2012 America's Happiest Seaside Towns

We've ranked the top 15 happiest places to live on the coast. And the winners are...

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Duxbury, Massachusetts
Photographer: Michael Hanson

14. Duxbury, Massachusetts

While New England's Wampanoag Indians had enjoyed the sea-borne bounty of this shoreline on Cape Cod Bay for centuries, it was pilgrim Myles Standish who settled in an area now known as Standish Shore, in 1637.

Did that famous Pilgrim envision the community that would grow here, out of shipping and farming (Duxbury is dotted with the deep red of cranberry bogs, and its oyster farming is on the rise), to hold one of the United States' top 12 public high schools? Perhaps. A community commitment to education keeps this town of 14,200 residents a desirous outpost for Boston commuters. And clean air and spacious views of the bay make it a year-round escape for retirees.

Where to Stay: Winsor House Inn embodies New England hospitality. Rates start at $110; 781/934-0991 or winsorhouseinn.com.

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