10 Top Hidden-Gem Beaches to Spend Summer’s Final Days

10 Top Hidden-Gem Beaches to Spend Summer’s Final Days

Summertime is synonymous with beach days –– and we refuse to give that up just yet. As the dog days of summer come to a close, we’re spending time at our favorite beaches around the world to soak in the last of the summer’s rays. We’ve asked some of our local friends in seaside destinations across the globe where they’re spending their remaining summer days. From protected marine preserves in Hawai’i and secluded coves in Greece to Southern Californian surf towns and Big Sur’s violet-hued sand beaches, these are some of the best-hidden gem beaches across the globe.

HULOPOE BEACH | Lanai, HI:  Lanai is a secluded oasis across 90,000 acres with plenty of sparkling ocean views, activities and accommodations for Hawaii travelers to discover. Set sail on an ocean adventure and catch spinner dolphins frolic around in the surf as Lanai offers one of the best waters in the world for whale watching.

Locals Quote: “A protected marine preserve, Hulopo‘e Bay offers some of the best snorkeling and diving in Hawai’i and is a favorite beach of people on the island.  Located on the pristine island of Lanai, the glistening beach is footsteps from Four Seasons Resort Lanai and a quick drive from Sensei Lanai. En route, guests pass Hulopo'e Heritage Complex, an ancient fishing village. Spinner dolphins play in the Bay’s sparkling water, endangered green sea turtles are regular guests, you may even see a humpback whale during winter months.” - Tuma Fauatea, Beach Manager

  • Where to Stay: Four Seasons Resort Lanai - a hidden gem beachfront destination across the 90,000-acre island of Lanai, offering luxurious accommodations and activities by land, air and sea. Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort - The adults-only Sensei Lanai features a private wellness consultation and personalized itinerary, with a choice of spa treatments, fitness classes and enriching island activities, as well as dining by Nobu, allowing guests to discover their greatest well-being.
  • Latest Offerings: In addition to being a few steps away from the gorgeous Hulopoe Beach, guests of Four Seasons Resort Lanai can find bliss at the adults-only pool, gallop away on horseback, take a sunset cruise on Lanai V, or learn about the island’s rich culture and traditions with new daily workshops, including the varieties of Lei. At the wellness retreat haven, Sensei Lanai, guests can experience the new Optimal Well-Being Program, a five-day program where a dedicated Sensei Guide integrates metrics, lifestyle and a long-term wellness vision to develop a structured and customized itinerary. Prior to arrival, data will be gathered on real-time fitness, sleep and recovery via a complimentary WHOOP wearable strap.

PFEIFFER BEACH | Big Sur, CA: Most famous for its violet-hued sand, Pfeiffer Beach is a beautiful unspoiled destination on the rugged and stunning Big Sur coastline, complemented by the charming Big Sur beach community that exudes a deep connection with its natural surroundings, evident in the friendly people and magnificent “hidden gems.”

Quote: "The magnificence of Big Sur speaks for itself, and encountering Alila Ventana simultaneously is a magical experience as the property emits a special connection to its beautiful natural surroundings. Guests should visit Pfeiffer Beach during their visit to experience its violet-hued sand and famous keyhole arch. Visitors who are lucky enough to visit us around mid-January will have the opportunity to visit the beach at sunset and witness the sun lining up directly with the arch as it sets into the ocean –– creating a mystical beam of light peeping through the arch." –– Anthony Duggan, General Manager

  • Where to Stay: Alila Ventana Big Sur is a breathtaking all-inclusive resort with inclusive offerings perched at the edge of the continent overlooking the majestic Pacific coastline, and located just minutes away from Big Sur’s hidden gems. The intimate resort offers 59 stunning accommodations, Spa Alila, culinary offerings crafted with ingredients from an organic property garden, and one-of-a-kind Alila Experiences to inspire the mind, body and soul.
  • Latest offerings: The property offers a unique variety of workshops and activities through the Alila Experience Program. While experiences change each season, options include Star Bathing, Falconry Experience, Photography Hike Workshop, Exploration in Chalk-Pastel / Acrylics / Watercolor, Touch Earth’s Essence Clay Workshop and much more.

