Every traveler has a different fantasy about their ultimate beach vacation. Adventure-seekers want beaches that are both beautiful and close to exciting attractions, like exotic jungles or a historically important port city. Honeymooners, on the other hand, gravitate toward deserted islands with palm-fringed beaches of the softest sand on Earth. Meanwhile, a family may be looking for fun-filled beach towns that have boardwalks lined with amusement rides and food stalls hawking saltwater taffy and corn dogs.
No matter what your definition of the perfect beach vacation, you're sure to find inspiration on our list of the 15 best beaches to explore in 2014.--Andrea M. Rotondo