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.

Lewes, Delaware

The Sleeper on the Bay

Dream Towns: Lewes, Delaware

Lewes, Delaware

If you lived here and had the urge to walk on the beach, you could grab an ice cream at King’s downtown, reach the water just as you finish a double scoop, and then walk south all the way to Maryland. That’s about 25 miles of sand between the toes.

Most people know Cape May, New Jersey, the historic town that shares the mouth of Delaware Bay, and the ferry that crosses it, with Lewes. Lewes (population 3,127) has the same coastal character and historic preservation tendencies as Cape May, only with fewer tourists and more affordable real estate. And there is a local citizenry dedicated to keeping the charm and history in balance.

“In 1999, residents raised more than $1 million to purchase Canal Front Park,” says Mike DiPaolo, executive director of the Lewes Historical Society. “A group wanted to build a shopping center and condo complex, and the citizens were able to buy the land. It’s now a green space and marina.”


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