The Travel Channel’s 2013 list of the Best Beaches includes a few I have been fortunate enough to visit already, and a few that are high on my bucket list. Among those I have already visited, my favorite on this list is Hanauma Bay on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, which was named the Best Beach for Adventure. On the far side of Diamond Head volcano from Honolulu and Waikiki Beach, this tranquil bay has amazing coral reefs just offshore, allowing for incredible snorkeling right off the beach. To protect the coral, all visitors are taken through an instructional tour before being allowed onto the beach. What I liked best is you can snorkel for a while, climb up on shore and rest and then go right back in whenever you want.
Another spot I have been fortunate enough to experience is Rick’s Cafe in Negril, Jamaica, named the Best Beach Bar. I only visited for an hour or so as I swam to the bar from a catamaran docked just offshore as part of a snorkeling trip but it was an experience I will never forget. No, I did not take the adventurous (and dangerous) 30-foot dive off the rocks into the sea, but I sure enjoyed watching others do it as I relaxed with a cool one.
Then there is the Best Beach Boardwalk, Venice Beach, California. If you have not yet visited this iconic beach, be sure to add it to your to-do list. It’s not necessarily a great family vacation spot because of the many oddities you might encounter, but it’s about as unique and entertaining of a place as you’ll ever see.
The Travel Channel spot I most want to visit someday but have not yet been able to is Bora Bora, the exotic South Pacific island known for its incredible beauty and clear waters. The Travel Channel names Matira Beach in Bora Bora, Tahiti, the Most Romantic Beach in the World AND the Best Overall Beach. And who wouldn’t want to spend a night in one of those over-the-water villas with the one you love. You’ll have to save a lot – a real lot – to ever experience this, or you can rely on winning the lottery. If nothing else, it makes for a great goal, or should I say a dream?
Other beaches making the Travel Channel’s ‘Best of’ list are:
- Best Exotic Beach: Mustique, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
- Best Beach You Haven’t Heard of Yet: Nevis, Caribbean.
- Sexiest Beach: Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- Best Family Beach, Destin, Florida. (I can’t believe I haven’t been there yet, though I’ve been close.)
- Best Party Beach, South Beach, Miami, Florida. (Yes, I have been two or three times and am always ready to go back.)
Note: Links on this page will take you to TripAdvisor pages, where you can read traveler reviews and compare prices.
The Travel Channel article can be found here.
Beach Maniac Blog by Bill Hurley