Pink sand beaches of Bermuda
courtesy rmuda Tourism Authority Bermuda's typically warm weather, stunning views—check out these lodging options with incredible vistas— a long list of water activities like diving into shipwrecks, and pink sand beaches put it high on our list of bucket list vacation spots. The pink sand is actually caused by tiny red organisms that grow beneath the coral reefs just off Bermuda's shores, and those organisms manage to mingle with bits of crushed coral before making their way to land to cast a distinctive bright pink hue.
courtesy Curaçao Tourist Board
If you're into secluded Caribbean shores with loads of natural coral, abundant marine life, and underwater caves, Klein deserves a spot on your list. Sitting eight miles off the southeast coast of the southern Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao, the uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao is a slice of paradise, boasting one of the longest and most pristine beaches around. It's been nicknamed "Little Curaçao," because the island, which can be reached by boat in less than two hours, is a postcard-perfect vision of how the Caribbean used to be. Here are some more idyllic Caribbean destinations.
courtesy Brilliant Studios for Turks Caicos Tourism
This stunning strand is the hallmark of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and one of the most popular attractions in the Caribbean. Grace Bay has the kind of crystal clear water that lets you look right through to see fish, crabs, and all the natural sea life that'll make you feel like you're a real-life mermaid. You can also easily follow the local rope path on a snorkel adventure to nearby Bight Reef, where nature enthusiasts often find sea turtles of several varieties, stingrays, and eagle rays.
courtesy South Australia Does an island full of kangaroos sound too good to be true? It's real, but only in South Australia, just a short flight from the better-known city of Adelaide. The popularity of Kangaroo Island has been growing thanks to a mild climate and access to sandy beaches loaded with wildlife like kangaroos, sea lions, seals, and wallabies. It's one of the more popular wildlife beach areas in the world—here are the rest. If you're wondering how to get there and where to stay, Qantas is now offering direct flights, and there's a lodge designed to suit the biggest roo enthusiast in your life: Southern Ocean Lodge offers clifftop views of the entire rugged coast.
courtesy The Crystal Coast TDA
The wild horses of Shackleford Banks have frolicked on local North Carolina beaches for over 400 years, and continue to roam wild and free without a saddle, fence, or pasture in sight. Scientists, historians, and nature lovers alike have speculated the origins of the Shackleford horses (a.k.a. "Banker ponies"). The most popular theory is that the horses swam ashore after a Spanish ship exploring the new world met with a tragic fate off of North Carolina's shores. Visitors make their way to the island by private boat or ferry running from Harkers Island, Beaufort and Morehead City.
courtesy Quasar Expeditions
If hitting the Galapagos Islands wasn't already on your bucket list, let Tortuga Bay be the final straw that pushes you over the edge. One of the main recreational sites of Galapagos National Park, Tortuga Bay is located on the island of Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the Galapagos. Sea turtles, marine iguanas, pelicans, flamingos and sea lions are some of the many creatures roaming around this unspoiled island; at night, sea turtles come to lay their eggs on this magical beach. There are two ways to access this remote beach known for surfing, snorkeling, and kayaking: By foot or by boat (and yes, there are even cruises to the Galapagos—one of the best anywhere, though choosing from the best from this list would be tough). You'll want to book through a tour company like Quasar Expeditions, which offers luxury yacht cruises that take passengers to the beach, allowing them to get up close and personal with the abundant wildlife.
St. Petersburg and Clearwater
courtesy Visit St. Petersburg Clearwater This 35-mile stretch of white sand beaches is drenched in sun 361 days per year and also makes our list of the best family beaches. That means booking a trip to this region will practically guarantee you great beach days, and the region also boasts easy airport access, a Michelin starred restaurant, over 30 museums, local graffiti murals that are Instagram-worthy, and unique outdoor beach activities like glow in the dark paddle boarding, swimming with horses, and see-through kayaking with manatees.
courtesy Hotels Resorts
A hush-hush getaway for billionaires, celebrities, and royalty, this private island in the Maldives—among the best warm-weather destinations in the world—is unlike any other: You can rent the entire thing. That means time on this incredible island can be spent any way you'd like. Coco Prive's 30 resident staff members plan everything from custom meals to ocean excursions just for you, so when you arrive via private luxury yacht, the island of Kuda Hithi is ready for your stay. Surrounded by white sands and crystal-clear waters, the resort is home to just six villas (one is a master residence), ensuring paparazzi and crowds are worlds away during your island escape.
Playa El Tunco
courtesy Steven Lippman
Head down to Playa El Tunco, a black sand beach in El Salvador, to really get away from it all. This popular surfing beach faces the Pacific Ocean and is flanked by lush landscapes, pristine natural habitats, and everything an eco-traveler might dream of. And did you know that Central America is one of the top affordable places to travel in 2018?
courtesy Trisara Sure, you can have bananas at Banana Beach in Phuket, Thailand, but the real draw is the perfect coastline, tropical weather, and crystal-clear water that's best known for lazy days and water sports, or a perfect balance of the two. Thailand also made our list of best places to go for your money in 2018. Visitors typically stay at resorts like Trisara, to ensure their beach time is topped off with waterfront spa treatments, Thai fare, and the best cold drinks you can find in Thailand. It's also fairly common to run into major celebrities on this little patch of sand, so bring a camera.