GRANDVIEW BEACH | Encinitas, California: Located along six miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, Encinitas is one of Southern California’s most iconic coastal towns and is an unspoiled reminder of the historic Highway 101 beach culture that thrived in the mid-1900s. Stop by Grandview to watch the of surfers and take in the beautiful coastline.

Quote: "Encinitas has always worn its surf history proudly. And while the beaches have long drawn surfers with some of the best breaks in Southern California, its the unique blend of San Diego's top surf shops, coffeehouses, record stores, independent restaurants, eclectic boutiques and active community that now make this beach town a must-visit for surfers and non-surfers alike." -- Ben Thiele, General Manager

  • Where to Stay: Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas is a crafted luxury resort, delivering authentic and bespoke experiences in a world-class beachfront setting. Defining barefoot luxury, Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas features 130 guest accommodations, an oceanfront pool, signature restaurant VAGA, transformative wellness experiences, and Spa Alila.
  • Latest Offerings: The resort just debuted a new Surfboard Butler stays knowledgeable and up-to-date on all things surf: current swell conditions, tide times, board recommendations for the surf forecast, and where the best waves are coming each day. In addition to a full arsenal of waxes and sunscreen, the Surfboard Butler also oversees the property’s quiver of surfboards available complimentary for hotel guests

JUANILLO BEACH, Cap Cana | Dominican Republic (pictured):  The exclusive eastern tip of the Dominican Republic has always drawn travelers to its shores for its rich culture, pristine white sand beaches and perfect weather  - think the Punta Canta's of the world. However, Cap Cana is the hidden gem of the Dominican Republic and offers a beachfront high-end gated community, private beaches, marina, a surge of cultural activities and is completely private (only those staying in a resort can access the community).

Locals Quote: “With a variety of activities, beautiful views, beaches and ultimate privacy, Eden Roc Cap Cana is a hidden gem that provides travelers with an ultimate luxury escape.” - Rosalynn Castillo, Director of Sales and Marketing

  • Where to stay: Eden Roc Cap Cana is a Caribbean jewel - the only Relais & Châteaux hotel on the island, offers travelers an ultra-luxe boutique Caribbean experience. The 30,000-acre luxury resort is home to 60 luxury accommodations (from multi-bed villas with private pools - to beachfront suites), several dining destinations that celebrate regional produce, a spa and new ultimate wellness experience, and unrivaled family-friendly programming - all surrounded by pristine private shores, towering cliffs and tropical forests. The property is also known for creating out-of-the-ordinary experiences  - from private Ecotourism Safaris, helicopter excursions to the isolated islands, and Humpback Whale encounters in their Samaná Bay sanctuary.

PAPAS BEACH | Ios, Greece:  Papas Beach is tucked away in a remote, unspoiled corner of the Greek island of Ios, surrounded by cliffs and boasting golden sand and clear, blue water.

Locals Quote: "Calilo offers a tranquil retreat amongst the Cyclades, and Papas Beach is tucked away in a remote, unspoiled corner of the island. The beach is surrounded by dramatic cliffs and offers guests of Calilo a private experience to swim, sunbathe, relax and align with nature. Our vision is to preserve, protect and share the beauty of the island with our guests, and Papas Beach is a treasure to the island that we hope everyone will have a chance to experience." - Angelos Michalopoulos, Owner of Calilo

  • Where to Stay: Calilo opened in 2019 as part of the LuxurIOS brand owned by Angelos Michalopoulos and Vassiliki Petridou with luxury, privacy, conservation and destination preservation a top priority. The hotel has 30 luxurious 1, 2 and 3-bedroom suites; multiple dining outlets such as CALILO Restaurant, Rocks Pool Restaurant and private beach cabanas; wellness offerings like sunrise yoga and in-room spa treatments; and exclusive experiences like private boat excursions and dining under the stars.
  • Latest Offerings: New this season, Calilo debuted new suites known as the EOS Collection, as well as three exclusive Rock Pools offering an alternative beach experience with unparalleled privacy. The enhancements are the personal vision of Michalopoulos, inspired by his design ethos as an artist and commitment as a hotelier to deliver an aesthetically unique product that respects the breathtaking traditional ways of Cycladic architecture while accommodating the needs of the modern traveler.

