20 of the Most Charming Beach Towns Across America

From known tourist destinations to smaller seaside gems, here are the beach towns that you need to visit this summer.

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From known tourist destinations to smaller seaside gems, here are the beach towns that you need to visit this summer.
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This coastal city is a calm, sleepy lakeside residence—until thousands of visitors flock to its shores and wineries come beach season. In addition to offering standard seaside activities, Traverse City's climate is also perfect for its two booming crops—wine and cherries. For more information, visit .
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Gulf Shores used to be a bit of a hidden treasure, but now the secret's out—more and more families are discovering its weekend getaway potential and heading to this town situated on the Gulf of Mexico. Find adventure, fun, and relaxation on its white-sand beaches, made of quartz grains washed down from the Appalachian Mountains. For more information, visit .
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Don't be turned off by Cape Cod's popularity as a vacation destination—it's actually made up of multiple smaller towns, each with their own unique personalities. Chatham, located at the southeast tip of Cape Cod, is the perfect place to escape the crowds, thanks to its small town qualities (it's completely walkable) and its spectacular coastline. For more information, visit .
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This beach town's name actually means "beautiful place by the sea," so basically, it doesn't get better than Ogunquit when it comes to beach towns. Get ready to enjoy simple pleasures in this small, tranquil village—think glistening white sand, a small harbor, fishing, and a quaint New England town center. For more information, visit .
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It's no surprise that this charming island is a popular vacation destination for residents of . Here, you'll find magnificent salt marshes and wildlife unique to southeastern Georgia. For more information, visit .
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This seaside town is a maritime lover's dream come true—historically, it was a bustling port, which led to the influx of merchants, traders, and boat builders over the years. Today, it remains the perfect place for boating enthusiasts, featuring historical homes and a booming fishing industry. For more information, visit .
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Properly named, the Long Beach Peninsula claims to be America's longest beach, stretching across 28 miles of sandy shore perfection. For more information, visit .
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This island destination, located at the southernmost point of Florida, is known for its pastel conch houses and laid-back attitude. It's actually more popular for its coral reefs than its beaches, so take note, diving and snorkeling enthusiasts! For more information, visit .
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Movement Six via Flickr Creative Commons
Home to 363 miles of secluded beaches and sand dunes, visitors to and residents of this small town have the privilege of looking out over stunning mountain views in the distance. For more information, visit .
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You won't see any high rise hotels or boardwalks on this fairytale island. Instead, prepare to fall in love with the wild Chincoteague ponies, who are free to roam across the Assateague Island National Seashore. For more information, visit . RELATED:
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Artur Staszewski via Flickr Creative Commons
Don't be fooled by the fact that Newport is known as a popular New England summer resort town—it's hiding loads of country charm! You'll find dozens of surviving colonial buildings alongside quirky restaurants and boutiques. For more information, visit .
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Mr Silverblood via Flickr Creative Commons
This Maine town's population more than triples come summertime, when visitors flood in to enjoy its natural beauty and seaside charm, with outdoor activities like deep sea fishing, kayaking, and exploring nature preserves. For more information, visit .
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Mbtrama via Flickr Creative Commons
Home to romantic bed and breakfasts and horse-drawn carriages, we think Cape May wins for the most charming place to stay on the Jersey Shore. For more information, visit .
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Andrew Glavin via Flickr Creative Commons
This coastal city not only promises breathtaking views and family-friendly beaches, it's also committed to preserving the island's natural ecology. It regularly wins the Blue Wave Designation from the , which recognizes environmentally well-managed beaches. For more information, visit .
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Harvey Barrison via Flickr Creative Commons
Known for its fairytale-like architecture and quirky culture, Carmel is a picturesque beach town where practically everything is within walking distance. For more information, visit .
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Aehdeschaine via Flickr Creative Commons
This beach town, known historically as New Hampshire's first settlement, is the perfect spot for a quiet family getaway. It has the longest stretch of coastline of any coastal town in the state—and of course, the more pristine beaches, the better the summertime relaxation! For more information, visit .
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Founded as a shipbuilding center in 1654, Mystic is known for its quintessential New England charm. It's home to the world's largest maritime museum, the Mystic Seaport, and the Mystic Aquarium, both popular tourist attractions. For more information, visit .
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Dubbed the "" back in the 1800s, this city is still a popular tourist destination today. In addition to its beautiful beaches, Galveston's lush Moody Gardens are a popular place to visit, where you'll find tropical plants and a 10-story rainforest. For more information, visit .
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Bob Mical via Flickr Creative Commons
During the summer months, people flock to Ocean City to enjoy miles of picture-perfect beaches and a wooden boardwalk offering food, games, and shopping. For more information, visit .
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Looking for sun, sand, and sea? Head to this quaint walking town and take in the beauty of nature, with its miles of beaches, nature trails, and bird sanctuaries. For more information, visit .
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