Award Winning Coastal small towns

David Bolden September 1, 2020 0
Award Winning Coastal small towns

Award-winning coastal small towns where you can get away from it all


12 PHOTOS

7:00 a.m. EDT Sep. 1, 2020

 

Move over big beach cites! USA TODAY 10Best readers have voted for the best coastal small towns across the nation – each with a population of fewer than 25,000 people as of the last census – and these are the top 10 winners. Each location proves that bigger isn't always better, offering unpretentious and affordable (and usually uncrowded) seaside fun.

Move over big beach cites! USA TODAY 10Best readers have voted for the best coastal small towns across the nation – each with a population of fewer than 25,000 people as of the last census – and these are the top 10 winners. Each location proves that bigger isn’t always better, offering unpretentious and affordable (and usually uncrowded) seaside fun.
ISTOCK / DENISTANGNEYJR

<strong>10. Sandusky, Ohio.</strong> Located midway between Cleveland and Toledo, Sandusky is one of Ohio&rsquo;s best lakeside escapes. Visitors will find a revitalized downtown district with plenty of shopping and dining options, recreation on Lake Erie, wine tasting and some of the world&rsquo;s best roller coasters at Cedar Point.

10. Sandusky, Ohio. Located midway between Cleveland and Toledo, Sandusky is one of Ohio’s best lakeside escapes. Visitors will find a revitalized downtown district with plenty of shopping and dining options, recreation on Lake Erie, wine tasting and some of the world’s best roller coasters at Cedar Point.

<strong>9. Gulf Shores, Alabama.</strong>&nbsp;Thanks to the many nearby back bays and rivers, visitors to Gulf Shores will be met with sugary-white sand beaches, Southern-style fresh seafood, championship golf courses and nearly any water sport you can imagine. Preserves and state parks protect much of the region, making Gulf Shores an ideal base for a natural coastal escape.

9. Gulf Shores, Alabama. Thanks to the many nearby back bays and rivers, visitors to Gulf Shores will be met with sugary-white sand beaches, Southern-style fresh seafood, championship golf courses and nearly any water sport you can imagine. Preserves and state parks protect much of the region, making Gulf Shores an ideal base for a natural coastal escape.
GULF SHORES & ORANGE BEACH TOURISM

<strong>8. St Marys, Georgia.</strong>&nbsp;The historic small town of St. Marys serves as the gateway to Cumberland Island and the Georgia coast. There&rsquo;s a bit of something for everyone, from excellent museums (St. Marys Submarine Museum and the Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum), a full calendar of outdoor festivals and plenty of opportunity for recreation on the water.

8. St Marys, Georgia. The historic small town of St. Marys serves as the gateway to Cumberland Island and the Georgia coast. There’s a bit of something for everyone, from excellent museums (St. Marys Submarine Museum and the Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum), a full calendar of outdoor festivals and plenty of opportunity for recreation on the water.
ST. MARYS CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU/ASHLEY ALEXANDER

<strong>7. Georgetown, South Carolina.</strong>&nbsp;The small community of Georgetown on the Carolina coast is what Charleston used to be &ndash; 200-year-old homes, scenic plantations, lots of Southern charm and none of the crowds. Local restaurants serve up Lowcountry specialties, and outdoor adventures might include kayaking, fishing or paddleboarding.

7. Georgetown, South Carolina. The small community of Georgetown on the Carolina coast is what Charleston used to be – 200-year-old homes, scenic plantations, lots of Southern charm and none of the crowds. Local restaurants serve up Lowcountry specialties, and outdoor adventures might include kayaking, fishing or paddleboarding.
ISTOCK / MICHAELGATEWOOD

<strong>6. Southport, North Carolina.</strong>&nbsp;The historic maritime town of Southport has been a pitstop of seafarers &ndash; everyone from pirates to fishermen &ndash; since the 1500s. Today, the historic streets are lined with boutique shops and seafood restaurants where visitors tuck into crab cakes and steamed shrimp on waterfront patios. The town is also the jumping-off point for ferry trips to nearby Bald Head Island.

