Cumberland Island, Georgia

No. 4: Cumberland Island, Ga.

Conde Nast Traveler noted that Cumberland Island 's few permanent residents have included the names Carnegie and Rockefeller, but it took the 1996 wedding of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette to put the island on the map.

And yet, the beach on Georgia's southernmost and largest barrier island is still unspoiled -- nearly 18 miles of fine sand that at the water's edge is "delectably soft," as Conde Nast put it.

And the beach is hardly a playground of the wealthy -- it's now managed and protected as U.S. National Seashore by rangers who keep an eye on everything from wild turkeys and manatees to otters, wild horses and more than 300 species of birds.

The island is remote; visitors have to hop a ferry from the mainland that leaves just twice a day. But once they get there, the sun and sand make for an affordable, unforgettable day trip. For just a few bucks, anyone can camp overnight and check out some of the finest star-gazing on the East Coast.

Best Beach No. 3: Goin' to Carolina