Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A heartbreakingly gorgeous 17-year-old's daily walk to the sea inspired the '60s bossa nova song The Girl from Ipanema. And five decades later, tall and tan Brazilians still make this one of the world's sexiest beaches. Known for white sand and barely-there bikinis, Ipanema Beach attracts fashionable locals from all walks of life. Near one lifeguard post you'll find families; near other posts are the gay and lesbian crowd, the celebrities, or the athletes playing beach sports.
What to Do: Strip down to your thong and join a game of beach volleyball, soccer, or footvolley, a combination of the two. In the beach bars you can try a caipirinha (Brazil's national drink, with cachaca, limes, and sugar) and sway to infectious bossa nova rhythms. Save time to browse boutiques and high-end jewelry shops along Rua Visconde de Piraja.