Best Beaches in America for Avoiding Crowds Gallery
Best Beaches in America for Avoiding Crowds
When many people think of the word “vacation,” the first image that comes to mind is one of the beach. For many, laying on the beach is the ultimate method of relaxation; stretching out with a good book or a great beer on a towel or chair as you breathe in the salty sea air and feel the nice breeze. At the beach, you can have a romantic getaway, a laid-back day off, or even get in on some fantastic watersports. The best beaches in the world are considered by many the the perfect place for any of these activities — but with their popularity come the crowds.
The serene feeling many people seek out at the beach can be seriously disrupted by a beach ball flying past their head or the difficulty of finding a good spot on the crowded sand. It’s better to find a secluded spot away from the huge swarms of tourists, where the beautiful sand isn’t littered with plastic buckets or even trash and you can actually hear the sound of the waves crashing on shore. For a day of basking in the sun and enjoying the ocean waves without the inconvenience of, well, other people, these fantastic American beaches are the best for avoiding crowds.
Bahia Honda State Park (Big Pine Key, Fla.)
Bahia Honda State Park is a state park with not one but two beaches: Calusa Beach and Sandspur Beach. Located on its own remote island in the Florida Keys, it’s a great destination for snorkeling, with snorkeling gear and kayaks available for rent, as are boat trips to the reef. If you’re not up for that, you can also have a picnic on the beach and enjoy the truly stunning sunsets over the ocean.
Bob Straub State Park (Tillamook County, Ore.)
State parks often have fantastic beaches that are largely unspoiled and have managed to escape commercialism. On the coast of northern Oregon, the beach at Bob Straub State Park has a beautifully serene landscape, and the park itself also offers opportunities to go wildlife watching, horseback riding, hiking, and fishing.
Mohegan Bluffs Beachfront (Block Island, R.I.)
Located about 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island (and listed by the Nature Conservancy as one of the “Last Great Places”), Block Island is becoming more popular with tourists every year thanks to its 17 miles of shoreline and picturesque scenery. One of the most picturesque spots on the island are the Mohegan Bluffs, large clay cliffs that are about 150 feet high and take up almost four miles of coast line, giving visitors breathtaking views of the ocean. It is below these bluffs that you’ll find a nice, secluded beach after descending a staircase of over 200 steps. The beach is a favorite of surfers, and it’s a wonderful spot for walking, swimming, and sunbathing.
Cumberland Island (Camden County, Ga.)
The most scenic spot in all of Georgia, Cumberland Island has 17 miles of white sand beach for you to explore. The wild horses here make the shore even more picturesque, and the island is also home to alligators, armadillos, raccoons, squirrels, white-tailed deer, and wild boars.
Dry Tortugas National Park (Monroe County, Fla.)
One of the best things to do in Florida that isn’t Disney or the beach, a visit to Dry Tortugas National Park will introduce you to seven beautiful islands with beautiful marine life and birds. However, if you do want to enjoy a Florida beach, visit the park’s crown jewel: Fort Jefferson, located on the island of Garden Key. The fort is surrounded by four small beaches: North Swim Beach, Seaplane Beach, Dinghy Beach, and South Swim Beach, where you can snorkel, swim, sunbathe, and stroll.
El Matador State Beach (Malibu, Calif.)
One of three beaches that make up Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach, a park in northern Malibu, El Matador State Beach is everything you could want from a Southern California beach without the crowds. Characterized by gorgeous seaside cliffs and amazing sunsets, you’ll find a trail that goes down the bluff and then turns into stairs that end on the beach. The parking lot on top of the bluffs also has picnic tables overlooking the ocean. You’ll find caves and arched rocks on the beach as well, which are easiest to explore when the tide is low.
Goose Rocks Beach (Kennebunkport, Maine)
Goose Rocks Beach offers a beautiful and wide three-mile stretch of coastline in Kennebunkport, a fantastic weekend getaway spot. You won’t find any bathrooms or even lifeguards here, which is why there aren’t many tourists in this part of town. The waves here aren’t suitable for surfing, but it’s a great spot for sunbathing — just ask the harbor seals who come here to do so.
Hulopoe Bay (Lanai, Hawaii)
Hulopoe Bay in Lanai is a gorgeous Hawaiian spot that has managed to avoid being overrun by tourists (so far). Its pristine white sand beach looks amazing against the clear blue waters, and spinner dolphins have also been seen visiting swimmers at shore.
Indian Beach (Ecola State Park, Ore.)
While Cannon Beach is quite the popular locale on the northern coast of Oregon, you’ll find an even more enchanting spot just a bit further north. Located within Ecola State Park, Indian Beach is only open during the day. The beach is quite secluded, and it’s a 7-mile walk round-trip from the parking lot. Locals know that it’s more than worth the trek, however, as the beach is a popular kayaking and surfing spot.
