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8 Secluded Beaches You Can Escape To This Summer

It may seem impossible to find a quiet stretch of sand anywhere in the US, but these 8 less-visited shores promise pristine beaches, fewer crowds and guaranteed relaxation.

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Acadia National Park, Maine
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Isle au Haut, Acadia National Park, Maine

Let the Bush family keep their summertime compound in Kennebunkport. If you know what’s good, you’ll follow the falcons—just a ferry ride from Stonington and at nearly 6,000 acres, Isle au Haut is their secluded nesting ground. It’s just as sequestered for people, thanks to a limited number of daily visitors, but that can often leave you feeling entirely alone with its 18 miles of hiking trails, along marshes, bogs and rock-strewn shores, and five miles of bike paths.

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Bandon State Natural Area, Oregon

Bandon is known primarily as a golf mecca, thanks to the popular Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, which was inspired by the original courses of seaside Scotland. But Bandon State Natural Area itself is reason alone to head to this idyllic stretch of southern Oregon, where the brief hike to the sand keeps the crowds away, and you’ll likely find as many seals as there are craggy boulders jutting out of the surf.

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Waipio Valley Beach, Big Island, Hawaii

Verdant green cliffs, black sand and a waterfall tumbling down to the sea—if it weren’t so luxuriously warm and tropically-scented, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re in Iceland. But Waipio Valley is all Hawaiian, from its history (rumored to be the sacred place where Hawaiian royalty grew nutrient-dense taro root) to its untamed landscape.

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Hampton Beach State Park, New Hampshire

This windswept arm of land might be called “Hampton,” but it’s about as far from “The Hamptons” as you can get—with 50 acres of soft sand fronting the Atlantic on one side and the Hampton River. In nearby Portsmouth, Annabelle’s Natural Ice Cream is the perfect spot for an afternoon scoop of house-made flavors like Pumpkin Pie—“a taste of New England fall”—and Pirate’s Treasure, topped with rum-soaked raisins.

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Cattle Point, San Juan Island, Washington

Just a quick drive and ferry ride away from mainland Seattle and its bumper-to-bumper traffic, on the Southern shores of San Juan Island, you'll come across another world, where sea lions, deer, and seals frolic on 112 acres fronting the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Yes, there are stretches of beach, but conifer forests dense with Douglas firs and grassy bluffs are just as Insta-worthy. Don’t miss the 1935 lighthouse, standing watch over the hill where the Hudson’s Bay Company once ran cattle.

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Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

If snorkeling over pristine coral reefs and ancient, barnacled shipwrecks is your dream vacay, then consider a trip to Dry Tortugas National Park. The area is some 70 miles away from Key West by boat or seaplane, and is like stepping back in time: one of the main sites to see on the 7-island atoll is Fort Jefferson, made entirely of brick from 1846-1875 to help safeguard one of America’s shipping channels. Here’s the lowdown on how to get there—if you’re not piloting a pirate ship.

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Unnamed Nonantum Road Beach, Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket locals know how to avoid the gaggle of fair-weather friends who descend on their charming island (population: 10,856) each summer. One reported top-secret hideaway: the beach at the end of Nonantum Road, which sits near Surfside beach but is so remote it doesn’t even have a name. Finish an afternoon of sunbathing with a restorative ginger ice cream in town at The Juice Bar.

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Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia

If you’ve heard of Cumberland Island, it’s likely for its wild horses, who roam free over the marshy dunes. But because the barrier island is somewhat difficult to get to (only available by passenger ferry), you won’t find any of the crowds that go to nearby Fernandina Beach. The only item on your to-do list here: kayaking the isle’s surrounding waters with SouthEast Adventure Company.

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What to wear on secluded beaches

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