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.

Dream Towns

Plan a vacation location or find a new place to call home in this roundup of our favorite coastal communities.

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Big City Getaway
Matthew Gilson

Big City Getaway

Lake Bluff, Illinois

The aptly named Lake Bluff area borders Lake Michigan from a bluff top perch. Leafy and historic, this shore side village an hour north of Chicago cherishes its small-town ambience. Originally founded as a Methodist camp in the 1870s, Lake Bluff was modeled after Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard and Chautauqua in New York as a place for religious contemplation as well as cultural education, social affairs, and recreation. Later, Chicago families found it a convenient waterside retreat from the city heat.

Find out more about Lake Bluff, Illinois


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