Delightful beach towns in the USA where you can relax in a relaxed atmosphere with stunning views of the coastline - ForumDaily
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Delightful beach towns in the USA where you can relax in a relaxed atmosphere with stunning views of the coast

Warm weather is coming. It's time to look for America's charming little beach towns, where laid-back vibes and beautiful coastal views make for an intoxicating combination. Beach lovers who prefer quaint cottages, unusual shops and historic marinas are advised by the publication Travel and Leisure.

Photo: Shutterstock

Block Island, Rhode Island

Block Island is an hour ferry ride from Rhode Island. It combines a quaint city center, breathtaking coastal scenery and rolling greenery criss-crossed by low stone walls, reminiscent of a remote British island. The village-like old harbor has Victorian boarding houses, quaint boutiques and the island's only grocery store. This place is all about simple pleasures: foggy mornings, beach walks, ice cream on the porch, bike rides and afternoon hikes to mighty cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Okrakok, North Carolina

Before it was finally settled in the 1700s, this tiny island became a hideout for pirates, including Blackbeard. Today, the remoteness that once attracted pirates captivates tens of thousands of visitors every year. You can only get here by boat or ferry. It is one of the most remote outer shores of North Carolina. It offers large sandy beaches combined with wildlife. Around the harbor are shops, surf shops, family barbecue restaurants, oyster bars, and old-fashioned hotels and camping cottages.

Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington

Take a ferry or seaplane to this charming island village just outside Seattle. These are beaches with a natural atmosphere, independent bookshops and restaurants. It even has a lavender farm with views of the Olympic Mountains. Walk along the rocky coastline - spot whales and other wildlife at Lime Kiln Point Park, home to a 1914 lighthouse, among other things.

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Edisto, South Carolina

Edisto Island is perfect for a basic beach holiday. The program includes an introduction to Botany Bay, the island's one of a kind nature reserve with amazing shells, as well as walking or cycling to live oaks and palmettes, to a 2000-year-old American Indian mound, as well as meeting with turtles and alligators in a serpentarium and many farm markets.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

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By the early 1900s, the charming Carmel-by-the-Sea was already a destination of choice for creative people. Even with decades of tourism and celebrity attention, Carmel-by-the-Sea has retained its small-town charm. The small center of this settlement, through which you can walk on foot, seems to be something like a fairy tale; its streets are paved with cobblestones and dotted with shops, galleries, wine restaurants, magical cottages of the 1920s, and secluded gardens and courtyards. For the wind-carved Carmel Cliffs and beautiful white sand coves, head to the City's Point Lobos Nature Reserve, Carmel River Beach and Garrapata Park.

Sanibel Island, Florida

Sanibel Island is located on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida, about 130 miles (209 km) north of Key West. This is a paradise for nature lovers. The charming, quirky island is a natural repository for shells, and specimen collection at Bowman's Beach is a favorite pastime for visitors. A huge chunk of the island is protected, including a wildlife sanctuary perfect for birdwatching, kayaking, fishing and picnicking. In terms of trade, in the summer there are several local outlets where you can buy custard and seafood, as well as visit the local farmers' market.

Port of Aransas, Texas

Across the Gulf of Mexico from Sanibel is Port Aransas, the self-proclaimed "fishing capital of Texas." Sports lovers have 18 miles (29 km) of beach and ready-made charter excursions by sea. In addition to fishing, there is swimming, kayaking, parasailing, golf, dolphin and bird watching. The marshy nature reserves and estuaries of the Port of Aransas are home to hundreds of bird species, including pelicans, ducks and the majestic roseate spoonbill. The Padre Island National Seashore is another fascinating place to visit; the undeveloped barrier island offers 70 miles (112 km) of pristine beach, rolling sand dunes and lagoon waters.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach is one of the most vibrant and recognizable places in the state. Its nine-mile beach offers facilities for swimming, walking, kayaking and bird watching. Take time to visit Hug Point (surrounded by cliffs and foggy old growth forests) at low tide when the ocean opens up caves. Regulations curb overdevelopment and online commerce while helping the city maintain a unique vibe.

Capitola, California

Escape crowded Santa Cruz and travel to this colorful village with a beautiful cove and delightful promenade. The city has a Mediterranean flair with brightly painted houses, a beautiful marina and village shops. Food and drink options range from local pubs and tacos to Shadowbrook's tiered restaurant, a wine restaurant built from local mahogany on a steep hillside overlooking Sockwell Creek.

Bald Head Island, North Carolina

The swampy coastlines of the Carolinas and Georgia are dotted with beautiful, peaceful beaches, and North Carolina's Bald Head Island is one of the more mesmerizing. The East Coast's northernmost subtropical island is a heavily protected marine forest with beaches, nature trails, a few cafes, and miles of scenic, unspoiled beaches. Cars are not allowed, so guests ride in golf carts, as well as bicycles and kayaks, and walk. In addition to beach walks, bike rides and porch board games, travelers can visit the state's oldest lighthouse and spot sea turtles at the Bald Head Island Conservancy.

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St. Augustine, Florida

Not every beach holiday matches the atmosphere of the Old World. In old St. Augustine, culture and coastal nature go hand in hand. The city has quiet beaches, historic sites like the Castillo de San Marcos, and quaint European-style shopping streets like St. George's and Aviles. Among other things, be sure to visit the Museum of Pirates and Treasures, the local alligator zoo and the distillery, which is open daily for tours and tastings.

Ogunquit, Maine

In translation, the name means "beautiful place by the sea", and the city more than justifies it. For a taste of classic coastal Maine, take a cliff-top walk that boasts incredible views and sounds of the Atlantic. Explore the pretty city on foot, visiting theatres, art galleries, antique shops, huts, wine bars and cafes.

Cape May, NJ

Located on the southernmost outskirts of New Jersey, Cape May is the perfect destination for beach lovers with a love of history and architecture. The city is filled to the brim with examples of the Victorian era - cottages, hotels, summer houses, and the atmosphere here is appropriate too. Walk the brick sidewalks or take a horse-drawn carriage tour to see the colorful architecture.

San Clemente, California

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Fine Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, precipitous sandy beaches and coastal trails are all part of this Orange County town's attractive offering. The magnificent coast of San Clemente is a mecca for swimmers, boaters, vacationers and tourists. In the city itself there are farmers' markets, breweries, eateries. It has a cozy atmosphere that contrasts nicely with some of the neighboring Southern California beach towns.

Newport, Rhode Island

This New England seaport rose to prominence when it became the summer destination of choice for the first American titans of the industry, the Astors, Morgan and Vanderbilts. Stroll past the legendary Gilded Age home and other historic mansions on Newport Cliff. Walk down Easton Beach, a family-friendly sandy beach called First Beach by the locals.

Solana Beach, California

Natural beauty is at the heart of this laid-back San Diego County town. The best thing to do here is simply to sunbathe on the beautiful beaches, explore rugged pedestrian areas overlooking the ocean and lagoon, sample homemade tamales and chocolate halva at the farmers market.

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Situated on Cape Cod, this town of less than 3000 inhabitants transforms into an art colony of 60 during the high season. Provincetown draws its bohemian vibe to the summer crowd with a winning combination of stunning natural scenery, 000th-century homes and cultural surroundings. Vacationers frolic on the beaches of Race Point and Herring Cove, ride bicycles through pine forests and dunes, stroll through the city center.

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