The World's Best Beach

One of my favorite "getting to know you" questions is: What's your favorite type of vacation? I find that answers normally fall in roughly one of three buckets: ski, beach, or adventure.

I personally have a clear answer to this question: "beach". I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been able to visit so many beaches.

Which one is the best? To answer this ofcourse you have to first define "best". Here's my attempt at that:


Below I'll rank some of the beaches I've visited according to these criteria. They're listed in order of the weight I give them when scoring a beach with the most important first.

Beach Shape

The shape takes into account the depth, length, and width. Length means how long it would take for you to walk from one end to the other. Generally longer is better, although the relationship isn't linear.

Width is the distance between the waterline, taking into account both high and low tide, and the opposite edge of the beach. Again, longer is generally better.

Depth is how deep the water is as you wade into the ocean and the slope of the sea floor. This is one of those Goldilocks things where somewhere in the middle is best. A beach that stays shallow for hundreds of feet is worse than one where you can no longer touch say 50 yards in.

Sea Floor

Is it clear or are there obstructions? For example Kondoi Beach in Taketomi Japan has large sea slugs every few feet. Matira Beach in Bora Bora requires water shoes to walk comfortably without scraping your feet. On the other hand Grace Bay in TUrks and Caicos is 100% fine grain sand anywhere you walk for as long as you can touch.


This is another "just right" criteria where either too much or too little is a bad thing. Take Jetties Beach in Nantucket: it's a popular spot for families with small children because of the very small surf. But this prevents it even being considered as one of the best beaches. On the other hand Cisco Beach also on Nantucket gets excluded for the opposite reason. The surf there is so strong it's impossible to peacefully wade in on a hot day.

Other Relevant But Less Important Criteria

My Current Ratings

Here are my latest rankings with what I currently believe to be the best beach in the world highlighted.