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Feb 23, 2021

The World's Best Beaches for 2021 -- Revealed!

Scratch your wanderlust itch with a look at this year's stunning Travelers' Choice Best of the Best Award winners
Australia's Whitehaven Beach tops the world list; while Florida's Saint Pete Beach celebrates #1 in the United States

NEEDHAM, Mass., Feb. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- As lockdown has left most of us longing to be somewhere —  anywhere else than stuck at home, Tripadvisor® has just the thing to help you escape, as its annual Travelers' Choice® Best of the Best Awards for Beaches are revealed today.   

Highlighting travelers' favorite beaches across the globe, from sweeping white sand and turquoise waters in tropical climates, to dramatic cliffs and pounding surf in some of the most secluded spots on Earth, the awards are based on the quality and quantity of reviews and ratings from Tripadvisor travelers for beaches, gathered over a 12-month period. New for 2021, the Best of the Best Beaches also takes into account the volume of "saves" for beaches on Tripadvisor, reflecting the position that many travelers were in for much of 2020 — unable to travel, desperate to explore, lusting after the beaches they wished they could visit.

"Your last trip to the beach probably feels like a lifetime ago, but with vaccine programs rolling out worldwide, safely making that beach getaway a reality just might be in reach! In fact, a recent Tripadvisor survey revealed that 60% of travelers are very likely to take a beach trip in 2021¹," said Christine Maguire, vice president and general manager, global media business at Tripadvisor. "Whether your preferred kind of beach is preened and pristine or rugged and rough, this list of travelers' favorites is just the inspiration you need to get planning your next beach break."

In 2021, Australia's Whitehaven Beach takes the top spot amongst global travelers. The remote Australian paradise, located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, is only accessible by boat, seaplane or helicopter and is lauded by travelers for its gorgeous soft white sand and postcard perfect turquoise water.

This year, Florida's Saint Pete Beach takes not only the title of number one beach in the United States, but is also rated fifth in the world. Of the 25 best beaches in the U.S., Florida and Hawaii dominate the list, with over 30% of the winners located in the Sunshine State and almost 30% in the Aloha State.

"We take Tripadvisor's awards very seriously in St. Pete/Clearwater. We have been home to the number one beach for four of the past six years, but after a devastating 2020 for travel, we're especially honored to receive the Travelers' Choice Award this year," said Steve Hayes, President and CEO of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. "Our communities, including Saint Pete Beach and Madeira Beach, have done an amazing job building these great destinations and keeping their beaches pristine for travelers from near and far."

For the complete list of Travelers' Choice Best of the Best award-winning beaches for 2021, visit:

Top 10 Beaches in the U.S. 

1. Saint Pete Beach - St. Pete Beach, Florida 
Travelers say: The most perfect place to watch the sun set over the ocean.
Top-Rated Thing to Do Nearby: Shared 2 Hours Small Group Sunset Cruise of St. Pete Beach

2. Ka'anapali Beach - Lahaina, Hawaii 
Travelers say: This beach is so gorgeous and accessible to everyone.
Top-Rated Thing to Do Nearby: Snorkel & Whale Watch from Ka'anapali Beach

3. Moonstone Beach - Cambria, California 
Travelers say: Beautiful beach and a great place to look for moonstones and jade.
Top-Rated Thing to Do Nearby: Cruise down the scenic Moonstone Drive during sunset

4. Wailea Beach - Wailea, Hawaii 
Travelers say: The walkway along Wailea Beach offers breathtaking views of the Maui coast.
Top-Rated Thing to Do Nearby: Makena Turtle Town Eco Adventure in Maui 

5. Cannon Beach - Cannon Beach, Oregon  
Travelers say: Haystack Rock at low tide is incredible with all the tide pools and sea creatures.
Top-Rated Thing to Do Nearby: Oregon Coast Day Trip: Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock

6. Napili Beach - Lahaina, Hawaii
Travelers say:
There's a small natural reef about 30-50 yards in, and tons of marine life living on it.
Top-Rated Thing to Do Nearby: Maui Whale Watch Cruise from Lahaina Harbor

7. Ogunquit Beach - Ogunquit, Maine 
Travelers say: At high tide you can walk out hundreds of feet and still be only waist high.
Top-Rated Thing to Do Nearby: Check out the scenic outlooks of Perkins Cove.

8. Wai'anapanapa State Park - Hana, Hawaii 
Travelers say: This black sand beach (produced by volcanic activity on the island) is otherworldly along the beautiful coastline. 
Top-Rated Thing to Do Nearby: Full Day Road to Hana Adventure Tour with Pickup

9. Madeira Beach - Madeira Beach, Florida 
Travelers say: Very nice, flat beach. You can enjoy a very nice walk for miles. 
Top-Rated Thing to Do Nearby: Calypso Breeze Daytime Tropical Buffet

10. Kailua Beach Park, Kailua, Hawaii 
Travelers say: Kailua offers plenty of everything: sand, wide open space, fewer crowds, and a good park to go with it.  
Top-Rated Thing to Do Nearby: Full Day Kailua Beach Guided Tour To Mokulua Islands

Top 10 Beaches in the World

  1. Whitehaven Beach - Whitsunday Island, Australia
  2. Santa Maria Beach - Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba
  3. Baia do Sancho - Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
  4. Grace Bay Beach - Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
  5. Saint Pete Beach - Florida, United States
  6. Turquoise Bay - Exmouth, Australia
  7. Eagle Beach - Eagle Beach, Aruba
  8. Spiaggia dei Conigli - Lampedusa, Italy
  9. Ka'anapali Beach - Hawaii, United States
  10. Baía dos Golfinhos - Praia da Pipa, Brazil


The Travelers' Choice Best of the Best Awards for Beaches honor travelers' favorite beaches worldwide based on the quality and quantity of reviews and ratings from Tripadvisor travelers, as well as the volume of "saves," gathered over a 12-month period (January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020).

Travelers can "save" their travel ideas and plans on Tripadvisor by tapping the heart icon on places to stay, restaurants, and things to do, such as beaches. Tripadvisor views saves as a great indicator of what travelers are interested in doing in the future.

  1. A Tripadvisor Consumer Sentiment Survey, based on data drawn from an online survey of 2,330 consumers, in partnership with Qualtrics, conducted between 12/28/20 through 01/10/21 across six countries - U.S., UK, Australia, Italy, Singapore and Japan

About Tripadvisor
Tripadvisor, the world's largest travel guidance platform*, helps hundreds of millions of people each month** become better travelers, from planning to booking to taking a trip. Travelers across the globe use the Tripadvisor site and app to discover where to stay, what to do and where to eat based on guidance from those who have been there before. With more than 884 million reviews and opinions of 7.9 million businesses, travelers turn to Tripadvisor to find deals on accommodations, book experiences, reserve tables at delicious restaurants and discover great places nearby. As a travel guidance company available in 49 markets and 28 languages, Tripadvisor makes planning easy no matter the trip type. 

The subsidiaries of Tripadvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP), own and operate a portfolio of online travel brands and businesses, operating under various websites and apps, including the following websites:,,, (including,,, and,,,,,,,,, and

*  Source: SimilarWeb, unique users de-duplicated monthly, December 2020
** Source: Tripadvisor internal log file


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