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World's Best Beaches Named in 2015 TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards

Top Beaches Revealed Based on Millions of Traveler Reviews and Opinions on TripAdvisor

Baia do Sancho in Brazil #1 in the World; Siesta Beach in Florida Tops U.S. List

NEWTON, Mass., Feb. 18, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today announced the winners of its 2015 Travelers' Choice™ awards for Beaches. In its third year, the awards recognize the best beaches globally, including top lists for Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Europe, South America, the South Pacific, the U.K., and the U.S.

"For travelers looking to escape the snow and cold, we've unveiled the world's best beaches based on feedback from the TripAdvisor community," said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. "The best news is that travelers can find affordable hotel deals on TripAdvisor for less than $200 per night at these award-winning beach destinations, enabling them to make their warm-weather dreams a reality."

Travelers' Choice award-winning beaches were determined based on the quantity and quality of traveler reviews and ratings for beaches on TripAdvisor gathered over a 12-month period.

Top 10 Travelers' Choice Beaches in the U.S:

1. Siesta Beach, Siesta Key, Florida – 8 hotels available to book on TripAdvisor with an annual average nightly rate of $225.

Located along Florida's Gulf Coast, this beach boasts pure, quartz crystal sand and clear, calm surf making it a fantastic spot for travelers with children in tow. "This is definitely the beach to go to if you want a quiet, serene and beautiful experience. The sand is perfect, and the entire beach is clean and well maintained," commented a TripAdvisor reviewer. Great value hotel option with availability during the next two months: Captiva Beach Resort, bookable on TripAdvisor for as low as $172 per night.

2. Saint Pete Beach, Saint Pete Beach, Florida – 17 hotels available to book on TripAdvisor with an annual average nightly rate of $208.

Travelers flock to this picture-perfect beach for its miles of white sand, turquoise water, windsurfing, vivid sunsets, and lively restaurant scene. A TripAdvisor reviewer noted, "Lots of soft white sand and sea shells. This beach is one of the most beautiful outside of the Caribbean that I've ever been to. Perfect for a relaxing getaway." Great value hotel option with availability during the next two months: Inn on the Beach, bookable on TripAdvisor for as low as $174 per night.

3. Ka'anapali Beach, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii – 24 hotels available to book on TripAdvisor with an annual average nightly rate of $303.

On the west side of Maui, travelers will marvel at the natural beauty Ka'anapali Beach has to offer. In between sunbathing and swimming, beach goers can snorkel around Black Rock where they will see a stunning array of sea life. "Ka'anapali Beach is full of life and beautiful views. The beach is surrounded by great hotels, wonderful food, and shopping," added a TripAdvisor reviewer. Great value hotel option with availability during the next two months: Maui Eldorado, bookable on TripAdvisor for as low as $195 per night.

4. Wai'anapanapa State Park, Hana, Maui, Hawaii – 2 hotels available to book on TripAdvisor with an annual average nightly rate of $387.

Surrounded by dark volcanic rock, this secluded Hawaiian beach embodies the spirit of aloha with its tranquil setting. Travelers can enjoy a picnic by the sea or hike along an ancient coastal trail where they can explore the flora and fauna. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, "It's the Hawaii experience all in one place. Caves with pools, black sand beach, lava rocks and blowholes. A definite must-stop." Great value hotel option with availability during the next two months: Aina Nalu, bookable on TripAdvisor for as low as $212 per night.

5. Pensacola Beach, Pensacola Beach, Florida – 8 hotels available to book on TripAdvisor with an annual average nightly rate of $217.

Travelers visiting this Emerald Coast beach will experience miles of powdery-sanded coastline and a destination ideal for relaxation. The Pensacola Beach Pier offers fishing and unparalleled views of the ocean, while nearby beachfront restaurants serve mouthwatering gulf seafood. "Fabulous sugar sand beaches, family-friendly atmosphere, and southern hospitality...what more could you ask for," commented a TripAdvisor reviewer. Great value hotel option with availability during the next two months: Margaritaville Beach Hotel, bookable on TripAdvisor for as low as $229 per night.

6. La Jolla Cove, La Jolla, California – 17 hotels available to book on TripAdvisor with an annual average nightly rate of $245.

