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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Solomons Island, Maryland
Photographer: Pat & Chuck Blackley

15. Solomons Island, Maryland

Tidewater living is about some fresh oysters for dinner and an icy beer, about summer hospitality and quiet pride in community. It's about a legacy of fishing, shellfishing, and explorations. And Solomons, tucked along where the Patuxent River meets Chesapeake Bay, breathes these qualities among its tidy, whitewashed homes and businesses.

A favorite getaway spot for the Baltimore-Washington area, this tiny settlement of 2,400 boasts marinas, seafood joints (including a heralded spot, Stoney's Seafood House), a well-worn boardwalk forstrolling, and the gorgeous Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center, which shows world-class work on loan from the National Gallery of Art or the Smithsonian. It's like finding a pearl. And still getting to eat the oyster. Every day.

Where to Stay: Solomons Victorian Inn serves breakfast with a harbor view. Rates start at $110; 410/326-4811 or solomonsvictorianinn.com.

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