Not pictured: Other people.

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.

9 Best Beaches in America for Avoiding Crowds

If summer makes you yearn for the beach, keep in mind that you’re not alone; to BE alone, visit one of these 9 beaches

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.

Bob Straub State Park, Ore.

Why more people don’t go to state parks for their beach outings is beyond me. They’re generally the most beautiful parts of the country, the most unspoiled, the least commercial, and the least likely to contain crowds. Take Bob Straub State Park in Oregon, for instance. In addition to serene landscapes, the park also offers opportunities for wildlife watching, hiking, fishing, and horseback riding — and after a long day of soaking up rays, you can quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger with a trip to the nearby Pelican Pub & Brewery.

Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunkport, Maine

Down-Easters and tourists alike always have the same question after stopping at Goose Rocks Beach: Where is everybody? This isn’t a critique at all, but instead an honest question about a beautiful and wide three-mile stretch of beach in an easily-accessible part of southern Maine. Perhaps it has something to do with the lack of lifeguards, restrooms, and surf-able waves? We’re uncertain, but we probably shouldn’t be looking a gift horse in the mouth anyway, and should be thankful there are very few drawbacks. Yes, the height of peak season can make parking a bit tricky, but that’s mostly due to the limited size of the lot, and not a reflection on the amount of sandy space available to each visitor.

Marine Street Beach, San Diego

Marine Street Beach, located south of La Jolla Cove in San Diego, is a great place to avoid crowds for a few reasons. First, the beach has a long history of being for locals only. This isn’t actually true, as it’s just an ordinary public beach, but some residents can get a bit possessive. There’s a center wall that reads “Locals Only” year round, which the city constantly attempts to cover up, with little success. Additionally, there are no public bathrooms and the surf here is notoriously rough. (Seriously, be careful.) This means kids are families are less likely to frequent the beach, allowing much more space for other guests. If you’re looking for a nice swim spot or somewhere to act like an obnoxious tourist, keep moving; if you can be kind and courteous while grabbing some sun and only requiring a quick dip (be cautious nevertheless), San Diego’s Marine Street Beach is the perfect place.

Mid Beach, Tybee Island, Ga.

Located outside Savannah, Tybee Island makes for a nice beach getaway in an idyllic little town. Stay locally and you can rent a bicycle (try Fat Tire Bikes), which is all the transportation you’ll need during your visit. After all, you only need to get to the beach, the shops, and some of the island’s fantastic restaurants (like The Crab Shack, which we previously ranked as one of the best seafood shacks in America). When hitting the sand, avoid the popular pier if you want even more space (instead, opt for Mid Beach), and consider traveling in mid-to-late August when the Southern kids are already back in school.



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