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The South's Best Hidden Beaches

Don't want to fight the crowds over turf? Here are four beaches that still remain (mostly) unknown to the masses. But shhh, let's keep them a secret! (Jul 14, 2014)

Written By:  Kristin Luna

Photographers:  Supplied

Caladesi Island, Florida

A remote, tropical getaway not too far from the mainland, the barrier island of Caladesi can only be reached by private boat or 20-minute ferry ride ($14 round-trip for adults, $7 for children) from Hollywood Island, just north of Clearwater. Because it's not accessible by car, you'll find the idyllic expanses of beach at this state park quite vacant and prime territory for stretching out and spending a day wading in the sparkling emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Note: Unless you're staying overnight, you only get a four-hour window on the tiny isle. Pack a picnic spread and utilize the covered pavilion and grill. If you forgot supplies, you'll find a cantina and gift shop on site, as well as a playground for the little ones, a 108-slip marina, campgrounds and other amenities. Insider tip: Rent a kayak and go for a leisurely paddle among the thick mangrove trees.

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