Summer is here and it brought scorching heat, burning sun, and sticky air with it.
In times like these, one thing is usually certain: a relaxing beach getaway is on everyone’s mind (unless you prefer lakes). But if you can’t swing a full-blown vacay across the ocean to lay out on one of the best beaches in the world, these domestic beach towns might do the trick.
These places are known for their great summer weather, their adorable seaside charm, and, of course, their great beaches.
Here are 16 of the most charming beach towns in the US.
SEE ALSO: The best lake towns in the US
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This Cape Cod hotspot earned the title of America’s favorite beach town, according to Travel + Leisure readers. Each summer, the usually 3,000-person town becomes home to around 60,000 people.
Downtown’s Commercial Street features tons of galleries and stores to stroll through, while beaches like Race Point Beach and Herring Cove Beach are the perfect spot to soak up some sun. For animal lovers there’s whale watching, and for foodies The Canteen and The Purple Feather are must-visits.
With people dropping an average of $3.95 million per home, there is no beach town that’s as expensive to live in as Malibu. In the past, it’s been home to celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Angelina Jolie, but the city has more to offer than star power.
The 30-mile stretch of land features scenic beaches, like Zuma Beach and El Matador State Beach, as well as hiking trails through the Santa Monica Mountains. The city is on the Pacific Coast Highway, one of the best drives in the world, and has many notable restaurants, like celebrity go-to Nobu.
If you’re looking for a truly classic New England beach getaway, nothing comes as close as the 50-square mile island of Nantucket. Once the world’s top whaling port, the town is now designated a National Historic District, and filled with cobblestone streets, charming cedar-shingled cottages, whaling captains’ mansions, and a nautical charm evidenced by an abundance of decorative buoys and rope.
Of course, there are also stunning beaches, beautiful lighthouses, whale watching, and boutique shopping.