By Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
July 10, 2019

In the two years since the destruction of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, our readers have consistently supported the islands hit the hardest — including the sailors’ Edens of St. John, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke, along with St. Bart’s and Vieques, which continue to reopen their most popular resorts. But as this year’s choices also reflect, there’s always room for new discoveries.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated islands according to their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the East Coast’s answer to Hawaii: a volcanic island with spectacular diving, jungle hiking with the requisite waterfalls, and, of course, white-sand beaches and crystalline waters. JetBlue has direct flights from New York, making it all the easier to explore the 133-square-mile island that one reader calls “a great getaway.”

Returning to this list after a year’s reprieve is the Bahamas’ Harbour Island. This tiny outpost — only 3½ miles long and half a mile wide — is praised for its stretches of pink-sand beaches, diveable reefs, and charming Dunmore Town, where Georgian buildings are painted in cheerful pastels. Visitors in the know stay at the Ocean View Club, a family-owned boutique hotel that has 12 sea-facing units just steps from the Pink Sand Beach and one of the best restaurants on the island. One reader wrote, “Lovely island, with the most beautiful beach in the world.”

The island taking the top spot does so for the third year in a row, and also appears on the World’s Best Islands list.

15. Exumas, Bahamas

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Score: 83.22

14. Culebra, Puerto Rico

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Score: 83.44

13. Bermuda

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Score: 83.54

  • Book This Deal
  • Mandarin Oriental Canouan,, rates from $1,300/night
  • Includes $200 resort credit, daily breakfast, welcome champagne and fruit

12. Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

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Score: 83.73

11. Turks and Caicos

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Score: 83.99

  • Book This Deal
  • The Shore Club Turks & Caicos,, rates from $826/night
  • Includes daily breakfast, $100 resort credit

10. St. Bart’s

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Score: 84.24

9. Grenada

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Score: 84.65

  • Book This Deal
  • Spice Island Beach Resort,, inquire for rates
  • Includes 50 minute massage, complimentary round of golf

8. Harbour Island, Bahamas

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Score: 84.70

7. Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

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WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 84.84

6. St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

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WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 85.47

5. St. Lucia

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Score: 85.94

  • Book This Deal
  • The Landings St. Lucia,, inquire for rates
  • Includes $50 spa credit, welcome fruit plate or wine bottle

4. Abaco Islands, Bahamas

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Score: 86.15

3. Vieques, Puerto Rico

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Score: 87.52

2. St. Vincent and the Grenadines

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Score: 87.67

1. Anguilla

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Score: 90.28

The most complicated decision you’ll need to make when visiting this exquisite island — which wins the top spot for the thir​d​ year in a row, plus a place on our World’s Best Islands list — is which of the 33 beaches you’ll use as a home base. Each seems more beautiful than the last, with lodgings to match: Zemi Beach House Resort & Spa, the Four Seasons Resort Anguilla, and Frangipani Beach Resort remain on the World’s Best Hotels list, and the venerable Malliouhana and Belmond Cap Juluca have reopened to great fanfare this year. With spectacular restaurants (don’t miss Blanchards and Straw Hat), welcoming islanders, and a relaxed vibe, Anguilla provides the perfect island setting for travelers looking for an escape.

  • Book This Deal
  • Belmond Cap Juluca,, inquire for rates
  • Includes daily breakfast, $100 food & beverage credit.

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2019.