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The warm, white sand stretches for miles as clean and flat as a freshly laundered bed sheet.
The turquoise sea is so clear that I can see silvery fish playing around my toes as I take a cooling paddle.
If there is any more pristine resort in which to spend a summer holiday than Pensacola Beach, on the Gulf Coast of Florida, I would like to find it.
And yet, at a time of year when usually there is barely room to unfold a deckchair, the shore is eerily deserted.