its fresh juices, wraps, and smoothies.
Where to stay: Top rated in our annual Readers’ Choice Awards Survey was The Mulia & Mulia Villas in Nusa Dua.
2.Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Located on the western shore of the 75-square-mile island, the whole stretch of this 5.5 mile-long beach is public property, making it easy to stroll from hotel to hotel regardless of where you book an overnight. All in one afternoon, you can grab lunch at an ocean-side restaurant, stumble into a volleyball game with locals, take Jet Skis out further down the beach, and top it off with some snorkeling in Cemetery Reef, known for its rocky formations prime for sea life habitat.
Where to stay: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is a perennial winner in our annual Readers’ Choice Awards Survey.
3.Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda
Although one of the most popular beaches on the island, Horseshoe Bay has a hidden secret: Port Royal Cove (pictured), which has shallow water perfect for young kids and dramatic rock formations that complement wonderfully soft, pink sand. Nearby Spicelands Equestrian Centre even offers trail rides down to the private cove, which is located in part of South Shore Park in Southampton Parish.
Where to stay: The Reefs Resort & Club, ranked the No. 1 resort in the Atlantic in our latest Readers’ Choice Awards survey.
4.Orient Bay Beach, St. Martin
Not everyone wants to go to the beach to relax—here, you can party all day with the scenic white sand and blue waters as your backdrop. Plenty of bars and clubs dot the entire stretch, and since it’s so populated, getting (and staying) here is easy, as it’s only
about two miles from the airport. Even more daring beachgoers will want to wander to
the southern end of the stretch, where there’s an area for nudists.
Where to stay: Belmond La Samanna is one of the best bets on this dual-nation island.
5.Matira Beach, Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Matira is perhaps the most famous of Tahiti’s beaches, and for good reason: The mile-long stretch of silky, powder-white sand slopes gently into a shallow emerald lagoon, and is backed by a thick curtain of palms and tropical foliage. Added bonus: It’s one of the only public-access beaches in Bora Bora, so you won’t need to pay five-star resort prices to enjoy its beauty. Come early to stake out a spot.
Where to stay: St. Regis Bora Bora Resort—voted the No. 1 resort on the island in the latest Readers’ Choice Awards survey.
6.El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
Shockingly, Palawan remains steadily under the radar, even though it continues to rank highly in our Readers’ Choice Awards. El Nido alone is home to around 50 white sand beaches—it’s impossible to choose just one—all of which are set around dramatic limestone formations and boast the finest and whitest sand you’ll ever see. The water is so blindingly blue it makes the Caribbean Sea look murky in comparison. And the sunsets? Well, they’ll ruin you for life. Consider yourself warned.
Where to stay: El Nido Resorts – Pangulasian Island – ranked #19 of 25 top resorts in Asia in our latest Readers’ Choice Awards survey.
7.Honokalani Beach, Wai’anapanapa State Park, Maui, Hawaii
With its jet-black shore, lapis lazuli waters, and thick, jungle-like foliage, Honokalani Beach is a photographer’s dream. Besides lying lazily on the “sand”—actually made up of of tiny lava pebbles—there’s plenty to do: you’ll find seaside lava tubes and sea caves carved into the lava cliffs along the shore. It’s wild, unspoiled Hawaii at its best, and a necessary stop en route to Hana.
Where to stay: Montage Kaplua Bay – rated #1 resort in Maui in our latest Readers’ Choice Awards survey.