Instead of heading to your go-to beach with the rest of America this summer, consider jetting away to a stretch of sand that prides itself on having a quaint, quiet vibe instead of being a trendy hot spot. We found 13 sweet spots that’ll give you all of the beach experience without the extra crowds. Flip through to find your newest hidden gem. 

Holden Beach, Nc

Holden Beach in the Brunswick Islands of North Carolina has small-town charm, but plenty of activities (check out the North Carolina Festival by the Sea) to keep your family busy. You can take the kids crabbing and fishing, and explore the island by foot, by bike, or by kayak or canoe excursion along the Intracoastal Waterway. And, there’s plenty of wildlife to spot: dolphins swimming offshore, endangered (and protected) loggerhead turtles making their journey from the nest to the ocean, and ghost crabs that make their way along the beach at night.

Good to know: All of New Brunswick Islands’ beaches are dog-friendly!

Online: ncbrunswick.com/holdenbeach

photo: courtesy Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority

What’s your favorite beach? Tell us about it in the comments!

— Gabby Cullen