With the rest of the state heading to Virginia Beach, you’ll find solace 15 miles (24 kilometers) south, in Sandbridge. The five-mile (eight-kilometer) coastline consists solely of sand and sea—and, the best part yet, no resort ruckus. Immerse yourself even further in nature by exploring nearby False Cape State Park and Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Georgia’s Cumberland Island is only accessible via ferry, making for an uncrowded beach environment. Climb aboard to be transported to this Eastern Seaboard utopia where you’ll share the shore with wild horses and deer in between shading yourself under live oaks.
Finding a way to access this Outer Banks beach (it is only reachable by boat or with a four-wheel drive) is well worth the idyllic environment awaiting you. At Carova Beach in North Carolina, 11 miles (18 kilometers) of unspoiled shoreline provides an ideal backdrop for seashell hunting and wild mustangs galloping.
Think there are no secrets left in beach central California? Think again at Enderts Beach. Tucked inside California’s Redwood National Park, Enderts is as secluded as it gets. On this 37-mile (60-kilometer) coastline stretch, 350-foot (107-meter) evergreen trees, rustic driftwood, and dramatic surroundings put a Northwest spin on the classic California beach atmosphere.
You’ll have to work for this last stop on your cruise through California. Wildcat Beach is known for its hiking and biking trails, like the five-mile (eight-kilometer) trek required to access the beach’s waters. Cocoa sand stretches, striking cliff views, and peaceful paths make the journey one worth experiencing—and finishing.
Comprising seven islands only accessible by boat or plane, Dry Tortugas is an excellent option for a private getaway in Florida. Travel 70 miles (113 kilometers) from the shore (and crowds) of Key West, and be rewarded with superior bird-watching, snorkeling, and quiet beaches.
Nearly 10 miles (16 kilometers) of snow-white sugar sand and aqua waters await you at Florida’s St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. Consistently rated as one of our country’s best beaches, St. Joseph also happens to be one of its emptiest, meaning you’ll enjoy unspoiled preserves, fishing, and swimming virtually to yourself.
When considering the best American beaches, one can’t forget about Awahua in Hawaii—although, luckily for you, tourists seem to have done just that. A one-time colony for lepers, the isolated island still isn’t as developed or popular as other Hawaiian locales. In fact, surrounded by sea cliffs, Awahua’s black sand and beautiful views may as well be a secret—your secret.