Here are 10 beach towns that you may have never heard of, that would be perfect for a cottage by the sea!
Gig Harbor, WA
Known as the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula, Gig Harbor is a bay on Puget Sound as well as a shore city. This historic waterfront community feature many local and state parks for visitors to sail, kayak, fish or simply cruise the harbor. You’ll also discover a variety of water sports and even a scenic gondola experience. Then, hit the downtown area for fine dining, shopping and an after-dinner drink in Skansie Brothers Park, where you can sip and savor at a local distillery, tavern and craft breweries.
Rehoboth Beach, DE
A beautiful one square mile community in the mid-Atlantic, Rehoboth Beach is the largest beach resort in the state of Delaware. This pretty little beach town hosts visitors from all over the country, and the world. Fronting the beach is a boardwalk lined with restaurants, shopping, hotels, amusements and games, plus ice cream and other beach treats, like Dolle’s Candy! Plus in the summer months, the Bandstand presents free concerts with an ocean view!
Amelia Island, FL
Treasured for its 13 miles of uncrowded beaches, unique history and seaport character, Amelia Island has an irresistible mix of spas, golf, dining and shopping. Fernandina Beach, a once vibrant Victorian seaport now features eclectic shops, attractions and eateries. Part of Florida’s First Coast of Golf, this barrier island is one of the country’s premiere golfing regions, where the links offer irresistible play for golfers of every skill level with 117 holes, seven of which play along the Atlantic.
Driftwood Beach, GA
Unspoiled by development and preserved in its natural splendor, the beautiful yet haunting Driftwood Beach can be found on the northern end of Jekyll Island. Mysterious and iconic, the downed oak trees found here have been photographed countless times because of their twisting shapes and unusual textures that line the beach and the water. Bring a camera for a long walk along the beach at sunrise or sunset to get an amazing shot of your own—or just pack a picnic lunch and set up a blanket in the sand to watch the waves roll in among the branches.
Bar Harbor, ME
The entrance to the mountains and cliffs of neighboring Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor is a town on Mount Desert Island along Maine’s Frenchman Bay. From the town pier, the Shore Path winds along the bay overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the Porcupine Islands, while the Cadillac Mountain has trails and views of the town, the bay and the Cranberry Islands. Mansions and majestic hotels serve as reminders of Bar Harbor’s past, and today visitors kayak, go bird or whale-watching and simply enjoy the salty sea air and the mountain backdrop at Sand Beach.
Cape May, NJ
The Queen of the Seaside Resorts, Cape May is at the southern New Jersey’s Cape May Peninsula. Pristine beaches, a promenade and a host of amenities make this seashore town truly lovely, but it also boasts a rich history and incredible architecture. In fact, the entire city was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976 and the area is known for its grand Victorian houses such as the Emlen Physick Estate. Shop and dine along the three pedestrianized blocks of Washington Street or take in views across the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean at The Cape May Lighthouse.
Shaped by nature, Bandon lies on the south side of the mouth of the Coquille River. With clean air and moderate temps all year long, you can take in stunning ocean vistas, wild woods and streams. Enjoy year-round, fishing, cycling, golf, hiking and beach going. Stroll for miles along the sandy beaches studded with sea stacks rising out of the surf and check out the famous Face Rock State Scenic Viewopint, part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge and home to some incredible birds. You’ll also love the Old Town district for great eats and drinks!
No high rises, boardwalks or traffic jams, Chincoteague is a serene island destination on Virginia’s Eastern Shore that offers a relaxed atmosphere and the beauty of unspoiled nature. From relaxing on the beach with spectacular sunsets to visiting the wild ponies at Chincoteague Pony Centre, indulge in the place where Marguerite Henry wrote her award-winning children’s book Misty of Chincoteague. In 1961, a movie was made and forever transformed this tiny fishing village into a world-class tourist destination adored by all.
Whidbey Island, WA
Nestled on the north end of Puget Sound and an easy drive from Seattle, Whidbey Island’s rugged terrain spreads out into hills, farmland and beaches. Stay overnight in seaside hotel or sweet bed and breakfast, then explore Deception Pass State Park’s clifftop views, forest trails and freshwater lakes. Make your way to Fort Casey Historical State Park, home to a lighthouse and gun battery. Or check out the coastal towns of Oak Harbor, Coupeville and Langley for boutiques, art galleries, fine dining and so much more.
Glen Arbor, MI
Home to Big and Little Glen Lakes, the quaint area of Clean Arbor is located amidst The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Step away from the hustle and get refreshed in the natural beauty here, you’ll find trails to hike, hilltop views, great shopping, local art and wonderful eateries. And don’t miss the Wine Trails that guide you through a series of local wineries where you can sample new vintages and raise a glass to pure relaxation.