INDIAN WELLS BEACH | Amagansett, NY: Visit the iconic beaches of East Hampton and Amagansett as you escape the city’s end-of-summer heat. Indian Wells is a locals favorite, as non-residents can’t park there and it provides the beauty of quintessential East Coast beaches.

Locals Quote: “Amagansett should be on every beach-goer's travel list this year, as this Hamptons gem has transformed into a year round destination. From sunbathing in the summer, to cozy beach bonfires on a crisp fall night, there are so many different experiences to be had. You also can't forget the wonderful restaurants and shopping lining Main Street!" - Sylvia Wong, Owner of The Roundtree, Amagansett 

  • Where to Stay: The Roundtree, Amagansett is Situated on a peaceful 2-acres of farmsteading land, with 15-accommodations including five standalone private cottages. The luxury boutique property provides a relaxing getaway on Long Island’s East End just steps away from the village of Amagansett, and a quick ride to stretches of Hampton beaches.
  • Latest Offerings: The hotel is offering a variety of fall packages including ‘Linger Longer This Fall’ which gives the 4th night free after booking 3 nights, as well as the Autumn Rest & Relaxation experience that provides a $100 in-room massage credit.

LITTLE TALBOT STATE PARK | Amelia Island, FL: Located in the most North East corner of Florida, Amelia Island is a picturesque seaside destination located on a remote barrier island with 13 miles of expansive, private beaches. Visit Little Talbot State Park for white sandy beaches, gorgeous dunes, and even beautiful coastal forests.

Locals Quote: “Amelia Island is a coastal treasure, hosting eight flags throughout its rich history and heritage. Our location on a barrier island provides guests with privacy and freedom to explore, including the 13 miles of dune-lined beaches, kayaking and fishing its tidewaters as well as biking under canopies of ancient oak trees. This year guests will find an exciting new chapter for the resort with newly designed rooms, suites and dining options that enliven artful culinary presentations and curated guest experiences in celebration of our 30th anniversary.” said General Manager Greg Cook. 

  • Where to Stay: The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is an idyllic beachfront resort offering nature-driven experiences and warm hospitality. This year, the resort begins a new chapter with the debut of a renovation of guest rooms and suites, new culinary venues, and a Year of the Pearl campaign in partnership with Mikimoto to celebrate the resort’s 30th anniversary.
  • Latest Offerings: The resort offers special packages for all types of travelers including the Remote Learning Barrier Island Ecology Field Trip package for children to learn about the island’s ecosystem, or the exclusive Year of the Pearl Package which includes a Mikimoto 18” Atoya Culture Pearl necklace.

PLAYA ESCONDIDO | Riviera Nayarit, Mexico: Riviera Nayarit is located between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre Mountain range, and just north of Puerto Vallarta Mexico. Nestled along the coastline is Punta Mita, and very closeby sit two special beach towns in Riviera Nayarit – Sayulita and San Pancho. Must do’s in the beach town of Punta Mita include surfing lessons at Playa La Lancha and taking a swim to Playa Escondido hidden inside the Marieta Islands.

