TEN BEACHES TO VISIT NOW

Some of the hottest destinations to visit right now come with a bonus: a beach nearby that’s every bit a must-see in its own right. Here you’ll find ten of the best. (Full story: http://on.natgeo.com/1QbguLX)
  1. El Nido, Philippines
    The Philippines, on our hot list for 2016, is in fact a nation of 7,107 islands. That means lots of beaches, literally thousands, in all their variety, from black sand to pink, from palms to the green pastureland that tops the towering cliffs at Racuh a Payaman, known as “Marlboro country,” on Batan Island. Island-hop and explore the possibilities. The best way to get around is by a high-speed ferry or traditional outrigger boats called "bancas." (Photo by Emilio Maranon III, Getty Images)
  2. Carne Beach, England
    The rugged region of Cornwall is enjoying its time in the sun. The rocky Cornish coast gives way to beaches, and one of the broadest and most beautiful is Carne on Gerrans Bay. Residents of the nearby villages swim, walk their dogs, and play beach volleyball and cricket along its sandy surface, which at low tide extends to about a mile when neighboring Pendower Beach adjoins. At high tide it’s easy to imagine pirate ships plying the waters. (Photo by Maurizio Rellini, SOPA/Corbis)
  3. Panama City Beach, Florida
    What’s not to love about a beach that promises an average of 320 days of sunshine a year, is 27 miles long, and has sand that is so purely white, locals challenge you to place a handful next to some sugar and tell the difference. That’s what the “other” Panama City, the one on Florida’s Emerald Coast, has to offer. (Photo by Louis DiBacco, Getty Images)
  4. Glenelg, South Australia
    With more than 3,000 miles of coastline, South Australia offers a beach to suit every taste. The variety starts right in the capital, Adelaide, a gracious city with a growing arts and food scene. The city’s beach, Glenelg, is reachable by tram; the half-hour ride makes it popular with Adelaide residents who want an escape. Glenelg offers both excellent swimming, thanks to its calm location on the Gulf St. Vincent, as well as wave skis and bikes for hire. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz, Getty Images)
  5. Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda
    Bermuda has 34 beaches stretching some 75 miles, each one a beauty of pink coral sand and turquoise sea, a color scheme that has come to symbolize the island. There’s a lot of pink and green in Bermuda too; you might say the island is nirvana for preppies. Thanks to its British heritage—it is the oldest self-governing British overseas territory—everything is quite proper. (Photo by Scott Dunn, Getty Images)
  6. Playa Ancón, Cuba
    When President Barack Obama opened diplomatic relations with Cuba, the die was cast for development. The sleepy country, where time stood still for more than 50 years, is about to wake up and find itself in modern times, for better or worse. One of the most popular beaches is Varadero, about a two-hour drive from Havana. Twice as far is Playa Ancón (Ancon Beach), three miles of white beach next to the town of Trinidad, a cobblestoned charmer. (Photo by Dmitri Alexander, National Geographic)
  7. Anse de Grande Saline, St. Barts
    There are 17 beaches on the island of St. Barts, each with a different personality, each kissed by the transparent turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Each beach has a French style and spirit about it as well: They are all topless for those who wish. But Anse de Grande Saline—Salt Beach—is often, well, even more than that. Although nudity is officially against the law here, the beach is so secluded that authorities turn the other cheek. (Photo by Sergio Pitamitz, National Geographic)
  8. East Coast, Sri Lanka
    While the western side of the South Asian island of Sri Lanka welcomes enough visitors to become downright touristy, the eastern side has been bedeviled by civil unrest and a tsunami. But things are changing as the situations have resolved, turning the region into one of the hot travel destinations for 2016. That’s especially true for beachgoers who want something more than sun, sand, and surf. Eastern Sri Lanka delivers. (Photo by Munem Wasif/Agence VU/Redux)
  9. Playa Blanca, Panama
    Although Panama City is rimmed by the Gulf of Panama, the beaches in or near the city are often described as “mud flats.” A trek to the countryside is required. That’s where you’ll find the popular Playa Blanca in the town of Farallón on the Pacific coast. It’s within a two-hour drive of Panama City (which explains why it can get a bit crowded on the weekends), but you’ll be greeted by the glistening white sand from which the beach got its name. (Photo by Hemis/Alamy)
  10. Gooch's Beach, Maine
    Do you enjoy a bit of winter with your beach? Then look no further than Gooch’s Beach. The rather silly-named spot could serve as a stage set for coastal Maine at its most picturesque. The broad semicircle of talcum powder sand is fringed by quintessentially New England white-trimmed and weathered clapboard cottages. Sailboats add their grace note to the horizon, while back on dry land church steeples and lighthouses punctuate the skyline. (Photo by Carl D. Walsh, Aurora Photos/Alamy)