Most people will agree that real United States is not its major cities and metro areas. If you wish to experience the real America, you should visit its small cities and towns where decades and centuries of living have created their own ecosystems that are so uniquely American. Travel and Leisure did a piece on the best small beach towns in the United States and we agree on quite a few.
Pacific Grove is a tiny Californian city between Pebble Beach, Carmel and Monterey and despite being so close to those “tourist destinations”, it is quite tourist-free itself. It may not have a bona fide swimming beach, but it is still great for a variety of ocean activities, as well as a peace you won’t find in similar places along the Cali coastline.
We’ll go to Maine with the next small beach town, more precisely to a town called Lubec. It is the easternmost town of the United States and among other things, it is famed for its gorgeous Greek Revival/Victorian downtown, two lighthouses and a great eatery/watering hole in Water Street Tavern.
If you are looking for that Old Florida feel, there is probably no better place than Boca Grande, a small town on the Gulf of Mexico. It is most famous for its lighthouse, but wherever you turn, you will get that true feel of Florida. Its Gasparilla Inn is a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
In case you don’t mind hipsters, Gearhart, Oregon might just become your favorite beach town in the United States. It is located just north of Cannon Beach and whether they like it or not, some of that hipster crowd overflows into Gearhart. This little town offers amazing hiking trails in the vicinity, as well as some of the most charming antique shops in this part of the United States.
Rehoboth Beach is a beach town located in Delaware and it is arguably most famous for its Boardwalk, a truly classical one, taking you back to happier days. It is the center of everything in Rehoboth, both during the day and in the evenings.
You probably didn’t think a New Jersey town would end up here, but it did. Cape May us a very special little beach town, with Victorian architecture everywhere you turn, a walking downtown and some of the most interesting shops you will explore in your life.