Sand in your toes, the sound of the sea, and a sense of tranquility are just a few things we love about the beach. Loud crowds cluttering our peaceful picture? Not so much. Just in time for your next beach day, here are 10 of the best secret, uncrowded beaches in America.
Sandbridge Beach, Virginia
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.
Cumberland Island, Georgia
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.
Carova Beach, North Carolina
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.
Enderts Beach, California
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.
Montaña de Oro State Park, California
Since you’re already in the Golden State, why not check out another of the state’s secret beaches, Montaña de Oro State Park? Here, sheltered coves and bluff vistas dot quiet coastal trails leading to seven miles (11 kilometers) of shore and surf.
Wildcat Beach, California
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.
Dry Tortugas, Florida
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.
St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, Florida
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.
Awahua Beach, Hawaii
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.
Kauapea Beach, Hawaii
It’s nicknamed “Secret Beach” for a reason. Hidden between Hawaii’s Kilauea Point and Kalihiwai Bay, Kauapea Beach is one secret you’ll want to discover. Brave a demanding 15-minute hike to be in on Kauapea’s black lava rocks, white sand, and tidal pools.