There is something indescribably peaceful about being the only person on a beach. When you’re alone on the sandy embankment of one of the West Coast’s best hidden beaches—taking in a sunset or just listening to the waves crash against the shore—it’s hard not to feel at one with the world around you.
Unfortunately, those moments of oceanside nirvana are becoming increasingly harder to find as throngs of tourists and noisy kids have made America’s most popular beaches unbearably cramped. Going to the beach for a little R&R these days feels less like vacation and more like crisis control.
That being said, there are a few hidden beaches still left out there where beachgoers can soak in the sun while being surrounded by pristine nature and the most beguiling feature of them all: absolute silence.
For more on these isolated gems, take a peek at our roundup of some of the West Coast’s best hidden beaches.
1. Sculptured Beach
Sculptured Beach is a hidden beach in the southern portion of Point Reyes National Seashore in California. The remote spot is known for its many natural “sculptures” formed by the large rocks along the shore. Visit during low tide to take in the area’s tide pools and to explore its caves and boulder arches.
2. Carmel Meadows Beach
Located in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, Carmel Meadows Beach is a quiet oasis from the tourists that flock to the area’s more popular Monastery and Carmel River beaches. With a wide, sandy shore and beautiful nature trails, this gem’s got something for everyone. And for those seeking to be one with nature, the beach is also clothing optional.
3. Neskowin Beach
On the edge of the charming coastal town of Neskowin, Oregon lies Neskowin Beach, one of the most alluring hidden beaches in the Beaver State. With gorgeous sea stacks and tide pools, this spot is guaranteed to be a favorite for the introspective beachgoer aiming to contemplate life while wading in serene waters.
4. Fort Stevens State Park
Stretching out over 4,300 acres in the northwestern tip of Oregon, Fort Stevens State Park is a site known for both its natural beauty and rich history. Visitors can enjoy any number of activities, including exploring the park’s hidden beach, which is home to the ruins of the Peter Iredale shipwreck.
5. Hobbit Beach
Tucked away just outside of Florence, Oregon is Hobbit Beach, a hidden paradise only accessible by a half-mile long path affectionately known as Hobbit Trail. After completing the hike, visitors will find a secluded cove semi-enclosed by stunning tree-covered hills.
6. Me-Kwa-Mooks Park
Me-Kwa-Mooks Park is located in western Seattle, right around the corner from popular Alki Beach. While the park boasts a number of exciting features, one of its most precious is its small rocky shoreline, which makes the perfect hideaway from the noise of the city. Expect to encounter a plethora of fascinating sea creatures here as this hidden beach is full of tide pools.
7. Glass Beach
As its name suggests, Glass Beach in Port Townsend, Washington is composed largely of sea glass. To observe these extraordinary pebbles in real life, visitors will have to take a 2.5 mile hike from McCurdy Point, a somewhat strenuous means to a truly breathtaking end.