From hip surf culture in the Pacific southwest, remote and rugged Hawaiian shores, sweltering bayou heat in the south and refined New England charm in the Atlantic northeast, America’s shorelines merit special attention. Their diversity and natural beauty are further enhanced by the range of charming beach towns and small cities that have developed there over the centuries. Here are 30 of the best.
Nantucket, MA (Photo: courtesy of William DeSousa-Mauk)
Not only a place from where, allegedly, there once was a man, Nantucket is also a thoroughly charming island town. As one of the main destinations around New England’s Cape Cod region of Massachusetts, Nantucket enjoys a little less tourism thanks to its remoteness. Besides the historic lighthouses along its eastern shore there are numerous small museums and landmark buildings like the Neoclassical Hadwen House, making Nantucket one of the best preserved late-18th-century settlements in the US. The whole island is fringed with sandy beaches and, although roughly 17 miles from Madaket Beach to Great Point Lighthouse, Nantucket can largely be explored by bicycle.
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