Courtesy of Men’s Journal and WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Men’s Journal published The World’s 15 Best Beach Towns in its most recent issue.

After visiting five continents and 13 countries, the editorial staff of Men’s Journal listed its favorites for the world’s 15 best beach towns:

1. Port Antonio, Jamaica
2. Leblon, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
3. Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico
4. Astopor, Morocco
5. Paia, Maui, Hawaii
6. Isla Holbox, Mexico
7. Cabo Polonio, Uruguay
8. San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
9. Collioure, France
10. Ericeira, Portugal
11. Bocas del Toro, Panama
12. Raglan, New Zealand
13. Kotor, Montenegro
14. Teahupo’o, Tahiti
15. Wellfleet, Massachusetts, USA

Not surprisingly, the beach towns selected by Men’s Journal include warm, tropical beaches often frequented by surfers, backpackers, hipsters and families where surfing, sunbathing, strolling along white sand, skin diving, scuba diving, paddling, eating, drinking and kayaking are the norm.

The list includes absolutely fabulous locations where most open water swimmers would undoubtedly love to swim. However, what about those towns where the water is inviting and the local communities are wholeheartedly welcoming to hard-core open water swimmers?

What about those offshore waters that are not only cooler, but also darker-colored and rougher? Open water swimmers love a challenge…like swimming along the rocky, jagged coastlines of the British Isles or up and down the pounding surf of California or among the larger marine inhabitants of the South African coastlines.

If you are not on a honeymoon or someone more hardened and aquatically-oriented, where are the Copper Coast of Ireland and La Jolla Cove of California and Okinawa, Japan or any of the innumerable beach towns of the Mediterranean, Brazil, the Caribbean, South Pacific or the outlying islands of Europe on this list?

Below are the choices of the World Open Water Swimming Association for the World’s Best Open Water Swimming Towns of 2017:

1. Dover, England
2. Sandycove, County Cork, Ireland
3. Serpentine, London, England
4. Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
5. Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
6. Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
7. Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico
8. Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands [shown above]
9. Cape Town, South Africa
10. Aquatic Park, San Francisco, California, USA
11. Las Vías Bravas, Costa Brava, Spain
12. Coney Island, New York, USA
13. Murmansk, Arctic Circle, Russia
14. Burghausen, Bavaria, Germany
15. Lake Bled, Slovenia

The World’s Best Open Water Swimming Towns of 2014, 2015, and 2016 are posted here.

Upper photo shows the Flower Sea Swim on Seven Mile Beach. Lower photo shows Italian channel swimmer Massimiliano Simone.

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