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A New Ranking of the World’s WORST Beach Destinations Includes 3 U.S. Cities

Anywhere but here!

How do you decide on a summer destination? Reading travel articles and magazines, following social media influencers, or checking off locations from your wish list? Well, maybe you should look at research, too.

And the travel insurance comparison website, InsureMyTrip, is out with a new analysis of romantic beach destinations. After analyzing 62 popular beach spots, the company provided a ranking of the best–and the worst–in the world, examining metrics that included sea temperature, wave height, quality of nearby beaches, strength of ocean current, adult-only hotels, quality of fine-dining restaurants, and romantic attractions.

And the top three? Bali, Indonesia; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Crete, Greece. In the U.S., the top winners were Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Honolulu, Hawaii; and the Florida Keys.

However, it is the least romantic beach destinations that you should make a note of. These came up short in their data, and surprisingly, three of the worst offenders are in the U.S.

1 OF 10


WHERE: Canada

Vancouver is a dream for adventure and sports lovers. The famously outdoorsy city is a must-visit for thrill-seekers and the cosmopolitan vibe draws city-lovers from all over the world. But its score as a romantic beach destination is lacking. 

It is ranked last–number 62–on this list with an overall score of 6.35. It scored so poorly due to lack of adult-only hotels and low wave height, but the city has plenty of romantic attractions and quality fine-dining establishments.

Related: Vancouver Is Stolen Land. What Does That Mean for Its Residents and Visitors?

2 OF 10


WHERE: Japan

On the south coast of Wakayama prefecture, Shirahama is a resort town located 62 miles from Osaka. The name “Shirahama” means white beach and refers to the 500-meter sand beach. It may be a popular attraction for tourists, but it scores low on the romantic score. It has five adult-only resorts and scores poorly on quality of fine dining and nearby beaches as per this study.

3 OF 10


WHERE: England

Bournemouth tied with Shirahama with an overall score of 6.84. Two hours away from London by train, it is a popular coastal town with water activities and hip restaurants. It doesn’t have quality romantic attractions, but the beaches are lovely and attract a host of tourists.

4 OF 10


WHERE: Florida

Miami does marginally better with a score of 6.85, but it’s still staring at the bottom of the barrel on this list. The average quality of fine dining, weak ocean currents, and few adults-only resorts have contributed to its poor rating as a beach destination for couples.

Related: More Travel Warnings Have Been Issued Against Florida

5 OF 10



Tied with Miami is the colorful city of Havana. It has the worst ocean current on this list (1.03 m/s) and falls in the middle of every other metric. It may not be a favorite for a romantic escape, but it’s got tons of culture, music, and art–so, if you’re thinking outside the beach box, Havana is still an amazing destination.

6 OF 10


WHERE: Spain

The party city of Gijon also received a score of 6.85. Its past life was industrial and gritty, but it has redefined itself as a hip summer resort and university town. However, the quality of beaches, sea temperature, and low wave height are less than ideal for couples.

7 OF 10


WHERE: England

An hour from London by train, Brighton has been a preferred getaway for city folks for decades. It has vibrant beaches and exciting nightlife, but sea temperature and wave height are not favorable. So according to this particular analysis, it’s not the best beach destination for a romantic vacation. 

8 OF 10

Gran Canaria

WHERE: Spain

The Spanish island of Gran Canaria has also not fared well on this list. Las Palmas is a major port city and a tourist magnet; Maspalomas on the south coast is known for its unending sand dunes; the historic town of Agüimes has idyllic mountain sceneries. 

Gran Canaria has great fine dining restaurants, but the quality of romantic attractions leave something to be desired.

9 OF 10

San Francisco

WHERE: California

There are very few places in the world with as glorious a food scene as San Francisco. Chefs are constantly pushing boundaries with their plates, and this ranking recognizes this by placing SFO on number 6 when it comes to quality of fine dining.

Where it failed to make an impression were adults-only hotels, wave height (high), and sea temperature (low).

Related: 30 Ultimate Things to Do in San Francisco

10 OF 10


WHERE: Texas

The third American city to make an appearance in the list of the 10 worst beach destinations for couples is Galveston on the Gulf coast of Texas. It scored 7.18, tanking on fine dining, ocean current, and adults-only hotels.

Related: Why Have Thousands of Dead Fish Blanketed Texas’ Beaches?

drdenisevuich June 30, 2023

I appreciate this article but...I have a dissenting view of Bali! When we visited before the world shut down in 2019, we visited 4 beaches around the island and 3 of the 4 were terribly littered with trash with no one picking up this trash (except for us)! There were also plastic bags floating in the water and surf. So disgusting and sad for such a beautiful island to have this kind of refuse. Also, doesn't help that they burn everything from palm fronds to trash ON THE BEACHES!

Kevvie_G June 24, 2023

I have no problem with articles geared to romance or couples, but when my email from you says "a New Ranking of the World's WORST Beach Destinations Includes 3 U.S. Cities" , I assume it's not just about couples. I enjoy your arrticles, but please stop with the misleading headlines. "

fouDor June 17, 2023

Coming to Vancouver, BC, Canada to spend time on the beach? What a silly idea. Just like pigeon-holling Vancouver beaches into some “best and worst beach” competition. And then knocking the points off for a lack of a hotel (let alone an “adults only” one). You expect a hotel smack at Stanley Park, where the beach you show is located?  Sorry, but it makes no sense.  On the other hand, please keep in mind that if you live in Vancouver, all beach areas around this city are fab recreational locations: from sunbathing, pic-nicking or bird watching to walking and biking along the varied coast line, just not in the narrowest sense as “beach destination”.

sambradford9052 June 16, 2023

Having Miami Beach (which is a different city than Miami) on this list for a lack of "fine dining" is absolutely ridiculous. Joe's Stone Crabs, Prime 112 and Smith & Wollensky are high-end staples.