The World's Most Famous Beaches: A Guide

This is the ultimate guide to the world's most famous beaches. Experience white sands like never before, walk along beaches with cascading mountains in the background, and swim in crystal-clear water where horses run along the shore.

Waikiki Beach

Known for their street poke, live music, surf, and a crater that is 300,000 years old, Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii is one of the most famous beaches in the world for a reason. With a coastline and incredible architecture, and water that is clear for miles out, Waikiki Beach is home to some of the most famous beaches in Hawaii—and the world. 

If you're looking to meet a ton of people from all around the world and have an incredible stay at one of their 94 hotels and 759 vacation rentals, Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii is an adventurous destination. Waikiki is also warm year-round and is home to some of the best hikes you can embark on in Hawaii. On Waikiki Beach you can swim, surf, tan, relax, hang glide, and rock climb. 

The nightlife in Waikiki Beach is exciting, and the food is unforgettable. 

Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach in Whitsundays, Australia, is a famous beach known for its bright white sands. By taking a boat or helicopter, you can head to Whitehaven Beach with friends and family and explore the uninhabited islands that surround it. 

Whitehaven Beach is part of the 74 Australian Whitsundays islands and home to the Great Barrier Reef. With massive rainforests, trails for hiking and climbing, and white sands that span for miles, Whitehaven Beach and the islands that surround the area are worth the trip. Most of the islands are uninhabited though, so make sure to book your hotel in advance as it’s not as populated of a place as you may think. 

Playa Paraíso

Tulum, Mexico is a beautiful beach neighborhood on the Caribbean coast. Playa Paraíso is one of the eight best beaches in Tulum. Tulum is a famous and popular vacation destination because of its stunning and natural environment, clear water, and amazing white sand beaches. If you're headed to Tulum, Playa Paraíso, Laguna Kaan Luum, and Gran Cenote are three incredible features of the Tulum beach area. Playa Paraíso is a vast expanse of white sands that falls along the Caribbean coast. In the breezy winds, you'll find yourself experiencing true tranquility on this Tulum beach. 

Railay Beach

Railay Beach in Thailand is home to four incredible beaches that lie in between Limestone cliffs. The atmosphere of these beaches offers sand that is softer than any on the southern Thailand coast. The Railay beaches have crystal-clear water and offer incredible day and night attractions. 

Some of the beaches offer rock climbing, famous caves, hidden lagoons, and the chance for a traditional boat ride. 

In Railay, Thai massages are available on the beach and sea kayaking is available with a tour guide. 

They're incredible mountainous viewpoints along the Limestone cliffs on Railay Beach, and the caves with bats, stalagmites, and intensely high roofs are native to this magical area of Thailand. 

Marinha Beach

Landing at one of the most famous beaches in the world, Playa Marinha, which means, Navy Beach, is known for its iconic cliff sides. Marinha Beach is the number one destination to visit in Algarve, Portugal, because of its breathtaking views, steep cliffs, and giant rocks you can swim out to.  

There are many well-known rocks on Marinha Beach, such as the Cathedral Rock and the ‘M’ Rock. With crystal clear waters, you can see for miles underwater on this Portuguese beach. 

The calmness of the water, and the softness of sands on Marinha Beach, make this destination a total paradise for everyone in the family to enjoy.  

To get down to the beach there's a long staircase that is not always kid or elderly-friendly but the actual beach is suitable for children and welcoming for all ages.

Grace Bay Beach

Grace Bay Beach is home to luxury island resorts, white-sand beaches, and incredibly tasteful nightlife. Located in Turks and Caicos, Grace Bay Beach is a family-friendly destination and has incredible weather all year round. 

Voted one of the best beaches in the world and holding the ‘World Travel Awards Leading Beach Destination,’ there is no comparison to this Turks and Caicos Caribbean island. 

Here, the water is calm, the barrier reef is breathtaking, and the endless water activities make this location relaxing and adventurous for all. If you’re into sailing, snorkeling, jet-skiing, and other water sports, Turks and Caicos is a top vacation spot for these activities.

Playa Juanillo Beach

Located in Punta Cana, Juanillo Beach is a tranquil and bohemian escape from the world. Juanillo Beach is world-famous for its calm waters, warm breezes, and award-winning international cuisine. Local beach music is heard along the shores to add to the ambiance of this Punta Cana attraction. Swimming and windsurfing are popular on Juanillo Beach, and musical events are too! 