Kauapea Beach (Kalihiwai, Hawaii)
Locally known as Secret Beach, Kauapea Beach is yet another beautiful place in Hawaii that hasn’t fallen victim to commercialization. Located on the northern shore of the island of Kaua’i, Kauapea Beach is quite large: 3,000 feet long and 75 feet wide. Red and black cliffs covered in greenery serve as a backdrop for amazingly clear blue waters. If that isn’t beautiful enough, you’ll also find multiple cascading waterfalls in this gorgeous and secluded spot.
Marine Street Beach (San Diego, Calif.)
Located in the San Diego community of La Jolla, Marine Street Beach is a public beach south of La Jolla Cove in San Diego, although locals have been known to make outsiders think otherwise. Its center wall was graffitied with the words “Locals Only” some years ago, and although the city has tried to get rid of it, locals have been known to rewrite the words over their efforts. Even without the sign, it’s not a place amenable to tourists, as there are no public bathrooms, picnic areas, or even a designated parking lot. The rough surf, perfect for bodyboarders and surfers, also serves to deter families with children and help keep this spot less crowded.
Mid Beach (Tybee Island, Ga.)
Georgia Shutterstock / Jon Bilous
Located just off the coast of Georgia, near the city of Savannah, Tybee Island is a barrier island that has five public beaches. The beach favored by locals, and perfect for those looking for fewer crowds, is Mid Beach. You’ll find multiple vacation rentals and hotels here, which is why the beach itself doesn’t have many amenities, as well as just one restaurant, Marlin Monroe’s.
Miners Beach (Alger County, Mich.)
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is the most scenic spot in Michigan, known for its 42 miles of coastline, secluded beaches, and the colorful 200-foot cliffs carved into beautiful structures. Just up the shore from Miners Castle, one of the park’s most famous landmarks, Miners Beach is a nearly mile-long stretch of coastline perfect for a picnic or a nice beach stroll. Just be careful of the water; even strong swimmers may not be able to fight the powerful rip currents.
North Beach (Seabrook Island, S.C.)
Neighboring the more popular Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island is a quiet South Carolina getaway that doesn’t have any shopping or restaurants on the island itself, but does have three miles of beautiful and fun beaches. The best of these is North Beach, the widest beach in South Carolina and a great place for surf fishing, beach biking, and even meeting dolphins. The exclusivity of this spot is real; Southbrook Island is a gated community and visitors must make an appointment by phone call to visit.
Playalinda Beach (Titusville, Fla.)
Playalinda Beach (playa linda being Spanish for “beautiful beach”) has stayed protected thanks to its location within Canaveral National Seashore, situated on the central east coast of Florida. You may find a few scattered restrooms, but there are no restaurants, picnic areas, or other tourist-friendly amenities here, resulting in fewer crowds. As a result, the beach — which is open to the public year-round from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. — has become a clothing-optional spot.
Sandbridge Beach (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Located in the southern part of Virginia Beach, the biggest city in the state, Sandbridge Beach is a respite away from the resorts and main tourist spots of the area. These 4.5 miles of beach have often been called “The Outer Banks of Virginia,” and while you won’t find any hotels here, you can rent a house or a condo for a stay.
Singing Beach (Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.)
Manchester-by-the-Sea is a quaint small town located on Cape Ann in northeastern Massachusetts and known for its amazing scenery. Possibly the most well-known spot is Singing Beach, named for its singing sand, a kind of silica sand that makes a squeaking sound when you walk on it. Singing Beach also has shallower waters, making this a great spot for families and amateur swimmers. Go kayaking in the waters or try some rock climbing at Eagle Head, a rock formation at the north end of the beach.
Sunset Beach (Oahu, Hawaii)
Oahu’s Sunset Beach is a two-mile stretch of soft sand and clear blue waters where the sunsets are picture-perfect and your fellow beachgoers are not too many. It’s a known spot among surfers for big wave surfing in the winter, with many surfing competitions being held here during that time. As the water goes flat in the summer, the beach becomes emptier during the warmer months, making it a great place to enjoy some peace and quiet under the Hawaiian sun.
Thousand Steps Beach (Laguna Beach, California)
Laguna Beach is a popular Southern California beach destination, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a more secluded spot to enjoy the waves and breezy, Mediterranean-like weather. There are actually only about 230 steps leading down to the sands of Thousand Steps Beach, and once you’re down there you have access to a truly amazing view with little to no interference from other beachgoers. For an even more secret spot, walk to the north end of the beach, where you’ll find an archway to what’s known as Secret Cove, a beach so tiny that the high tide covers its sand completely. If you still like to sometimes cater to your more outgoing side, you should also consider making a trip to some of the best beach towns for partying.
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