Uninterrupted ocean views, stunning scenery, minimal crowds, and good old peace and quiet.
If that sounds like your idea of vacation heaven, then keep reading. We’ve found places across America that offer all this and more.
And not just cities or towns, but specific beaches that are known for total relaxation—and minimal crowds.
Some of our picks have a low-key village feel, others are so remote you’ll probably be able to add human-spotting to your list of activities.
1. Monterey, California
Monterey County is about to jump to the top of your list of picturesque regions to visit in the USA.
This temperate central California beauty – made up of 12 cities including the cities of Monterey, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Pebble Beach and Big Sur – is full of lush, dramatic scenery.
Picture seaside cliffs and pristine beaches, where you might spot whales, sea otters and migrating birds.
From famous writers’ haunts to Spanish Missions, the history here is just as fascinating as the geography.
Aside from the epic scenery, you’ll savor unforgettable flavors from the area’s award-winning food and wine scene.
Plus, there are limitless opportunities for recreation, including world-class golf, shopping, kayaking, hiking and much more.
2. Molokai, Hawaii
Of the eight major Hawaiian islands, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai hog most of the attention. Molokai, also known as the “Friendly Island,” offers a taste of Hawaii unlike any other island, both in historic value and natural beauty.
There are precisely zero traffic lights on Molokai and the central town of Kaunakakai had a population of 3,425 as of 2010. The sleepy island’s tiny population and languid lifestyle are a major part of its charm.
3. Eastham, Massachusetts
Coast Guard Beach is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore in Eastham, Massachusetts. From mid-June to Labor Day, the parking area at this location is closed to all but park staff and visitors who are disabled.
Eastham, town (township), Barnstable county, southeastern Massachusetts, U.S. It extends across the northern arm of Cape Cod and includes the village of North Eastham.
In December 1620 a shore party of Mayflower Pilgrims landed at the Cape Cod Bay site near the entrance to Wellfleet Harbor and had their first encounter with Native Americans, the Nausets.
4. Wellfleet, Massachusetts
Wellfleet has a wonderful variety of beaches on both the Atlantic Ocean and Wellfleet Harbor.
The oceanside boasts iconic Ocean View Drive, towering dunes, cool surf and six miles of golden sand from Lecount Hollow at Maguire’s Landing, White Crest Beach and Cahoon Hollow Beach, all the way north to Newcomb Hollow Beach.
These beaches are equipped with restrooms and lifeguards. A fifth ocean beach, Marconi Beach, is equally as beautiful and owned and maintained by the Cape Cod National Seashore.
Wellfleet is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States, and is located halfway between the “tip” and “elbow” of Cape Cod.
5. Sanibel Island, Florida
Due to easy causeway access, Sanibel is a popular tourist destination known for its shell beaches and wildlife refuges.
More than half of the island is made up of wildlife refuges, the largest being J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.Guest of the inns of Sanibel can make use of the heated pools available at every Inn. Unwind underneath the Inn’s umbrellas on a poolside or gulf-side lounge chair.
When at Sanibel Inn, make use of the firepits or nearby Island Time Bar for cocktails and light fare. Those at Sunset Beach Inn benefit from the use of one of the largest swimming pools on the island.
6. Carmel-By-The-Sea, California
Walk a few blocks to Carmel’s steep, sandy beach and the view is pure California: a rugged Pacific coastline spangled with rocky outcroppings, ghostly cypress trees and the electric green slopes of the famed Pebble Beach golf course.
7. Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Kiawah is a sea island, or barrier island, on the Atlantic coast of the United States. Located 25 miles southwest of Charleston in Charleston County, South Carolina, it is primarily a private beach and golf resort.
Kiawah is a quick island getaway that offers pristine natural beauty — with wide golden beaches, maritime forests, and picturesque marshland — and a laid-back, Low country vibe.