Quote: “The beautiful region of Riviera Nayarit is a coastline of diversity lined with luxury resorts and picturesque traditional villages alike, secluded beaches, lush vegetation, crystal blue waters and the accessibility to nature. Just up the road from Conrad Punta de Mita, guests can access waterfalls and forest trails, or spend the day on our beaches surfing or paddleboarding. The options are impressive, and this is drawing more interest to the region with many luxury developments recently opened or planning to open in the next year or two. Fast becoming the new hot spot, Riviera Nayarit, and specifically, Punta de Mita, has evolved into a world-class destination, and increased airlift from most major U.S. markets is making it easier to get here.” – Marco Tabet, General Manager

  • Where to Stay: Conrad Punta de Mita recently opened in Mexico's coveted Riviera Nayarit and is situated beside the sparkling turquoise blue waters of the Pacific on a two-mile-long beach. It’s the ideal location in Punta de Mita with access to all Playa Nayarit has to offer. The highly anticipated opening of the 324-key property invites travelers to discover contemporary luxury.
  • Latest Offerings: The newly opened signature restaurant Codex offers a delectable menu of fresh seafood and seasonal specialities as well as traditional Mexican cuisine in a secluded beachside location with breathtaking views.

BILL BAGGS CAPE FLORIDA STATE PARK | Key Biscayne, FL: Key Biscayne is an unexpected island getaway, just minutes from Miami’s cosmopolitan center, yet feels worlds away with its lush tropical gardens and infinite ocean views. Stop by the state park and visit beaches that have repeatedly been listed as some of the best beaches in the country.

Quote: “Key Biscayne is a remote, slice of paradise located just 6 miles from downtown Miami, yet feels like it’s own private island. This tropical destination boasts two of the best state parks with hiking and biking trails for the more active traveler, along with pristine beaches for those seeking a more relaxed approach when visiting this sun-soaked coastline. As the perfect getaway from the neon lights of South Beach, Key Biscayne is full of natural beauty and is even home to the oldest lighthouse in the state of Florida.” - Mark Ferland, Market General Manager

  • Where to Stay: The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is the perfect island haven outside the hustle and bustle of downtown Miami, boasting two swimming pools, a secluded stretch of white sand beach, a luxurious destination-inspired spa, and an expansive tennis center designed by the legendary Cliff Drysdale. The property offers a plethora of complimentary guest activities, including outdoor yoga, cycling classes, and guided hikes, in addition to a selection of distinctive locally-inspired dining options, including Lightkeepers restaurant and RUMBAR.
  • Latest Offering: In celebration of the property’s 20th anniversary, guests can book the over-the-top 20th Anniversary Package, inclusive of a two-night stay in either the Presidential suite or The Ritz-Carlton suite, an anniversary welcome amenity, five complimentary guestrooms to be used up to year after the original stay, spa treatments for two, dinner for two at the signature restaurant and one pool cabana reservation. Package starts at $20,000.

BLACK SANDS BEACH | Sausalito, CA: Located just over the Golden Gate Bridge boasting unrivaled views of the San Francisco Bay, a quaint downtown, a rich history and access to numerous beaches, Sausalito is a picturesque town with an undeniable coastal flair, perfect for travelers looking for a calming respite without ever being too far from the magic of San Francisco.

Locals Quote: "Sausalito is a hidden gem of a beach town. Nestled right up against the famed San Francisco Bay, radiating charm and unrivaled water views, Sausalito offers easy access to the numerous beaches of the county (from Baker Beach to Rodeo Beach), perfect for surfing, kayaking, boating, and so much more, and there's no better home-base for ocean lovers than Cavallo Point." - Brendan Carlin, General Manager

  • Where to Stay: Nestled at the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Cavallo Point is an award-winning bay-front lodge that beautifully blends restored Colonial Revival Character with spectacular contemporary design and luxury-focused amenities. A truly iconic Sausalito property, Cavallo Point, with its undeniable commitment to immersing guests in the local landscape, is the ideal basecamp for all adventures, elevated culinary experiences, tranquil globally inspired spa treatments and more.
  • Latest Offerings: The property has recently unveiled a number of exciting new activities and programming suitable for all types of travelers, ranging from daily shuttles to the beloved local Rodeo Beach to paddle boarding, kayaking, and surf lessons to private yacht and helicopter excursions around San Francisco Bay.