The Best Beach In America Is Not Where You'd Think

Better luck next year, Hawaii.

Now that we're deep in the frigid heart of winter, it's high time we start thinking about a trip to the beach.

And when it comes to finding the perfect beach getaway, who better to give advice than the largest travel community in the world? TripAdvisor has put together a list of its users' favorite beaches for 2016 -- and we've got to say, we're excited to see some unexpected spots on the list.

Now all there is to do is buy a new swimsuit, book a flight and soak up some much-needed sunshine.

Below, the top ranked beaches in America, because we could all use a vacation.

Beach at Panama City, Florida
fallbrook via Getty Images
Spring breakers flock to Panama City Beach in March, so plan your trip accordingly. The beach is beautiful, the water is warm and there's tons to do.
St. Augustine Beach, Florida
Jupiterimages via Getty Images
Located on the southern end of Anastasia Island, this four mile stretch of sand is a Florida favorite. And for good reason: the sand dunes and sunrises are not to be missed.
La Jolla Shores, California
wii via Getty Images
This soft sand beach is a SoCal classic for swimming, surfing and sunbathing. Explore the surrounding area's shops and eateries, visit the sea lions at nearby La Jolla Cove, dip your toes in the cool water and enjoy.
Pensacola Beach, Florida
BERKO85 via Getty Images
The soft sand and shallow waters of Pensacola Beach are beautiful and relaxing. Head here with the kids for the perfect family vacation for everyone.
Ka'anapali Beach, Hawaii
Greg Vaughn via Getty Images
Ka'anapali is located on Maui, but the sand is soft, warm and white. You can view the islands of Lanai and Molokai from the shoreline, as well as humpback whales swimming through the channel during Hawaii's whale season. This beach is a must-see when visiting Maui.
Wai'anapanapa State Park, Hawaii
Alexander Hafemann via Getty Images
This State Park on Maui is best known for its black sand beach. The striking color of the sand and the warm blue water make it a decidedly picturesque place for a dip. Don't forget your camera!
Saint Pete Beach, Florida
Nancybelle Gonzaga Villarroya via Getty Images
This area of Florida's west coast is known for its near-constant sunshine. Take advantage of the extra vitamin D by trying out the wide variety of ocean activities Saint Pete has to offer.
Siesta Beach, Florida
Gail Shumway via Getty Images
If the superfine white sand doesn't convince you of this beach's perfection, the unbeatable sunsets will. It's a massive beach, so there's plenty of space to spread out and build a sandcastle or work on your tan.
Lanikai Beach, Hawaii
Inti St. Clair via Getty Images
Thisbeach sits on Oahu's windward side in charming Kailua. Just offshore are the Mokulua Islands, which make a perfect destination for paddle boarders and kayakers. Not to mention they make the beach all the more majestic.
Clearwater Beach, Florida
Photo by Cathy Scola via Getty Images
This long expanse of pristine white sand is Florida's crown jewel. The calm and clear water makes it an ideal beach for all ages and there are plenty of activities in the surrounding area.

Also on HuffPost:

Motivate your inner mermaid with this playful print.

Gifts For The Beach Bum In Your Life

Go To Homepage

MORE IN Travel