Top Ten Beaches in the United States

Best Solitutude: Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuge and State Natural Area (Texas)

Don't worry about getting mixed up in the south Texas spring break beach party here. With no electricity, water, or telephone service, beaches on the 38-mile-long Matagorda Island offer just two things: peace and quiet.

In fact, the only crowds you'll find here are crowds of animals: whooping cranes, peregrine falcons, deer, and coyotes. Cars? Forget it. And people? The most common visitors are hunters who stalk their prey among the maritime forests of this wild barrier island. Wildlife-watchers can bring their bike and boots to explore the 80 miles of dirt roads and beaches. Or just hang out on the sand, gaze out at the Gulf waters, and soak up the solitude. The island's accessible only by charter or private boat. In Port O’Conner, 11 miles away, charter operators offer shuttle services to Matagorda’s campground and its eastern beaches. Or rent kayaks and follow the Port O’Conner paddling trail to the island.

Tip: Two more things you won't find here: shade and drinking water. Pack a shelter and stock up on fluids.


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