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When it comes to relaxation, nothing beats digging your toes into the sand, reclining under the warm sun, and watching the tide gently roll in and out as it creates the most soothing, natural sounds known to humankind.
Of course, things can go awry quite quickly.
Kids start running around and screaming, sand is kicked everywhere, a beach ball hits you in the face, towels encroach on other towels, umbrellas becoming flying lethal weapons in the breeze, and some idiot feeding the seagulls causes a frenzy that looks like a scene out of The Birds II: Beach Boogaloo. (Editor’s Note: The Birds II was actually released in 1994, but we choose not to acknowledge it.)
And so you vow that next time things will be different. You’ll instead pick a beach that is hidden, undiscovered, out of the way, or generally less popular than the usual suspects. Allow this list to be your guide to not just a beach, but also peace and quiet, or at least peace of mind. Sure, not all of these landscapes are postcard perfect — but if they were, they’d be probably filled with selfie-snapping tourists and more kids than a Saturday at Chuck-E-Cheese. Nevertheless, they are still beautiful, still relaxing, and still the best beaches in America to avoid crowds.