Beautiful, Secret Stand-ins for 9 of America’s Most Crowded Beaches

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You know what to expect when you go to a beach that everyone raves about. After all, the good times have been well-documented on Instagram, the Travel Channel and elsewhere. And while, sure, the water might be gorgeous and there might be some cool water sports, great places to eat or other amenities that make it worth a visit, there is oftentimes, not so far away, another beach that’s just as nice—or even better—without all the blanket-to-blanket crowds. So on your next vacation, leave the beach-going masses behind and find a piece of paradise with a bit more peace. There’s something to be said for swimming against the tide. Here are some worthy alternatives to America’s most popular beaches.