Joyce Carol Oates, the celebrated American author, once said, “I never visit beaches except to walk or run.” And we totally get it—public beaches can be crowded, noisy, dirty, unpleasant places, and even the best ones, in the U.S. at least, overcharge you for parking, snacks, and drinks. These beaches can be more like salty public pools than the gorgeous shorelines we like to imagine.
But some beaches have stayed wild and retained their magic. Their pristine white sand, their immaculate biodiversity, their local color. Some of these beaches don’t even have sand, and they’re still worth the trip.
Some of these locales are deep in the Caribbean, tucked away between some small fishing villages or in the shadow of a titanic mountain. One of them is teeming with kangaroos, another with crocodiles. And one of them is so far north and so isolated that you can only access it by boat or by helicopter (we’d pick the latter any day of the week).
If your beach vacations feel lacking, hit up some of these undeveloped, off-the-grid seaside retreats. Plan carefully, though—they’re honestly tough to get to, and totally worth the effort.
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