Comedy legend and professional curmudgeon Bill Hicks once said, “What’s the f*ckin’ deal with the beach? It’s where dirt meets water, alright!” He’s not wrong. Yet, for some reason, we’re drawn to the beach summer after summer like moths to the proverbial flame. The allure conjured by soft sand, crashing waters, and swaying palms is undeniable. But that ends up meaning that some beaches get straight up packed. And an over-crowded beach just isn’t fun.
If you really want to bear witness to where the dirt meets the water, you need a hidden beach. A secret stretch of sand. A tiny cove, or abandoned isle. You need the beaches on this list. And though Life editor Steve Bramucci are I are hesitant to give away too many secrets, it’s hot as all hell right now and we feel like you deserve a little seclusion to cool down and chill out.
CRYSTAL COVE STATE PARK, CALIFORNIA, USA
Orange County, California calls its coastline the “Blue 42.” That’s 42 miles of sand, surf, and sun. But it’s also the fourth most populous county in the nation, meaning that finding a little elbow room is tough.
Here’s the key, if you want privacy: Be willing to walk. Not miles, mind you, I’m talking about a few hundred feet. Because the crowds and their coolers all seem to stick as close to their parking spots as humanly possible.
Crystal Cove State Park, between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, is the best example of this phenomenon. There are two places to enter the park — one to the north and one to the south. If you’re willing to walk 400 feet away from the masses, you will undoubtedly discover a long stretch of sand that is all your own. I’m talking about a solid 500 square foot radius that is just you, even on a summer Saturday. There are even a few bends in the rock cliffs so the crowds — nearly a quarter mile distant — will be out of your sightline.
While there, be sure to eat at The Shake Shack. It’s not a branch of the east coast chain, it’s an outpost of Ruby’s Diner, perched high on the cliff. The classic malts and hot dogs are second to none. -SB