Looking for something epic to do before summer dwindles away? Head to the ‘most beautiful beach’ in the US.
But which beach is that? According to The Family Vacation Guide, analyzing social media posts is the best method to arrive at that opinion. The company scanned TripAdvisor’s reviews of various beaches to determine the percentage of the reviews that mentioned the word ‘beautiful’ and then turned to Instagram to calculate how many times that beach’s name had been hashtagged. Perhaps not the most sturdy of sciences (we’re not told the timeframe of the data collection, among other loopholes), but Floridians are celebrating — because out of the top 10 beaches, their state hosts six of them... with five of them in the top five.
Florida even solidly beats Hawaii, where one would expect many beaches to appear on most-beautiful lists (Hawaii’s Ka'anapali Beach doesn’t even hit the list until #8. Ouch!)
So which beach is the most beautiful? That’s Panama City Beach in Florida, where 46.85 percent of 3,045 reviews mentioned the word ‘beautiful.’ It also got hashtagged 915,000 times, in comparison to the 641,000 tags earned by the second beach on this list, Pensacola Beach, which had 44.69 percent of its reviews calling it beautiful.
Third is Clearwater Beach, which actually had far more Instagram hashtags (1.2 million) but only 36.07 percent of the reviews included the magic word. Fourth is St. Pete Beach, tagged 542,000 times with 37.8 percent of qualifying reviews, and fifth is Navarre Beach, with 192,000 tags and 49.63 percent ‘beautiful’ reviews.
Finally, in sixth position, Florida gets knocked off the podium by La Jolla Cove in California (353,000 and 32.72 percent). And Georgia gets its place in the sun with #7’s Driftwood Beach (71,500 and 39.4 percent). In eighth place is Ka'anapali Beach (71,300 and 26.13 percent).
There's a tie for #9 between Okaloosa Island, Florida (93,700 and 44.05 percent) and Waikiki Beach, Hawaii (936,000 and 26.13 percent). They both earned an overall ‘beauty score’ of 7.72. And coming in at #10 is Santa Rosa Beach, Florida (228,000 and 53.26 percent). Whew!
Now, if you reject the word ‘beautiful’ and prefer a ‘picturesque’ beach, you’ll find the top three adjust to become Newport Beach in California, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina and Virginia Beach in Virginia — but Florida still dominates with six beaches in the top 10. But check out the fact that Newport Beach has 3,700,000 Insta tags!
The official report plays around with different manipulations of the search terms; you can read it here. And hey: beauty is only sand deep, right?
Check out another ranking of the most beautiful beaches, which put Hawaii in the top place
According to Dr Beach, North Carolina boasts the best beach in the USA