We might not boast the clear waters of the Caribbean or the famous beaches in the Mediterranean, but BC is known for its stunning, rugged coastline, which includes some truly breathtaking beaches. In fact, Vancouver Island’s San Josef Bay was recently named one of the best in North America.

Compiled by the World’s 50 Best Beaches, the list was voted on by over 1,000 travel professionals, judges, and beach ambassadors. It includes picturesque destinations in Hawaii, Mexico, Anguilla, Cuba, California, Florida, and BC – where the white-sand beach of San Josef Bay takes the 26th spot out of 50 incredible beaches.

Situated in the remote Cape Scott Park, San Josef Bay is recognized for its untouched beauty and peaceful surroundings. As the park is a hike-in, there are rarely more than a handful of visitors at time, making it the perfect destination for those looking to unwind in nature.

What’s more, it’s not the first time (or likely the last) that the beach was recognized as one of the greats.

“After a good 45-minute hike, you will reach this amazing coastal wilderness and one of the most incredible unspoiled beaches you will ever see,” reads the 2023 ranking. “Spend hours here exploring sea tracks and caves, take a refreshing swim, and feel the soft white sand under your feet.”

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san josef bay bc
Photo via Destination BC / BC Parks

Here are the top 30 (out of 50) beaches in North America for 2024:

  1. Trunk Bay – US Virgin Islands
  2. Meads Bay – Anguilla
  3. Lanikai Beach – Hawaii
  4. Balandra Beach – Mexico
  5. Grace Bay – Turks & Caicos
  6. Seven Mile Beach – Cayman Islands
  7. Grote Knip – Curacao
  8. Horshoe Bay – Bermuda
  9. Maundays Bay – Anguilla
  10. Grand Anse – Grenada
  11. Colombier Beach – St. Barth
  12. Xpu Ha Beach – Mexico
  13. Kapalua Beach – Hawaii
  14. Pipe Creek Sandbar – Bahamas
  15. Henderson Beach – Florida
  16. Varadero Beach – Cuba
  17. Eagle Beach – Aruba
  18. Mcway Falls – California
  19. Princess Diana Beach – Antigua & Bermuda
  20. Shoal Bay East – Anguilla
  21. Waimanlo Beach – Hawaii
  22. Klein Curacao – Curacao
  23. Hidden Beach – Mexico
  24. The Baths – British Virgin Islands
  25.  Tulum – Mexico
  26. San Josef Bay – Canada 
  27. Pig Beach – Bahamas
  28. Playa Pilar – Cuba
  29. Flamenco Beach – Puerto Rico
  30. Playa Canto de la Playa – Dominican Republic

Looking for another famed beach in BC to check out this upcoming season? Add Chesterman Beach to your map!

Happy exploring!

San Josef Bay 

Where: Cape Scott Park, BC