There’s something pretty magical about being on the beach.

Hearing the waves crashing on the shore, feeling the sand between your toes, and smelling the salty sea air is a sensory delight.

Beach vacations are the most popular vacation type for U.S. travelers, especially during the summer months. 180 million Americans made more than 2 billion beach trips last year.

But where to go?

According to BeachAtlas these are the 10 best beaches in the world for 2024.

And the good news is you won’t even need to leave the country to visit 2 of them!

The World’s Best Beach 

It should come as no surprise that the world’s best beach is a postcard-worthy patch of paradise.

We’re talking about the eye-wateringly expensive island of Bora Bora in French Polynesia.

View of the Otemanu mountain through the palms with hammock and ocean. Bora-Bora. Polynesia

Surrounded by an endless supply of sand-fringed islets, Bora Bora is known as the Pearl of the Pacific. It is famous for its almost impossibly blue waters and for its abundance of luxury resorts and accommodation options.

The beaches here are some of the whitest sand beaches in the world, and they are often fringed with verdant green vegetation to create a tropical paradise effect.

Beneath the waters, Bora Bora attracts scuba divers and snorkelers from around the world thanks to its excellent coral reefs and abundant marine life.

Bora Bora luxury hotel vacation tourist woman relaxing by ocean beach with view of Mt Otemanu in Tahiti, French Polynesia copy

It’s easy to see why this incredible beach destination topped the list, even if it is out of budget for most of us to visit!

The Best Beaches In The U.S.

Closer to home and easier on the pocket, 2 U.S. beaches made the top 10 beach list according to this report. This means they are officially the best beaches in America.

These 2 beaches couldn’t be more different but are each incredibly beautiful in their own right.

The world’s 3rd best beach (making it the best beach in the USA) is Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.

Waikiki Beach is everything you imagine a perfect beach to be. White sands, blue crashing waves, and fringed with palm trees.

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

Located in Honolulu on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, this beach has incredible cultural significance.

It was once considered a playground for the Hawaiian royal family and is also considered the birthplace of surfing.

Today it is still an amazing place to catch some waves and an excellent spot for relaxing on a 2 mile stretch of perfect sands.

In 7th place and the 2nd American beach to appear on the list is Glass Beach in California.

This is an unconventional beach because the main attraction isn’t the sea or the fairly non-descript sand, but what sits on top of it. Piles and piles of smooth sea glass.

Glass Beach, California. colorful glass pebbles blanket this beach in Fort Bragg

At the turn of the last century this beach was the site of a trash dump and the glass that was left here has been smoothed and flattened by the power of the ocean to create a beautiful visual experience.

There’s definitely nowhere better to go hunting for sea glass!

This beach is located north side of Fort Bragg and is a relatively small beach only covering around a quarter of a mile.

The Best Of The Rest 

Best Beach lists are usually full of the same selection of usual suspects. White sand beaches with crystal clear water.

Omaha Beach, Normandy, France

What makes this list different is that the cultural significance and community impact of each beach has been taken into account too, leaving us with a list that is more diverse and, dare I say it, more interesting too!

For the historians among us it’s great to see beaches like Omaha Beach in France, where the D-Day landings took place during WWII, getting some recognition.

And Boulders Beach in Cape Town is significant because you can paddle alongside the penguins that call the beach home, which is a unique, bucket list worthy experience.

Penguins on Boulders Beach in South Africa

Perhaps one of the most surprising entries is Skeleton Coast in the African nation of Namibia. This is a desolate stretch of coast where shipwrecks loom out of the water, but it is a culturally fascinating place to visit.

The Complete List Of The Top 10 Beaches

So did your favorite beach make the cut? Here is the complete list of the top 10 beaches in the world for 2024.

1. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

2. Boulders Beach, South Africa

3. Waikiki Beach, USA

4. Copacabana, Brazil

5. Maya Bay, Thailand

6. Black Sand Beach, Iceland

7. Glass Beach, USA

8. JBR Beach, UAE

9. Skeleton Coast, Namibia

10. Omaha Beach, France

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