photo – Marc Choquette


Narragansett, RI and Wellfleet, MA have made Coastal Living Magazine’s list of America’s Top 10 Happiest Seaside Towns for 2015. Each year Coastal Living puts together a list of the America’s Top 10 Happiest Seaside Towns and you all might recognize a few. Newport and Kennebunkport made the list in 2013 and Provincetown and Watch Hill both made the list in 2014.

Here’s what Coastal Living had to say about these two great great beach towns:

Narragansett, RI

This town of 16,000 stretches out along the shore of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay like a sunbather at water’s edge, and the comparison couldn’t be more apt. Hitting its stride in the late 1800s as a summer getaway for overheated Bostonians and New Yorkers, Narragansett today remains a perfect escape—and playground.

All four of the town’s beaches are terrific destinations; Town Beach, with its seawall promenade, cabanas, and gentle drop-off, may be the king of the foursome. No matter which one is your favorite, life in Narragansett revolves around surf, sand, and strolling. Whether you live in one of the Victorians lining the small blocks just minutes from the beach, or in a waterfront estate on Ocean Road, everyone walks the shore here. And watches the surfers, who flock to Narragansett to take advantage of its dependable swell of smoothly curling waves.

Even the food in town obliges that sun-bleached, day-at-the-beach feel. Festooned in twinkling lights, Crazy Burger puts out more than 20 styles of that all-American bite, while Aunt Carrie’s Restaurant remains one of the region’s all-time classic seafood dives. Finally, it’s not summer in Rhode Island until you’ve had your clam cakes and chowder at Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House.

Where to Stay: With sprawling verandas and Atlantic views, Ocean Rose Inn is a classic Victorian with 31 lovely rooms; 401-783-4704

Wellfleet, MA

Renowned for the mild, sweet oysters that grow in the estuaries of Wellfleet Harbor, this town of 3,100 is home to much more than its local culinary star. Halfway up the forearm of Cape Cod’s famous, curling shape, Wellfleet has a quaint town center dotted with classically white-clapboard New England–style homes, sophisticated galleries, excellent restaurants, and a drive-in theater that is all-American fun. Add to that the natural gifts here: five beaches that face east to the wild Atlantic, four more that face west across peaceful Cape Cod Bay, and a string of pristine, freshwater “kettle ponds” that make for perfect kayaking.

In addition to indulging in all that wild shoreline, “Fleetians,” as they call themselves, like their arts and culture: Rainy days find folks parked at the town library or at the Wellfleet Preservation Hall for talks. They also like their food, supporting a creative culinary scene headed by Mac’s Shack and PB Boulangerie Bistro.

And those oysters: If you’re not eating Wellfleets at the pier, a shell’s throw from where they were harvested, you haven’t lived. And if you live in Wellfleet, this is your life—beachy, briny, and delicious.

Where to Stay: The coolest stay in town is at The Colony of Wellfleet, a set of Bauhaus-style cottages that began as part of a private club and art gallery for artists and their patrons; 508-349-3761

Click here to see the rest of the Top 10