13 Beaches to Add to Your Bucket List

I have visited a fair amount of beaches in my travels over the years. However, in comparison to the all the beaches around the world, I haven't even begun to scratch the surface. The list I put together is of beaches I have some great memories at. Some are tourist destinations, some take a bit more effort to get to. As always, I would love to know what your favorite beaches are!

1. Papakōlea Green Sand Beach l Kona, Hawaii

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I visited Kona for the 4th time in February 2019. On this trip, I had a bunch of beaches on my list to visit. If you missed that post, you can read all about it here. One of those stops was Green Sand Beach, which a group of my friends got to visit back when I attended University of Hawaii Hilo (you can read about my summer 2007 experience here). This beach requires either an off road vehicle or a 2 mile hike un shaded plus a quick hike down a steep hill to get to the beach. This is one of just 4 green sand beaches in the world so it is worth a visit (the other green sand beaches are in Guam, Norway and Ecuador!) There are no public restrooms and you have to hike your garbage out!

2. Kuredu Island l Lhaviyani Atoll, Maldives

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Yes, it's an island..but that means the whole island is basically a beach! This is where i spent my honeymoon in September 2018. The Maldives is one of those out of this world destinations filled with beauty wherever you look. Our island had a sandbar you could walk out on in the mornings and you could even walk around the entire island on the beach! If you live in the States, this is also quite the trip making it a bit challenging to get to. We flew 14 hours Seattle to Dubai, 7.5 hour layover in Dubai, 4 hours from Dubai to Male, waited 2 hours for our sea plane, and then a hour from Male to Kuredu. You can read more about our resort here and how we picked our resort here

3. Marina Piccola Beach l Capri, Italy

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We never planned to stay at this beach. It was where we met up with our beach club boat (click here to read about the beach club), however, if we had an extra day, I would suggest hanging out here. The beach is much smaller and takes a bit more effort to get to from where the boats drop you off from the Amalfi Coast. The beach is a nice sandy beach, and there are even rock formations that make it a pretty cool place to hang out.

4. Fornillo Beach l Positano, Italy

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You can see a trend here. The beaches that take a bit more effort to get to end up being some of my favorites. Fornillo is about a 15 min walk from the main Positano beach and was recommended as a stop in my blog post on a day on the Amalfi Coast. You will find a bunch of beach bars and beach chairs. The beach chairs can be rented from the beach bars for about 10 Euro each (at least in May). It is a much more secluded beach and had far less people than we were expecting.

5. Makena Beach l Maui, Hawaii

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This is by no means a hidden beach, however, we found this when we went to get lemonade from Wow Wow Lemonade. We wanted a beach near by to relax at and found this one! This is a prime example of an amazing sprawling sand beach. There are restroom facilities and enough space that you don’t feel crowded. If you want more things to do on Maui, read all about it here.

6. Secret Cove l Tahoe, Nevada

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When you go on Pinterest and search “Lake Tahoe,” you find photos of the giant boulders under water. Somehow one of those Pinterest articles led us to Secret Beach. Be warned, this is a nude beach and not a whole lot of beach, but a lot of rocks to layout on. I was there for my bachelorette, so we braved the icy water and went out on the boulders in the water! There are so many other cool spots, including a beach bar in town! You can read about it on this blog post here.

7. Baths l Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

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OMG, probably one of the most beautiful beaches... and everyone knows about it too. There is a small walk from the top of the parking lot to get down to this beach. It is well worth the bright blue, clear waters and huge boulders. I made sure to spend some time here. I didn’t dare try and walk through the giant boulders, as EVERYONE was. It ruined the appeal of it.

8. Alki Beach l Seattle, Washington

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We are taking it to my home state of Washington. I used to hang out at Alki beach a lot when I was a bit younger. This (and Golden Gardens) are about as close to a sandy beach as you will get. Don’t expect an amazing white sand beach, because that isn’t what Washington beaches are, but this beach is long, has tons of cool bars and restaurants and also has an amazing view of downtown Seattle across the water! I also suggest checking out the Hamilton lookout!

9. Mission & Ocean Beach l San Diego, California

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2 for one as they are neighbor beaches. Mission beach is amazing. You can rollerblade, scooter, bike, and run along the bath between the beach and all the cool bars, restaurants and surf shops. The spot you have to check out here is Belmont Park. It has an old wooden rollercoaster and fair games! Ocean beach is just across the channel, but you have to drive ALL the way around to get to it. Here, you can check out the Ocean Beach pier, eat at Hodad’s and shop at South Coast Wahines OB! If you want more to do in San Diego check out this post!

10. Medano Beach l Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

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If you have ever been to Cabo San Lucas, you have probably been to Medano beach (whether you knew it or not). All the main resorts sit off Medano beach. This is the beach you can hang out at and have a few of the Cabo arches out in the distance. The waves can be rough in spots for true swimming, but the beach is huge and usually doesn’t feel super crowded. I highly recommend checking out The Office on the Beach restaurant while you are there.

11. Grand Stirrup Cay l Bahamas

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Unfortunately, this may be the most difficult one to get to as you have to take a Norwegian Cruise that includes this stop on the itinerary. It is owned by the cruise line so you can’t get there any other way. This is one of the coolest islands that have endless beach options! It is large enough, so you don’t feel overcrowded at all.

12. Panama City Beach l Panama City Beach, Florida

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One of my only East Coast beach experiences, but I loved Panama City Beach! The whole town is definitely a holiday beach town and is most active during college spring break (which is when I went back in the day) and during the summer. I wrote a blog post about a year ago that included a bunch of things to do in PCB.

13. Makalawena Beach l Kona, Hawaii

Google Maps Location

I recommend going to this beach in the morning as it is a bit cooler. The walk is across a lava field and provides no shade. When you get here, you are met with white sand and endless palm trees. This beach is secluded enough so there aren’t a ton of people who make it here. This beach was also included in the list of Big Island beaches to visit!

These are my favorite beaches from the places i have visited in the world. What are some of your favorites? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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