Wishing you could social distance somewhere with plenty of sunshine, white sands and ocean waves to relax you while you try to forget about the worries of the world? Well, same. And depending on where you live, that might not be too far out of reach! While many areas have had to close more popular beaches due to overcrowding, these secret beaches don’t have that problem. Whether they’re uncrowded because they’re off-the-beaten-path, overshadowed by more popular beaches nearby, or just somehow undiscovered, these secret beaches are perfect for a quiet day—or week—of social distancing and relaxation.
Kauapea Beach, Kauai
Kauapea Beach, also known as Secret Beach, is still one of the island’s best-kept secrets. This secluded beach on the North Shore is lined with sea cliffs and stretches for miles of soft sand, but you’ll find hardly any tourists or crowds there. The hardest part is… well, finding it. There’s no signs, nor parking lots. The 10-minute hike which starts along Kalihiwai Road is just a steep dirt path that can be slippery, but having a quiet paradise (mostly) to yourself will be well worth it.
Wildcat Beach, CA
If you want remote, Wildcat Beach (located within Point Reyes National Seashore) definitely delivers: the only way to access it is by mountain bike or a 5-mile hike. However, once you’re there, it’s sure to be uncrowded, and miles of beaches and waves await you. There’s even a waterfall that spills down to the beach! Head out early to make the most of your day, or bring a tent and stay on the beach’s campground to make the trek really worth it.
Long Bay Beach Park, Jamaica
Long Bay Beach Park is a true hidden gem in Jamaica! This secluded beach is mostly used by locals. While it may be a bit busy on weekends and holidays, weekdays are slow and quiet at Long Bay. The water’s crystal-clear, the beach is lined with shady trees and white sand, and the surf is calm and shallow. What more could you ask for? It’s the perfect place to relax without having to fight swarms of people for a spot on the sand.
Carova Beach, NC
Carova Beach, located way up in the northeast corner of North Carolina, is tough to get to—but that only makes it even better for social distancing! The town (and adjacent beaches) are accessible by boat or 4-wheel drive are best known as the home of the Outer Banks wild horses. Yep, that’s right—enjoy a relaxing day walking or sunbathing along the sand dunes while watching wild mustangs also enjoying the beach.
Playa Sucia, Puerto Rico
This crescent-shaped beach is popular among locals, but because it’s located further from the main towns of the island and doesn’t have any hotels or oceanfront businesses, it stays a lot quieter than other beaches. Don’t think that means it doesn’t have much to offer though! While you’re there, you can explore hidden caves and coves, go hiking and of course, swim in the stunning blue waters and work on a tan. All while avoiding the crowds on more popular beaches in Puerto Rico, so it’s a win-win!
Cumberland Island National Seashore, GA
Cumberland Island is a great escape from the southern states, especially in the summer! The island is accessible only by ferry or private boat, so the number of visitors is limited (and even more so during Covid), which means it’s a good place to get away and see something new while still social distancing. The miles of white-sand beaches and sand dunes are perfect for exploring or sunbathing. Plus, you can sit back and watch the wild horses which roam free on the beaches and elsewhere on the island. Need a break from the beach? There’s plenty of trails for hiking and biking, plus campsites if you want to stay for several days.
Salt Cay, Turks & Caicos
If you want to get off the beaten path for a true island experience, Salt Cay is a great destination. With no paved roads, your transport options are limited to golf carts, bicycles and walking. Since this tiny island covers just 2.6 square miles, those are great ways to get around and explore! Plus, with a population of only 108 people, Salt Cay is the perfect place for social distancing. Small houses and beachside villas are available to rent, and then you can spend your days snorkeling, kayaking and sunbathing.
The sleepy island of Nevis is often overshadowed by the more popular nearby island of St. Kitts. While St. Kitts is definitely beautiful and may have more to do, Nevis is the perfect place for a relaxing vacation away from everyone else. Although the island itself is typically uncrowded—meaning any beach is a good go-to—Lover’s Beach is particularly secluded.
Malgretoute Beach, St. Lucia
St. Lucia may be a popular Caribbean island destination, but there’s several beaches that still manage to stay somewhat secluded from the crowds. If you want a quiet beach under the shadow of St. Lucia’s iconic Pitons (two mountainous volcanic plugs), Malgretoute Beach is perfect for you. Snap some pics for Insta and enjoy hanging out in some of the clearest water on the island!
South Manitou Island, Michigan
South Manitou Island is located in Lake Michigan, but it can feel like a world away from the shore. The uninhabited island is accessible only by ferry or private boat. Once you’re there, you’ll find sand dunes to explore, old cedar forests, 10 miles of beaches and even campsites if you want to make a weekend trip out of it! Note that the ferry service has been suspended for the time being due to Covid. For now, you’ll need to arrange private transportation if you’re heading out to the island.
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