Discover Coastal Dream Towns

After canvassing all coasts for towns with seaside charm, a lively beach culture, and good housing, these are our top spots for planning quick trips or finding a new place to live.

Atlantic Coast

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Beachfront Beauty

Dream Town: Isle of Palms

Splendidly isolated from the South Carolina mainland, life on this barrier island offers the perfect mix of proximity to Charleston and a carefree lifestyle.


Dream Towns: Montauk, New York

Montauk, New York

The Other Hamptons


Dream Towns: Lewes, Delaware

Lewes, Delaware

The Sleeper on the Bay


Dream Towns: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

A Seaside Gem Goes Green


Dream Towns: Beaufort, North Carolina

Beaufort, North Carolina

Southern Sunshine


Dream Towns: Duxbury, Massachusetts

Duxbury, Massachusetts

Preppy and quaint


SYWTLI... Corolla

So You Want to Live in ... Corolla

This Outer Banks town relishes life at the end of the road.


Nahant - East Point

So You Want to Live in ... Nahant

Just minutes from Boston, this historic community has a stunning coastline and classic small-town atmosphere.


Blue Hill, ME

So You Want to Live in... Blue Hill, Maine

Out of the way but not out of the loop, this Maine village has a mind of its own.


Rumson, New Jersey

So You Want to Live in ... Rumson

This well-to-do New Jersey town provides easy access to-and quiet refuge from-New York City.


SYWTLI... St. Marys

So You Want to Live in... St. Marys

This waterfront Georgia town shines with smashing views and historic charm.


Sag Harbor

So You Want to Live in...Sag Harbor

Residents of this New York village cherish its maritime past and close-knit community.


SYWTLI McClellanville, SC

So You Want to Live in ... McClellanville, SC

This hardworking Lowcountry village welcomes newcomers who appreciate simplicity.


Smithfield, VA -1

So You Want to Live in ... Smithfield, Virginia

World-renowned for country hams, Virginia's colonial seaport sets the stage for down-home charm on
greater Chesapeake Bay.


Cohasset - 2

So You Want to Live in ... Cohasset, Massachusetts

Just southeast of Boston, urban professionals have discovered what shipbuilders, fishermen, and old-time actors already knew.


Chestertown, Maryland

So You Want to Live in ... Chestertown, Maryland

A lovely Maryland Eastern Shore village works toward a shipshape future.


Old Saybrook,Connecticut

So You Want to Live in ... Old Saybrook, Connecticut

A classic American Main Street and water everywhere, it's the kind of town you thought didn't exist anymore.


Edisto Island

So You Want to Live on ... Edisto Island

Residents here ditch rush hour and embrace island time.


Isle of Hope

So You Want to Live on ... Isle of Hope, Georgia

The Isle of Hope Marina is the only commercial venture on the island. The remainder of the sleepy town boasts postcard-perfect cottages and manors.


Ocracoke Sunset

So You Want to Live on ... Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

Built around placid Silver Lake Harbor, this Outer Banks village lures escapees from the mainland.


So You Want to Live in ... Dover, New Hampshire

A high-tech makeover revived this water-laced mill town in New Hampshire. But it still feels cozy.


So You Want to Live in ... Rowayton, Connecticut

Surrounded on three sides by water, this picturesque district of Norwalk, Connecticut, defines coastal living―and dreaming―at its best.


So You Want to Live in ... Portsmouth, Virginia

This old Virginia seaport city thrives on its rejuvenation, inviting people from all over the world to call it home.


So You Want to Live in ... Jamestown, Rhode Island

At the end of the bridge from Newport lies a peaceful island town with water almost everywhere.

More Ways To Get Coastal Living



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Top 21 Beaches, Coast to Coast

Plan your summer getaway now: From white strands to secret coves, we've found the ultimate spots by the shore, plus fabulous lodging so you can stay as long as you like.

The Cove Beach, Cape May, New Jersey