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9 of the world's best city beaches

By Duncan Forgan, for CNN
updated 3:27 PM EDT, Mon August 4, 2014
Brazil's Ipanema Beach is beautiful, but the currents can be wild. Just like the nightlife. Brazil's Ipanema Beach is beautiful, but the currents can be wild. Just like the nightlife.
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Ipanema Beach (Rio De Janeiro)
Clifton Beaches (Cape Town)
Bondi Beach (Sydney)
Waikiki Beach (Honolulu)
Brighton Beach (UK)
Barceloneta Beach (Barcelona)
Jumeirah Beach (Dubai)
Miami Beach (Miami)
Kitsilano Beach (Vancouver, B.C.)
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Crystal waters, awesome local food and great views set these city beaches apart from others
  • The turquoise waters of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu are good for snorkeling
  • Ipanema Beach offers great restaurants and a party vibe

(CNN) -- Stressed colleagues, traffic jams, pollution.

We're all familiar with the undesirable qualities of city life.

So thank the gods of urban planning for the occasional sandy edge.

There are some cities where worker drones can strip off the suit and tie, jump into shorts or a bikini and enjoy a day with their toes in the sand without having to leave the urban perimeter.

By talking with our well-traveled friends and colleagues, collating data from tourism authorities and using our own experiences, we've put together a list of what we think make up 9 of the best city beaches in the world.

No doubt you've got your own.

We'd love to hear about them in the comments.

MORE: World's 100 best beaches

1. Ipanema Beach (Rio De Janeiro)

Ipanema was famed long before Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim composed their 1962 ode to one of the "tall and tanned and young and lovely" females that still throng the beach.

"The Girl From Ipanema," however, perfectly encapsulates the eternal allure of the 1,600-meter-long, 90-meter deep stretch of white sand.

Majestic granite peaks create a spectacular backdrop while the Cagarras Islands in the distance offer a counterpoint to the brillian