Ditch the Winter Blues! Visit the Top 10 Beaches in the U.S.
Winter blues got you down? It may be time to plan a tropical vacay getaway! TripAdvisor has released its 2016 Travelers’ Choice awards, including their top 10 domestic beach hotspots.
“We know travelers around the globe love sun and sand vacations, so we’ve tapped the TripAdvisor community to help us identify the world’s best beaches,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “The 2016 Travelers’ Choice Beaches award-winners will inspire many to book their next getaway, knowing that these beautiful spots are the very best from the TripAdvisor global community!”
1. Clearwater Beach – Clearwater, Florida
Boasting two and a half miles of powdery sand and calm, shallow water, this Floridian shoreline is a beachgoer’s paradise. In between frolicking in the surf and sunbathing, travelers can stroll along the Beach Walk Promenade or check out the lively scene on Pier 60. “This needs to be added to the ‘Wonders of the World’ list as it’s absolutely breathtaking. Beach, pier, water sports, restaurants, hotels—this area has it all,” shared a TripAdvisor reviewer.
2. Lanikai Beach – Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii
Located on the balmy Windward Coast of Oahu, Lanikai Beach, which means “heavenly ocean” in Hawaiian, is a tropical paradise. Travelers are encouraged to snorkel through the turquoise water where they will see magnificent sea life below the surface. A TripAdvisor reviewer shared, “This beach is absolutely gorgeous. The sand is silky and clean, the water was so calm and a beautiful shade of blue. It’s a relaxing piece of heaven just 35 minutes from Waikiki.”
3. Siesta Beach – Siesta Key, Florida
Claiming the “world’s finest, whitest sand,” Siesta Beach serves as a tranquil oasis offering stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. Travelers have their choice of relaxing by the shore or trying their hand at a game of tennis or volleyball on the nearby courts. A TripAdvisor reviewer noted, “Siesta Beach is the most gorgeous beach I’ve ever visited. From the sand that feels like you are walking on air to the vastness of how big it is, it’s just incredible. We also experienced the most amazing sunsets.”
4. St. Pete Beach – St. Pete Beach, Florida
Averaging 361 days of sunshine a year, St. Pete Beach is an ideal destination for active beach goers. Travelers can partake in aquatic adventures including parasailing, stand-up paddle boarding and windsurfing or saunter along the shoreline. “This is my favorite place in the world! Beautiful beach, warm ocean and the best sunset I have ever seen! Plus there’s a lot to do in the area,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.
5. Wai’anapanapa State Park – Hana, Maui, Hawaii
Located off of the Hana Highway, this 120-acre state park is home to a majestic black sand beach known for its breathtaking scenery. Visitors will have the chance to explore the natural stone arches, lava caves and sea stacks where they could catch a glimpse of sea turtles and other wildlife. “Jaw-dropping natural beauty. The scenery is second to none thanks to the turquoise water, black lava rock, and the green lush plants that surround it all,” shared a TripAdvisor reviewer.
6. Ka’anapali Beach – Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
Offering three miles of white sand and glistening water, Ka’anapali Beach boasts panoramic beauty just steps from the quaint shops at Whalers Village. Another attraction travelers should not miss is the sunset cliff diving ceremony off of Black Rock. “Ka’anapali Beach is clean, family-friendly and so lovely, with a beautiful view and amazing glimpses of the whales. This beach is paradise,” added a TripAdvisor reviewer.
7. Pensacola Beach – Pensacola Beach, Florida
Pensacola Beach is an ideal seaside playground for travelers of all ages and is home to one of the longest piers in the Gulf of Mexico. Children will get a kick out of splashing in the shallow surf, while the young at heart are invited to kayak along the shore for a chance to see dolphins skimming the surface. “It’s always stunning with the soft sands and emerald green water. The perfect place to relax with nature and watch the beautiful sunsets,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.
8. La Jolla Shores – La Jolla, California
Seated along the SoCal coast, this mile-long soft sand beach is renowned for swimming, surfing scuba diving or simply relaxing by the sea. Travelers can also take advantage of nearby Kellogg Park, which offers a picnic area where guests can enjoy lunch with a view. “What a real stunning place; the beaches are beautiful. The shore wraps around into small quaint caves allowing you to explore and walk along the water,” added a TripAdvisor reviewer.
9. Saint Augustine Beach – Saint Augustine Beach, Florida
Located on the southern end of Anastasia Island, this four mile stretch of sand is conveniently accessible from several points and offers fantastic amenities including a “Splash Park” for children, shaded pavilion and volleyball courts. A TripAdvisor reviewer noted, “We loved the sand dunes, walks on the beach and most of all the sunrise! A must-see during anytime of the year.”
10. Beach at Panama City – Panama City Beach, Florida
Travelers visiting Florida’s Gulf Coast can experience 27 miles of shoreline ideal for sunbathing, building sand castles, or taking a dip in the warm water. As the sun begins to set, beach goers can swap their swimsuits for shorts and head to the nearby restaurants for fresh gulf seafood and cocktails. “Possibly the most beautiful beach in America. The sand is like powdered sugar and the people are wonderful – true Southern hospitality at its finest,” raved a TripAdvisor reviewer.