Today: Coastal Living’s Best Seaside Towns & 5 Happiest Water Towns


By Kelsey Grau

Today’s Travel: Coastal Living

On Today’s Travel, Willie Geist talked with Antonia van der Meer, editor-in-chief at Coastal Living, about her publication’s annual list of the best places to live by the water.


Today Show: America’s Happiest Seaside Towns

Today: Coastal Living's Best Seaside Towns & 5 Happiest Water Towns

Another colorful sunset in Sanibel Island, Florida, which ranks #3 on Coastal Living’s list for happiest seaside towns.

At Coastal Living, they believe in ranking by happiness, not by best. It’s all about the way inhabitants feel in their “happy place” on the water. With this in mind, van der Meer shared the top five destinations.

La Jolla, California

While La Jolla didn’t make the coveted top five, its beautiful views and staggering cliffs secured the number nine slot on Coastal Living’s list and was made an honorable mention on Today’s Travel.


Coastal Living: Best Seaside Towns

#5. Newport, Rhode Island

This traditional seaside town boasts a deep-water harbor, which attracts many yachtsmen, but also fine dining and extensive shopping. While the expensive culture is what draws many, the town also has a rich history begging to be explored. Visitors can spend the day touring historic mansions or exploring the coast on Newport’s popular Cliff Walk.

#4. Sag Harbor, New York

Only two hours from New York City, this getaway is home to an iconic windmill, a quaint main street, and a great sense of community pride. Sag Harbor is also known for The American Hotel, a historic landmark built in 1846 that continues to wow guests with its character and charm.

#3. Sanibel Island, Florida

With its white sand beaches and clear blue skies, Sanibel Island’s natural beauty attracts families throughout the year. The island’s beaches are filled with millions of seashells, earning some the title of “Sanibel Stoop” for their stance as they double over to look for shells in the sand. With two-thirds of the island protected by nature preserve, unsightly construction or massive hotels will never obstruct this destination’s wonderful view.

#2. Harwich Port, Massachusetts

Like a “step back in time,” van der Meer describes Harwich Port as a historical town filled with arts & crafts festivals and ice cream trucks. Like many of the East Coast towns on this list, Harwich Port has an expansive history that predates the American Revolution, a fact that draws many to this seaside gem.

#1. Beaufort, South Carolina

The second oldest city in South Carolina, Beaufort takes preservation to another level with its antebellum homes, immaculate beaches, and panoramic views of the water. A true Southern town, they’re also well known for their fresh shrimp and delicious sweet tea.


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