New Year, New Beach: 5 of the Best Beaches to Visit In 2023
The time for New Year’s resolutions is right around the corner, and if you’re like us, your list includes more than just things you hope to do a little better. It’s also likely filled with enticing, new-to-you places that you can’t wait to travel and explore in the 365 days to come.
A trip to any of the best beaches in the world can be the perfect way to kick off 2023—or any year at all. But with so many spectacular stretches of sand located across the globe, it can be hard to know just where to start. Whether you’re looking for a last-minute place to ring in the New Year, or you want to map out a few beautiful beaches to tick off your list throughout the coming months, we’ve rounded up five of the best beaches for the New Year. Here, you can kick off your shoes and soak up the views as you toast the many sunny adventures ahead.
Grace Bay Beach, Turks and Caicos
This utterly breathtaking slice of paradise continually makes best beach lists, and it’s easy to see why. In fact, this was TripAdvisor’s pick for the best beach in the world in 2022—not for the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last. At just over three miles long, Grace Bay packs a punch with its crisp, powdered-sugar sands and rich turquoise waters that are calm and ideal for swimming.
Situated on the northeast coastline of Providenciales (also known as Provo) in the TCI archipelago, Grace Bay enjoys cool trade winds from the east, along with an enviable location protected by an enormous barrier reef just offshore. The beach is also home to some of the island’s most luxurious beachfront properties and restaurants, along with a variety of water sports outfitters that make it easy to snorkel, kayak, kitesurf and more.
Bondi Beach, Australia
This iconic Sydney beach is a perennial favorite among locals and long-distance travelers alike. With its world-class waves, it’s also a must-visit for more active travelers, especially those who love to surf. Those who aren’t feeling so adventurous will still find plenty of ways to soak up the sun and sea here, though, thanks to the Icebergs ocean pool that fringes the bay.
Bondi Beach stems from the aboriginal word boondi, which translates to “water breaking on rocks”—and it truly lives up to its name. Its main stretch of sand is a crescent that’s just 0.6 miles in length, so it can become a bit packed at times. Yet the hustle and bustle is all part of the boisterous vibe here, and a variety of beachfront restaurants and bars provide respite when you need it.
Playa Paraiso, Tulum, Mexico
A bit south of the impressive and postcard-worthy Maya ruins in Tulum, this expansive beach known as Playa Paraiso translates to paradise beach—a perfect moniker for a place that truly feels like heaven on earth.
Known for its smooth, white-sand shores and calm, cerulean blue waters, this beach is among the most stunning in Mexico’s entire Riviera Maya. Just a short drive from the boho-chic village of Tulum, and just around 42 miles (or an hour’s drive) from bustling Playa del Carmen, Playa Paraiso pairs accessibility with a surprising sense of remoteness, thanks to its sprawling size that never feels too crowded.
Trunk Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Trunk Bay is both a body of water on the northern coastline of St. John, and the name of the specific sandy cove that it protects. Any way you look at it, once you visit these silky white sands for yourself, you’ll instantly see why this family-friendly spot is the most visited and most photographed beach on the island—and arguably among the most spectacular in all of the U.S.V.I.
Trunk Bay shows up on many best beach lists year after year, and for good reason: it’s simply stunning. Part of the Virgin Islands National Park, the world-famous beach is home to a rich and biodiverse marine habitat with abundant snorkeling opportunities along its protected reef. Keep an eye out for sea turtles in particular: Trunk Bay is named for the Leatherback Turtles, known as Trunk Turtles, that inhabit the waters just offshore.
Playa Maderas, Nicaragua
Surfers, rejoice: this gorgeous stretch of golden sand is widely considered to be Nicaragua’s best surfing beach, thanks to its consistent winds and incredible waves. In fact, the trade winds here are known to blow around 300 days each year, making it a sure bet for surfers of all levels.
Situated in a prime spot on the nation’s Pacific-facing coast, Maderas is just a 20-minute drive from the resort hub of San Juan del Sur, and it’s worth every minute of the journey. During low tide, there’s ample opportunity for more low-key adventures, as well: kayaking and snorkeling in the shallow waters just offshore, hiking along the soft sands, or even horseback riding across miles of beach.
Ready to Hit the Beach?
Whether you’ll be spending the New Year visiting a favorite beach, or you’re planning a few trips throughout the coming year, protecting your skin from UV rays is one resolution that should be easy to keep. Just remember to stock up on travel size sunscreen. From the cabana to the open surf, you’ll stay sun safe every day of your trip—without taking up precious space in your carry-on bag.