Best Secret Beaches on Earth

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Courtesy of Turtle Reef

These beach hideaways are understated, unexpected, and—at least for now—under the radar.

Puako, Big Island, Hawaii

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Tucked between the Kona airport and the plush resorts on the Big Island’s Kohala coast, Puako is a relaxed little residential enclave with one main road, a general store, and lovely, affordable vacation rentals such as Turtle Reef (doubles from $150 through MacArthur & Co; 877-885-8285). Divers, kayakers, and sunbathers can see the honu (protected sea turtles) in the Puako reef tide pools and on the rocks at the edge of these oceanfront properties, while surfers head south to the wild winter waves at the public beach Paniau. Keep walking, and you’ll reach the Mauna Lani resort and a field of ancient rock carvings known as the Puako Petroglyphs.

David A. Keeps

Best Secret Beaches on Earth

Puako, Big Island, Hawaii

Tucked between the Kona airport and the plush resorts on the Big Island’s Kohala coast, Puako is a relaxed little residential enclave with one main road, a general store, and lovely, affordable vacation rentals such as Turtle Reef (doubles from $150 through MacArthur & Co; 877-885-8285). Divers, kayakers, and sunbathers can see the honu (protected sea turtles) in the Puako reef tide pools and on the rocks at the edge of these oceanfront properties, while surfers head south to the wild winter waves at the public beach Paniau. Keep walking, and you’ll reach the Mauna Lani resort and a field of ancient rock carvings known as the Puako Petroglyphs.

David A. Keeps

Courtesy of Turtle Reef
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