“Come summertime, the longing for sea breezes and saltwater rushing over your toes is powerful stuff,” the article states. “When the pull of the beach is strong, you may just adopt an “any beach will do” mentality. But there’s a big case to be made for seeking out America’s delightful small beach towns, where an easygoing vibe and beautiful coastal views make for an intoxicating combination. For beach lovers who prefer quaint cottages, custard stands, and historic wharves over beachfront go-karts and megaresorts, these are some of the best beach towns the American shoreline has to offer.”
From coast to coast, these are the best beach towns in the U.S.
Here’s what they had to say.
This New England seaport shot to prominence when it became the chosen summer playground for early American titans of industry (think: the Astors, Morgans, and Vanderbilts, whose Newport “cottage” is The Breakers, a 70-room Italian Renaissance estate). Stroll past the legendary home and other historic Gilded Age mansions on Newport’s Cliff Walk as it winds over coastal bluffs. Continue till Easton’s Beach, a family-friendly stretch of sand known as First Beach to locals. (Hit the lobster roll stand and the lemonade truck if refreshments are in order.) On the harbor side, brick sidewalks and colonial merchant buildings define Bowen’s Wharf, where you can eat oysters to your heart’s content. Newport’s thriving music scene is anchored by the famous Newport Jazz and Newport Folk festivals.
Block Island, RI
A one-hour ferry ride from mainland Rhode Island, Block Island combines a quaint downtown area, breathtaking coastal scenery, and a rolling green interior crisscrossed with low fieldstone walls, reminiscent of a remote British isle. The village-like Old Harbor has Victorian bed-and-breakfasts, quirky boutiques, and the island’s one grocery store (there’s not a chain to be found). It’s all about the simple pleasures here: misty mornings, beach walks, ice cream on the front porch, bicycle rides, and afternoon hikes to mighty bluffs overlooking the Atlantic.
Perched on the tip of Cape Cod, this sleepy town with fewer than 3,000 year-round residents swells to a full-blown art colony of 60,000 during the high season. Provincetown pulls in its bohemian-spirited summer crowd with a winning combo of stunning natural scenery, 19th-century houses, and an everyone-is-welcome cultural scene. Vacationers spend the days frolicking at commerce-free Race Point and Herring Cove beaches, biking through pine forests and dunes, or strolling downtown’s Commercial Street to visit its funky shops, galleries, and eateries. P-town’s vibrant LGBTQ+ scene shines with cabarets and drag shows (often with Broadway and RuPaul’s Drag Race vets at the helm) and a whole lot of dancing.
Other notables on the list include: Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA – Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA – Sanibel Island, FL – San Clemente, CA and Cape May, NJ.
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