Sick of lying elbow-to elbow with oiled-up strangers at overcrowded, overrated beaches? Does your idea of relaxation definitely not include some guy with spiked hair and a boombox blasting Coldplay at max volume? You're not alone.
We tapped travel writers near and far to find some of the most beautiful, unpopulated, and remote beaches in America. Sure, some of them require a bit of a hike, but isn’t the idea of a near-zero percent chance of trying to tan next to screaming toddlers worth it?
1. Grayton Beach, Florida
Grayton Beach looks like French Polynesia mistakenly Photoshopped onto the deep South: white sugar sand lines fantasy-lagoon blue water, all half a mile from a toothless dude selling boiled peanuts out of his garage. The oysters in this region are amazing, the beaches are pristine, and renting a house here costs less than a sandwich in most other states.
2. Eagle River, Michigan
“The upper peninsula is already remote, but the Keweenaw peninsula, which is off of the upper peninsula, takes remoteness to another level. Sand and stone beaches dot the whole peninsula, but one of the best sand beaches in the area is found just in front of the Eagle River Inn,” travel writer Elizabeth Seward tells Maxim. “The views of Lake Superior are complemented by the extra-long northern twilight, plus the locals are relaxed, and the beaches are yours to enjoy without throngs of tourists by your side.”
3. Boca Chica Beach, Texas
Ok, this Gulf Coast spot on the U.S.-Mexico border is amazingly remote and beautiful, but only if you really like roughing it. There are zero services, so bring your own water; then get excited for dog-friendly beaches, surfing, and swimming in the pristine blue waters. Camping is one option, or you can easily stay inland in nearby Brownsville. Soon Boca Chica will be known as the ideal place to watch rockets take off: SpaceX is building a launch pad next door.
5. Abbotts Lagoon, Point Reyes National Seashore, California
Head down a 1.5 mile trail to a remote, hidden beach more frequently populated by California quail than other humans. Due to the hike, the beach itself tends to be fairly empty, which explains why this spot is among California’s cleanest beaches. Go steep yourself in some nature, or use this spot to host a spectacularly off-the-beaten-path party.
6. Secret Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
Anne Lowrey of Part Time Traveler recommends the 3,000 foot long Kauapea Beach, commonly referred to as “Secret Beach,” on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. “The best part? Literally having the whole place to yourself,” Anne tells us. “It’s a gorgeous stretch of sand, fairly easy to access, and the views of the Kilauea Lighthouse are stunning.”
7. Little St. Simon’s Island, Georgia
This serene, privately owned barrier island offers seven miles of undeveloped beaches. The whole place is only accessible by boat, and it’s great for fishing and, kayaking, and shrimping—even if you don’t go catch any yourself, make sure you order the peel and eat shrimp at one of the local restaurants. You can stay on the island’s sole inn, or just take a day trip to visit from the mainland.
8. Ballston Beach, Truro, Massachusetts
“I've spent my fair share of time seeking out remote beaches everywhere from Hong Kong to Bodrum, Turkey, but my favorite beaches are the ones I grew up with during summers on Cape Cod,” traveler and journalist Jennifer Mattson says. “I skip the crowds and head to the remote Truro--specifically to the Truro Hostel, which has hidden access to the raw, wild dunes which made Cape Cod famous.” The untamed Ballston Beach is very quiet, offers huge dunes, and a clear, clean expanse of sand.
9. North Beach, South Haven, Michigan
“South Haven is a sleepy little coastal town on Lake Michigan, and it remains one of my favorite escapes in the summer,” Thought Catalog’s Koty Neelis explains. “Its sandy beaches, gentle waves, and scenic harbor boardwalk are so serene. The best spot in town is on North Beach, where you can watch the sunset over the lake from the pier.”