We’re gonna have a party, yeah/Our own private beach party, just you and me–Gregory Isaacs, “Private Beach Party” (1985)
These secret beaches are the best for beating the crowds!
Even the most hardcore surfers, sunbathers, and swimmers avoid the beach because of the crowds and the ensuing noise. Ah, but there are still spots not yet eclipsed by tourism and remain unexpected, understated hideaways. Here then, are some of the best beaches that are still off the radar.
Grand Haven, Michigan
This Lake Michigan town features a 2.5-mile harbor-front boardwalk and two 19th-century red lighthouses which lend it an “old-time” air. A favorite of boaters and fisherman, there are dunes for hikers and warm shallows for swimmers. The soft sand of two beaches reportedly “squeaks” beneath one’s feet. Stay at the Victorian Khardomah Lodge. After sunset, you can experience the local eateries, too.
Lord Howe Island, Australia
This small island is a secret among the Sydney cognoscenti. Here only 400 tourists are permitted. A two-hour flight from Sydney, this verdant, 7 million-year-old UNESCO World Heritage site features basalt-stack mountains that drop directly into the sea and a coral-reef lagoon for snorkeling. You can hand-feed kingfish at Ned’s Beach or check out the turtles on the Old Settlement Beach.
The 350-foot Dune of Pyla is situated across the bay from Cap Ferret, on the southern Côte d’Argent. It’s a favorite of both beach lovers and hikers. Stay at the renovated hunting lodge known as La Co(o)rniche, and enjoy the beautiful beach from your room as all but one of the 12 rooms face the ocean. Dine on their restaurant terrace and sample the local seafood too.
Ibo Island, Mozambique
Ibo Island is one of 32 coral islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago (a proposed UNESCO World Heritage site). A former Mozambique trading post, it is the most historic and boat-accessible of the Quirimbas and features clear turquoise waters that are teeming with marine life and are perfect for swimming, deep-sea diving, and shipwreck snorkeling.
Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
Phu Quoc is the largest island in the Gulf of Thailand. It’s actually situated closer to Cambodia than mainland Vietnam. This underdeveloped tourist locale includes uncluttered, vanilla-white beaches with guesthouses lining the shore in the various small villages. Veteran visitors favor the east coast’s Bai Truong (Long Beach). It’s a palm tree-lined, 12-mile stretch of beautiful beach that includes cafés and the popular La Veranda Resort and Spa.
And as always, don’t forget the tunes . . .