America's Most Secluded Beaches
- America’s Most Secluded Beaches Slideshow
- Top Secret Vacation Spots
- Most Relaxing Beaches
This time of year, it seems like everyone is heading to the beach. And it's always the same beach. We all feel our summer vacation routines growing old and tired; like we've been there and surfed that. Don't worry -- the good ol' USA has plenty of alternatives to your tired warm-weather repertoire. There are some less-visited but still spectacular beaches that await travelers willing to work up a little sweat (hiking, climbing, even chartering a boat) before hitting the shore. Here are some of the most secluded beaches in America that are worth the journey to get there.
Wildcat Beach, CA
The occasional visitors at Wildcat Beach at the southern end of the Point Reyes National Seashore aren't swimmers. Normally, they're travelers on a hiking or biking trip. In fact, you might even decide not to wear a swimsuit as you trek through the wilderness to reach this beach -- those in the know suggest you opt for clothes that cover your arms and legs since poison oak is one of the only permanent "residents" of the area. We suggest cargo pants -- so that you can tuck a camera away safely as you scramble along some of the less-graded trails. For your trouble, you'll find a peaceful stretch of beautiful cocoa sand, not to mention one of California's only tide falls (a waterfall that empties out onto a beach). Those who want to stay overnight usually set up tents in the Wildcat Campgrounds, located in a meadow overlooking the shore.
How to Find It: The best and shortest way to Wildcat is to hike five miles, starting at the Point Reyes' Palomarin trailhead, then on to the Coast Trail. From there you'll run onto the Wildcat shore. The Alamere tide fall is approximately one mile farther south of the trailhead. Visit the reserve's Web site for more hiking and campground details.
Carova Beach, NC
You'll need a four-wheel drive vehicle to reach the 11 miles of oyster-hued sands of Carova. This town in northern Outer Banks doesn't have any paved roads, and those who try to make the journey in less secure transport have gotten stuck in the sand. There are also no grocery stores, no hotels, no restaurants and no gas stations. According to this beach's official Web site, area residents want their roads to remain sandy in the hopes of warding off commercial development and tourist hordes. Certain travelers don't seem to mind the limited exposure and activities, especially since it has kept OBX beaches like Carova clean and safe. And there are ways to stay overnight, like at one of the luxury rental homes that dot the sand. Companies like HomeAway.com and Twiddy.com provide listings for Carova's seafront mansions, some of which can sleep up to 20 people comfortably.