15 of the World's Most Popular Beaches as Seen From Above

Biletskiy_Evgeniy/iStock via Getty Images
Biletskiy_Evgeniy/iStock via Getty Images

Planning your next great beach vacation? See what the world's most popular spots for sun and sand look like from the sky.

1. South Beach // Miami Beach, Florida

Shadow of airplane arriving in Miami
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Miami Beach, Florida’s South Beach is a major entertainment area, attracting tourists from all over the world to enjoy the city's unique nightlife, shopping, and restaurants.

2. Bondi Beach // Sydney, Australia

Aerial view of Bondi Beach in Australia
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With its breathtaking views and vibrant beach culture, it's no wonder that Bondi Beach is one of Australia's most iconic destinations.

3. Tulum, Mexico

Aerial view of a beach in Tulum, Mexico
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Tulum, Mexico's crystalline beaches are just one part of what makes this seaside town the third most visited site in Mexico.

4. Surin Beach // Phuket, Thailand

Aerial view of Surin Beach in Phucket, Thailand
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Acting more like a coastal village than a beach resort, Thailand’s Surin Seach is also known as "Millionaire's Row" because it's lined with luxury resorts that are filled with A-list celebrities.

5. Waikiki Beach // Honolulu, Hawaii

Aerial image of tropical Waikiki Beach Honolulu Hawaii
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Located in the Hawaiian capital of Honolulu, Waikiki Beach—which is 2 miles long—accounts for about 42 percent of the state’s annual tourist industry revenue.

6. Deauville Beach // Normandy, France

Aerial view of Deauville beach in Normany, France
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Deauville Beach in Normandy, France is often referred to as the "queen of the Norman beaches." In addition to being surrounded by a ton of history, it's one of the most prestigious seaside resorts in all of France.

7. Navagio Beach // Zakynthos, Greece

Aerial view of Navagio Beach in Zakynthos, Greece
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Located in the Ioanian Islands of Greece, Navagio Beach, a.k.a. Shipwreck Beach, is a secluded cove and is often cited as the most beautiful beach in Greece (which is pretty high praise when you consider the competition).

8. Trunk Bay // St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Aerial view of Trunk Bay in St John in United States Virgin Islands
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St. John’s most famous beach, Trunk Bay, has a snorkeling trail for its visitors that includes information about coral formations and sea life.

9. Maya Bay // Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Aerial view of Maya Bay in Phi Phi Island in Thailand
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Danny Boyle's 2000 film The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, may have been a box office dud—but it made a star out of its filming location in Thailand. So much so that the beach became a sort of victim of its own success; because of the amount of tourists it attracted (it was regularly called "the most famous beach in Thailand"), it closed to tourists in 2018. Earlier this year, officials announced a tentative reopening in the summer of 2021.

10. Anse Source d’Argent // Seychelles

Aerial view of Anse Source D'argent in Seychelles
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Located in the Seychelles, an archipelago off the cost of East Africa, Anse Source d'Argent—with its pink sands and rows of beaches—is a great place to both relax and explore.

11. Isola Bella // Taormina, Sicily

Aerial view of Isola Bella at Taormina in Sicily
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Isola Bella, one of Sicily’s most beautiful beaches, is located in Taormina, a small hilltop town that is also home to Teatro Antico di Taormina, an ancient theater that's still in use today.

12. Newport Beach, California

Aerial view of Newport Beach, California
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Whether it’s hiking or water activities, Newport Beach has plenty to do for both sunbathers and adventure-seekers.

13. Railay Beach // Thailand

Aerial view of Railay Beach in Thailand
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Getting to Thailand’s Railay Beach is part of the adventure: It's a small peninsula that is only accessible by boat.

14. Surfer’s Paradise // Queensland, Australia

Aerial view of Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia
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This seaside resort in Eastern Australia offers great views and majestic waves, making it truly live up to its name.

15. Kamari Beach // Santorini, Greece

Aerial view of Kamari Beach in Greece
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Kamari Beach resides on one of Greece’s most popular islands, Santorini, and is notable for its unique black sand.

These Rugged Steel-Toe Boots Look and Feel Like Summer Sneakers

Indestructible Shoes
Indestructible Shoes

Thanks to new, high-tech materials, our favorite shoes are lighter and more comfortable than ever. Unfortunately, one thing most sneakers are not is durable. They can’t protect your feet from the rain, let alone heavy objects. Luckily, as their name implies, Indestructible Shoes has come up with a line of steel-toe boots that look and feel like regular sneakers.

Made to be incredibly strong but still lightweight, every pair of Indestructible Shoes has steel toes, skid-proof grips, and shock-absorption technology. But they don't look clunky or bulky, which makes them suitable whether you're going to work, the gym, or a family gathering.

The Hummer is Indestructible Shoes’s most well-rounded model. It features European steel toes to protect your feet, while the durable "flymesh" material wicks moisture to keep your feet feeling fresh. The insole features 3D arch support and extra padding in the heel cup. And the outsole features additional padding that distributes weight and helps your body withstand strain.

Indestructible Shoes Hummer.
The Hummer from Indestructible Shoes.
Indestructible Shoes

There’s also the Xciter, Indestructible Shoes’s latest design. The company prioritized comfort for this model, with the same steel toes as the Hummer, but with additional extra-large, no-slip outsoles capable of gripping even smooth, slippery surfaces—like, say, a boat deck. The upper is made of breathable moisture-wicking flymesh to help keep your feet dry in the rain or if you're wearing them on the water.

If you want a more breathable shoe for the peak summer months, there's the Ryder. This shoe is designed to be a stylish solution to the problem of sweaty feet, thanks to a breathable mesh that maximizes airflow and minimizes sweat and odor. Meanwhile, extra padding in the midsole will keep your feet protected.

You can get 44 percent off all styles if you order today.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

What Did the Hubble Telescope See on Your Birthday? This NASA Website Will Show You

A 2010 Hubble-captured image of a pillar of gas and dust in a stellar nursery called Carina Nebula.
A 2010 Hubble-captured image of a pillar of gas and dust in a stellar nursery called Carina Nebula.

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into orbit on April 24, 1990, and it has spent the last three decades enriching our understanding of the cosmos more than we ever could’ve imagined. This year, NASA is celebrating the telescope's 30th birthday with another launch: a website that shows you a photo of what the Hubble saw on your birthday.

Because the telescope is exploring space every hour of every day, the images it has captured over the years are both fascinating and varied. You could see a globular star cluster, a dust storm on Mars, or something else entirely. You only need to enter the date and month of your birthday on the site, so the image you get won’t necessarily be from the year you were born—and, if you were born before 1990, it definitely won’t be—but it’s pretty fun to juxtapose how you were spending that particular birthday with how the Hubble was spending it. While your parents were snapping a shot of you blowing out the candles at your eighth birthday party, for example, the Hubble might’ve been snapping a shot of the beautiful auroras around Jupiter’s north pole.

The telescope was first conceived all the way back in 1946 by Yale University astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer, Jr., who published a paper about the possible advantages of having what he called a “large space telescope” in orbit to help astronomers study the galaxies. The project finally got off the ground in the 1970s, and the telescope was designed so that astronauts could periodically upgrade it while still in orbit. Since it first broke through the atmosphere in 1990, the Hubble—named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, who proved the existence of other galaxies beyond the Milky Way—has taught us that the universe is 14 billion years old, that its expansion is speeding up, and so much more.

Unlock your birthday image on the Hubble website here, and check out more stellar photos taken by the Hubble here.