6. Southport, North Carolina. The historic maritime town of Southport has been a pitstop of seafarers – everyone from pirates to fishermen – since the 1500s. Today, the historic streets are lined with boutique shops and seafood restaurants where visitors tuck into crab cakes and steamed shrimp on waterfront patios. The town is also the jumping-off point for ferry trips to nearby Bald Head Island.
ISTOCK / RICK LANIER

<strong>5. Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi.</strong>&nbsp;The quaint seaside town of Bay St. Louis calls itself &quot;a place apart,&quot; and it&rsquo;s easy to see why. The friendly community has everything you&rsquo;d want from a small town seaside escape &ndash; a store-lined Main Street, restaurants serving fresh Gulf seafood, museums and an 8.5-mile canoe and kayak trail.

5. Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi. The quaint seaside town of Bay St. Louis calls itself “a place apart,” and it’s easy to see why. The friendly community has everything you’d want from a small town seaside escape – a store-lined Main Street, restaurants serving fresh Gulf seafood, museums and an 8.5-mile canoe and kayak trail.
ISTOCK / ARTISTHEJOURNEY

<strong>4. Rockport, Texas.&nbsp;</strong>Across the Aransas Bay from Corpus Christi, the streets of Rockport are lined with art galleries &ndash; the town claims to have the highest percentage of artists in Texas. The pedestrian-friendly downtown is filled with shops and restaurants, and more often than not, accommodation takes the form of old-fashioned motel courts. Windswept oak trees and large swathes of protected coastal wetlands make this section of the Texas Gulf Coast one of the loveliest.

4. Rockport, Texas. Across the Aransas Bay from Corpus Christi, the streets of Rockport are lined with art galleries – the town claims to have the highest percentage of artists in Texas. The pedestrian-friendly downtown is filled with shops and restaurants, and more often than not, accommodation takes the form of old-fashioned motel courts. Windswept oak trees and large swathes of protected coastal wetlands make this section of the Texas Gulf Coast one of the loveliest.
ROCKPORT-FULTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

<strong>3. Venice, Florida.</strong>&nbsp;This small town south of Sarasota sits along 14 miles of beaches &ndash; the perfect setting for swimming, fishing, boating and basking in the Florida sun. Venice is a designated Florida Main Street City for its charming downtown, known for its Italian-style architecture.

3. Venice, Florida. This small town south of Sarasota sits along 14 miles of beaches – the perfect setting for swimming, fishing, boating and basking in the Florida sun. Venice is a designated Florida Main Street City for its charming downtown, known for its Italian-style architecture.
ISTOCK / GABRIELE MALTINTI

<strong>2. Bayfield, Wisconsin.</strong>&nbsp;Gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, charming Bayfield features hilly streets lined with Victorian-era homes and quaint bed and breakfasts. This historic coastal town on the shores of Lake Superior in far northern Wisconsin is particularly charming come autumn, when the foliage is at peak color and the apple harvest is in full swing.

2. Bayfield, Wisconsin. Gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, charming Bayfield features hilly streets lined with Victorian-era homes and quaint bed and breakfasts. This historic coastal town on the shores of Lake Superior in far northern Wisconsin is particularly charming come autumn, when the foliage is at peak color and the apple harvest is in full swing.
THIRDMONARCH.COM / MATT GOUDREAU

<strong>1. Chincoteague, Virginia.</strong>&nbsp;Just south of the Maryland-Virginia border, the resort island of Chincoteague maintains a sense of delightful seclusion while still offering visitors an array of shops, restaurants, motels and waterside bars, all within a walkable and affordable package. Uncrowded beaches stretch for miles just outside of town, and wonderful Assateague Island with its famous herd of wild ponies lies just across the water.

1. Chincoteague, Virginia. Just south of the Maryland-Virginia border, the resort island of Chincoteague maintains a sense of delightful seclusion while still offering visitors an array of shops, restaurants, motels and waterside bars, all within a walkable and affordable package. Uncrowded beaches stretch for miles just outside of town, and wonderful Assateague Island with its famous herd of wild ponies lies just across the water.
CHINCOTEAGUE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Article from USATODAY.COM

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