Juanillo Beach Food & Drinks is the most popular dining location along the beach and is definitely worth the visit. 

Kalalau Beach

On the famous island of Kuai, Kalalau Beach is beyond breathtaking. Surrounded by a mountain range and wildlife, this beach is accessible only by foot or boat. This is a trip that is probably easier for you and your friends than for the whole family, but once you’re there, it’s worth it. 

This beach is remote, but that’s what makes it feel almost untouched. Camping is allowed on Kalalau, and if you’re staying the night you have to bring all of your own food. 

Only head to Kalalau Beach if you’re an outdoors person and consider traveling with friends or a spouse, rather than your kids or alone. It’s a famous beach though, and worth checking out!

Bathsheba Beach

Barbados is home to Bathsheba Beach, a picturesque tropical beach and famous beach for its surf. It’s not entirely family-friendly, as swimming is not really encouraged because of the rocky terrain. 

However, Bathsheba Beach is a great location to fly kites, enjoy an afternoon picnic, and walk along the shore collecting rocks. Consider Bathsheba Beach a famous destination for its surf, so if you or someone you know enjoys the waves on a surfboard, this is a definite vacation for you or them. 

Daytona Beach

What is Daytona Beach not famous for? It’s home to the NASCAR Daytona 500, famous cheerleading competitions, Daytona Bike Week, and more. This is one of the most famous beaches in the world because cars are actually allowed on the beach. 

In certain entryways along the beach, cars can park for a whole day on the sand with a beach pass. The Daytona Beach strip is also an exciting place to shop and eat. The breath-taking sunsets on Daytona Beach are well known and frequent. 

Daytona Beach is also famous for its free summer concerts, arcades, small amusement rides, and waterslides. Daytona Beach is the Florida version of Coney Island in New York, except with fewer rides and more stretches of gorgeous beaches. 

Don’t miss out on Daytona Beach as one of Florida’s most famous beaches. Also, with quick access to hundreds of hotels along the Daytona Beach strip, it’s easy for this vacation to be simple for the whole family to enjoy. 

Spas, art museums, jet skiing, and boating are also popular on Daytona Beach, and worth the trip. If you’re interested in trails and wildlife, there is wildlife not too far away from Daytona Beach that your whole family can enjoy, too. 

Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica Beach is definitely one of the world's most famous beaches. Featured in big-budget Hollywood films for several decades, this beach and amusement park are unforgettable. 

The Santa Monica Pier on this beach is full of amusement park food, a roller coaster, games, and photo booths. 

There is a bike and walking path that follows along the beach and the Pacific Coastal Highway, and leads down to Venice Beach and up towards Malibu. 

Santa Monica Beach is a wide and long beach that is also home to exercise equipment, swings, monkey bars, and other workout accessories. 

This is definitely a family-friendly beach and welcomes millions of visitors every year. There are food and drink stops along Santa Monica Beach, but Venice Beach is definitely more well known for its food and shopping. Santa Monica Beach is only a quick 30-minute drive from Hollywood, five minutes from Malibu, and located several hiking paths in Topanga. 

There is so much nature to explore on and around Santa Monica Beach, and there’s also surf available to beginner and intermediate surfers. If you love walking along the shore, relaxing in the sun, and grabbing ice cream while watching the California sunset on the pier, Santa Monica is the beach for you and your family.

Which Famous Beach Will You Head To?

Beaches around the world are famous for different reasons. Whether you’re interested in water sports, international cuisine, or the simplicity of clear water and white sands, there are beaches that fit into all these characteristics. Some like a slow-paced beach, where sunbathing is the point of visiting. Others enjoy beaches for the surf alone. 

It depends on what you love and who you’re heading to the beach with, but if you’re interested in visiting a world-famous beach, this list has you headed in the right direction. 

Don’t forget to stay hydrated and pack more than enough sunscreen wherever you may visit- all the beaches on this list possess climates that are generally hot and humid. 

Whether you’re interested in a trip to bohemian Barbados or ready to visit the white sands of Grace Bay Beach, there are plenty of beaches in the world that are famous for their unique characteristics and what they offer visitors like you. Make sure you pack your favorite La Blanca bathing suit, and enjoy your trip!


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