Often regarded as the most photographed beach in San Diego, this SoCal spot is ecologically protected, making it the perfect place to snorkel, dive, or simply relax. A TripAdvisor reviewer noted, "Fantastic views! Seeing the marine wildlife was amazing. The cove and caves are incredible and the waves crashing into the beach and boulders make for a beautiful, surreal site." Great value hotel option with availability during the next two months: Empress Hotel of La Jolla, bookable on TripAdvisor for as low as $180 per night.

7. Kailua Beach Park, Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii – 8 hotels available to book on TripAdvisor with an annual average nightly rate of $208.

Situated on the Windward Coast of Oahu, Kailua Beach Park is known for water sports as well as its breathtaking vistas. Kayakers and windsurfers can venture out to nearby Flat Island and the "Moks," while less adventurous travelers can relax and enjoy the offshore breeze. "This is a beach that you only see in the movies. Absolutely stunning, gentle waters and plush sand that goes on and on," said a TripAdvisor reviewer. Great value hotel option with availability during the next two months: Vive Hotel Waikiki, bookable on TripAdvisor for as low as $190 per night.

8. Clearwater Beach, Clearwater, Florida – 60 hotels available to book on TripAdvisor with an annual average nightly rate of $126.

This south Florida barrier island beach sees approximately 361 days of sunshine annually, making it an idyllic seaside paradise. White sugary sand extends for nearly three miles, allowing plenty of space for beach goers to spread their blanket. "There is always something to do – restaurants, shopping, or just walking along the beach," commented a TripAdvisor reviewer. Great value hotel option with availability during the next two months: Ebb Tide Waterfront Resort, bookable on TripAdvisor for as low as $189 per night.

9. St. Augustine Beach, Saint Augustine, Florida – 8 hotels available to book on TripAdvisor with an annual average nightly rate of $138.

Located on Florida's Atlantic Coast, this beach offers a vast expanse of powdery sand where travelers can toss a frisbee, build sand castles, or unwind by the surf. Guests can also enjoy spectacular vantage points from the St. Johns County Pier. "The beach here is clean and the restaurants are amazing! Highly recommend for families," said a TripAdvisor reviewer. Great value hotel option with availability during the next two months: Ascend Collection Castillo Real, bookable on TripAdvisor for as low as $187 per night.

10. Beach at Panama City, Panama City Beach, Florida – 26 hotels available to book on TripAdvisor with an annual average nightly rate of $132.

With more than 20 miles of shoreline, this Floridian beach is ideal for sunset walks on the sand. Travelers can also enjoy seaside activities including parasailing and snorkeling, as well as nearby restaurants and nightlife. "Sugar-white sand and sparkling blue waters. Definitely among the world's most beautiful beaches. There are plenty of restaurants here, and it's family-friendly." Great value hotel option with availability during the next two months: Palmetto Inn & Suites, bookable on TripAdvisor for as low as $124 per night.

Top 10 Travelers' Choice Beaches in the World:

  1. Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
  2. Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
  3. Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy
  4. Playa Paraiso Beach, Cayo Largo, Cuba
  5. Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain
  6. Anse Lazio, Praslin Island, Seychelles
  7. White Beach, Boracay, Philippines
  8. Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico
  9. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia
  10. Elafonissi Beach, Elafonissi, Greece

For the complete list of winners from the 2015 Travelers' Choice Beaches, as well as reviews and candid traveler photos, go to: www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Beaches.

To see the best hotels for luxury, bargain, romance and more, as honored in the 2015 Travelers' Choice awards for Hotels announced in January, go to: www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Hotels.

1Notes to editors: Great value hotels have a minimum four out of five TripAdvisor bubble rating and currently have availability between February 18 and April 18, 2015. Hotel pricing is based on TripAdvisor data for January 1 through December 31, 2015, aggregated from booking partners, including online travel agencies and direct hotel suppliers.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 315 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 200 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.5 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 45 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (Nasdaq:TRIP) manages and operates websites under 24 other travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.com, www.eltenedor.com and www.iens.nl), www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.niumba.com, www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travelpod.com, www.tripbod.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com, www.viator.com, www.virtualtourist.com, and www.kuxun.cn.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, December 2014

**Source: Google Analytics, average monthly unique users, Q3 2014; does not include traffic to daodao.com

CONTACT: Julie Cassetina (617) 670-6529 jcassetina@tripadvisor.com

Source:TripAdvisor