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America’s Best Little Beach Towns

Sure the Caribbean has white sands and fruity cocktails, but sometimes you want to take in more than just sun and sand. America has dozens of beautiful shore towns with something more to offer than just ocean views; they have charm. To prove this to any doubters, Travel + Leisure just put out a list of America’s Best Little Beach Towns. Check out a few of our favorites and then book a trip to one of them! It is summer after all.

beaches-1 America's Best Little Beach Towns
Thrill-seekers flock to the Giant Dipper roller coaster at the Beach Boardwalk amusement park, but Santa Cruz offers a host of other seaside attractions: Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, surfers at Pleasure Point, and frolicsome seals at Natural Bridges State Beach. [image]

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Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands offers the perfect beach getaway if you like shade (tall pines), cool summers (highs in the 70s), and getting active. Visitors can rent a moped to scoot around the gallery-filled downtown, paddle a kayak around the waters, or take a whale-watching cruise to check out the local orcas. [image]

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Nicknamed the Art Coast of Michigan, Saugatuck has been an art magnet since the 19th century. Serving as inspiration for the perfect landscape piece are crazy-high sand dunes—the most popular being Mount Baldhead, that comes in at a calf-burning 282 steps high. [image]

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Indulge in all-American classics like saltwater taffy and ice cream on the boardwalk of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Dubbed “The Nation’s Summer Capital,” vacationers are drawn to the town’s charm, artistic appeal, and nightlife. [image]

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Seven miles north of Kitty Hawk, Duck lies in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. This charming town offers beaches that are fairly uncrowded—and why? With no public beaches, you have to be staying here to access either the sand or water sports. [image]
Check out the list to see if your favorite summer spot was named one of Travel + Leisure’s Best Little Beach Towns of America.