These 10 beaches are usually wide-open and uncrowded enough to offer lots of room between sunbathers — always idyllic but particularly appealing in the COVID-19 era when social distancing is crucial. Just be sure to check for COVID-related closures and news and local rules, including quarantine requirements if you’re from out of state, before you go.
Anna Maria Island, Fla.
Hit the reset button on this peaceful, 7-mile-long barrier island an hour’s drive southwest of Tampa. Stroll wide swathes of talcum-powder sand in a Gulf Coast hidden gem with that hard-to-find “Old Florida” feel and a refreshing lack of high-rise condos. Savor rosy-hued sunsets that often attract newlywed couples posing for photographers. Stay in a small, family-owned oceanfront inn.
Del Monte Beach, Calif.
Fans of Big Little Lies will enjoy walking or jogging to the sound of crashing waves on the dramatic, romantic Monterey Peninsula coastline, just as the characters in the TV series did. South of Houghton M. Roberts Beach in Monterey, Del Monte is popular with locals, who also enjoy the boardwalk path through the dunes. Whale watching is an attraction throughout the year.