This Beach Was Just Voted the Best in America — and It's the Second Year at #1
1. Clearwater Beach Clearwater, Florida
For the second year in a row, this family-friendly stretch of sand claimed the top spot on TripAdvisor's list of the Best Beaches in America, which names 50 favorites voted on by its users.
Clearwater, which is located on a barrier island near Tampa on Florida's Gulf Coast, boasts fine white sand and gorgeous water. Practical amenities also weigh heavily in the ranking. This beach has a lot of parking, as well as easy access for chair, umbrella and cabana rentals. One reveiw notes the beach "is very clean, with bathrooms and various places to wash the sand off your feet as you leave.”
2. Ka'anapali Beach Lahaina, Hawaii
Known to have some of Maui's best snorkeling, this Hawaiian beach took home the number two spot for its cleanliness and natural beauty. As one recent TripAdvisor review points out, "Whales jumping in the distance becomes commonplace." There's also "an awesome Beachwalk with restaurants and resorts along the way," a relaxing vibe, few crowds and spactacular sunsets.
3. Panama City Beach Panama City, Florida
Once known as a hot spot for Spring Breakers, this beach has changed its image over the past years after the town cracked down on drinking and open containers. Now, according to TripAdvisor, it's touted as one of the top in the country, with 27 miles of swimming, snorkeling, dolphin-spotting, parasailing and jet skiing. "The most beautiful beach in the world, year-round," a recent review reads. "The sand is pure white and water, crystal blue. Panama City Beach is definitely heaven on earth. You'll love the beach and Pier Park offers plenty of shopping, places to eat, a grand movie theater and fun-filled entertainment.”
4. Saint Pete Beach Saint Pete, Florida
Located just 30 miles outside of Tampa Bay, this laid-back beach is known for its powder white sand, and has easy access to chair and umbrella rentals. According to a recent review, its an "amazing time. What's not to love?" In addition to "soft, silky" sand, the water is warm, and the low tide levels are good for kids. This spot makes for "an awesome weekend in a beautiful location with stunning sunsets, lovely food, the thing dreams are made of on vacation!"
5. Pensacola Beach Pensacola, Florida
Located on Santa Rose Island, this beach is home to the Blue Angels Navy Flight squadron and is known for its photogenic fishing pier. A recent TripAdvisor reviewer wrote, “Love these white sand beaches! Awesome atmosphere and well behaved crowds," noting it's "not rowdy like other beaches."
6. Siesta Beach Siesta Key, Florida
This public beach is known for its clean, hard-packed sand, and is located on the island where MTV's reality show Siesta Key is filmed. “If you want to hit a great beach with PLENTY of room, you found it!" a recent review states of the spacious sandy strip. "There are chairs and umbrellas available to rent, a place to get food and drinks (even adult ones), bathrooms, showers, volleyball, parasailing, and plenty of activities."
7. Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area Puako, Hawaii
Described by TripAdvisor as "one of the nicest sand beaches on the Kohala coast on the Island of Hawaii," this golden beach is known for being a sandy oasis juxtaposed with the volcanic coastline on the northwest coast of the Big Island. "As Hawaiian beaches go, this one was long with plenty of soft sand that made it great for walking and watching the waves," a recent review states. "Also, there is a path at the end of the beach that runs along the lava rocky shore which makes for a nice hike if you are wearing sturdy closed toe shoes.”
8. St. Augustine Beach St. Augustine, Florida
This dog-friendly beach located on the northeast coast of Florida is known for its white sand dunes and shell hunting. “Loved walking the beach for miles in search of shell," one user recalled. There's also easy public access from numerous points and free public parking. "The beach seemed to be an endless expanse," a recent review states. "We walked three miles round-trip search for shells, watching sea birds, people watching and chatting with fellow travelers. It was a sweet treat.”
9. Fort Lauderdale Beach Fort Lauderdale, Florida
If you're traveling to this beach, known for its more-than-file-mile-long coastline and old-school dining options, like Drunken Taco and the Elbow Room, TripAdvisor recommends arriving early to grab a shaded spot under a palm tree. “The Fort Lauderdale beach offers something for everyone, from the fast life of the fit and fabulous to the more traditional sand castle fun of families with little kids," one review states. "As you head south, [you'll find] larger beaches and family-friendly areas for the kids to splash around and be loud.”
10. Driftwood Beach Jekyll Island, Georgia
This picture-perfect beach is popular among tourists and locals alike, as its been the venue for many weddings and photoshoots. Due to erosion, the sand is home to large pieces of driftwood and trees, and TripAdvisor suggests you bring a camera in addition to a beach towel. “This is a wonder of nature," one recent review reads. "To sit on one of the fallen branches of what was once a huge tree is so relaxing as you listen to the water and watch the waves. It can be tricky out here though and one has to be careful of the tide schedule."