There’s no better way to spend a hot summer day than by hitting the beach. But where should you go?
A new report has surveyed 3,000 people in the United States to uncover their favorite top-secret beaches. These beautiful and secluded beaches cover a wide number of states and offer a unique range of different experiences.
America boasts some of the world’s best beaches, and you won’t even need a passport to visit! But you can avoid the crowds by visiting some of its lesser-known destinations.
From soft, white sand beaches to fascinating nature reserves, here are six of the best top-secret beaches in the U.S:
1. Awahua Beach, Hawaii
This is a remote and difficult-to-access location, but the people surveyed agree that it’s worth making the effort to get to Awahua Beach.
You can either hike or take a mule ride to the seashore here and because Awahua is so hard to reach, you’ll have much of the beach to yourself. When you get here, you’ll find detrital sand which appears black, crystal clear waters, and incredible views.
Behind the beach is an abundance of lush vegetation, only lending further to its other-worldly feel.
The Kalaupapa peninsula where Awahua Beach is located is backed by the world’s tallest sea cliffs, ensuring that this beach experience will always feel private and remote.
2. Shell Key Preserve, Florida
Stretching over a whopping 195 acres, Shell Key is one of the largest undeveloped barrier islands in the Clearwater area.
As the name suggests, one of the best activities to enjoy at Shell Key Preserve is shelling. For the best shells, walk a little further and explore the quieter end of the beach.
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Because Shell Key Preserve is an important conservation area, there is no development here. This means you can enjoy incredible, unspoiled beach views that seem to stretch on forever.
It’s worth noting that no development also means no facilities. Unlike many of Florida’s other beaches, Shell Key Preserve doesn’t have any bathroom facilities, freshwater sources, or rental outlets.
3. Lanikai Beach, Hawaii
Lanikai is a quintessentially beautiful beach that spans around half a mile. Powder-soft white sand and crystal clear waters are everything a picture-perfect beach should be.
Situated in the town of Kailua, on the windward coast of Oahu, this beach is regularly listed as one of Hawaii’s most picturesque and famous beaches.
Despite its fame, Lanikai is rarely crowded, thanks to its location in a small and sleepy time.
Boasting warm and calm waters, Lanikai Beach is an ideal place to try snorkeling for the first time. But the main attraction of this beach is its beauty and its spectacular 360-degree views.
4. Kauapea Beach, Hawaii
Although it is officially known as Kauapea Beach, this stunning 3,000-foot expanse is better known as Secret Beach.
The beach received this name thanks to the incredible amount of privacy that it offers. Because it is unmarked, some travelers struggle to find it at all.
Much like Awahua Beach, this hidden beach can only be accessed by taking a steep hike, but the trek is worth the effort.
It’s safe to swim here during the summer months, but the main attraction of Kaupea Beach is its spectacular views, which are considered amongst the best in Hawaii.
5. Sedge Island, New Jersey
Sedge Island is located in the heart of New Jersey’s only marine conservation zone. It is a beautiful location and a wonderful place to explore the local wildlife. The largest colony of Osprey in New Jersey lives here.
What makes this beach so secret is that it can only be accessed by boat. This means that visitor numbers are restricted on a daily basis, and it never feels overcrowded.
Whilst this may not be a conventional beachside resort, it is a wonderful place to walk, picnic, and explore.
Why not rent a kayak, paddle board, or small boat to better explore the unique waterworks here?
6. Lovers Key State Park, Florida
Lovers Key State Park is home to over two miles of sugar-sand beaches. It is surrounded by mangrove trees and beautiful calm waters.
Once a collection of secluded barrier islands that were only reachable by boat, now Lovers Key State Park can be accessed by car, but it doesn’t attract the same huge crowds as other beaches in the area.
Weddings often take place here, lending the park its name. But if you’re not looking to get married, then don’t worry: you can also kayak in the sea, spot dolphins from the shoe, or simply enjoy walking along the soft sand shoreline.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com