7 Least Populated Beaches in the U.S.

Jalesa Campbell
Updated Feb 19, 2021
1 min read
Looking for an uncrowded beach to relax and rewind? We’ve rounded up seven of the least populated beaches in the U.S.

Finding the Least Crowded Beaches

If you’re itching to get away from the house to enjoy the sand and sun, there are some lesser crowded, hidden gems you can find across the East and West Coasts. These less-crowded beaches allow you to explore the outdoors while minimizing your risk of exposure to COVID-19. Some of the more unique spots offer amazing views of wildlife and rugged terrain. Keep in mind if you’re planning to hit the road and visit a beach, you should check with each area’s local state department for Coronavirus restrictions and requirements.

In no particular order, here are seven of the least crowded U.S. beaches if you’re looking to get away.


1. Sandbridge Beach, Va.

Location: About 15 miles south of Virginia Beach’s main resort area

Sandbridge Beach, more commonly recognized as part of Virginia’s outer banks, has about 5 miles of beautiful oceanfront you can enjoy. Located south of the main resort area of Virginia Beach, Sandbridge is open to the public and there are plenty of activities you can enjoy to include surfing, fishing, biking, or hiking the trails at the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

2. Pawleys Island, S.C.

Location: About 25 miles south of Myrtle Beach

Kick back and relax at Pawleys Island, a barrier island in South Carolina’s lowcountry. You’ll find no resorts or restaurants on the island, unlike its counterparts Charleston and Myrtle Beach. The island has less than four miles of oceanfront with salt marsh separating the shore from the inland. You can take a tour of the marsh by kayak when the tide is high, visit the Pawleys Island Nature Park, or just soak up the South Carolina sun.

3. Carova Beach, N.C.

Location: On the Outer Banks of N.C.

For some seclusion along North Carolina’s Outer Banks, check out Carova Beach. You’ll find 11 miles of oceanfront and wild mustangs roaming the shores. To get to the beach, it’s recommended to have a 4WD vehicle to handle the heavily tracked sand. There are no shopping centers or grocery stores at Carova Beach, making this place one off the beaten track. Along the shore, you’ll find vacation homes and rentals. Some activities you can enjoy are surfing, kayaking, and even paddle boarding.

4. Cumberland Island, Ga.

Location: About 15 miles south of Jekyll Island, Ga.

 Just about 15 miles to the south of Jekyll Island, you’ll find one of Georgia’s remote gems, Cumberland Island. As a barrier island off the coast of Georgia, Cumberland has about 17 miles of shore you can explore. Like Carova Beach, Cumberland Island is home to wild horses and other wildlife like dolphins, sea turtles, birds, and more. In order to get to the island, you must take a ferry, and while there you can snap photos of the Dungeness Ruins, hike island trails, and more.

5. Salt Creek Beach, CA

Location: About 6 miles south of Laguna Beach

Several miles south of Laguna Beach, CA, Salt Creek Beach is a small getaway where you can surf, walk, or enjoy a snack at the local snack shop. This beach is part of the Niguel Stare Marine Conservation Area and is operated by Orange County. Set up a picnic and soak up some sun at this California beach.

6. Schoolhouse Beach, Wis.

Location: About 100 miles north of Green Bay, Wis.

As one of the five sandless beaches in the world, Schoolhouse Beach in Wisconsin has some beautiful views to offer. Located on Washington Island away from mainland Wisconsin, you’ll find smooth pebbles decorating the shoreline. You can look but don’t take — taking one of the pebbles is against the law! You can get to the beach from the mainland by ferry. Set up a place to grill, picnic, or take a swim in the clear waters.

7. Bandon State Natural Area, Ore.

Location: About 24 miles south of Coos Bay, Ore.

Large stones standing above the ocean’s waves punctuate Bandon State Natural Area, which spans 879 acres. You’ll be able to comb the beach, go fishing, set up a picnic, or just take in the view. Surrounded by nature, you’ll be able to enjoy scenic walks and wildlife. This is one secluded spot to add to your list if you’re on the West Coast.

Safety and Security Reporter

Jalesa Campbell

Jalesa is one of Safety.com's staff experts on home security, natural disasters, public safety, and family safety. She's been featured on Today.com and elsewhere.

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