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Best Beach Towns in the US

Summer vacation is mostly over across the U.S., with kids already headed back to school. So now is the perfect time to start planning next year’s beach vacation.

Travelers were busy during summer 2023. On Memorial Day weekend, largely considered the unofficial start of summer, the Transportation Security Administration screened 9.8 million people, surpassing pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels. Trips abroad spiked in popularity as people made up for time lost during pandemic-era travel restrictions.

However, as inflation made travel more expensive, budget-conscious travelers cut costs by driving to their destinations and staying stateside. During the Fourth of July, AAA projected 43.2 million people would travel by car, a new record.

Beach destinations are popular this year, according to a survey from vacation rental platform Vacasa, and outdoor recreation remains a top priority. Not only are beaches a great place to unwind and create family bonding moments, but they also boost people’s mental health.

So what makes a good beach town? Access to a beach, of course, but also plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to keep kids entertained, warm weather, and a long beach season—the average number of days beaches are open for swimming. So perhaps it’s not surprising that Hawaii and Florida cities dominate this list. But besides the Aloha and the Sunshine states, beachgoers can enjoy the sand and surf in places off the beaten path in Texas and on the Eastern Seaboard.

To be considered a beach town, each city needed at least one beach on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National List of Beaches. The EPA list includes beaches that are only used recreationally and open to the public for free or for a fee; it has more than 6,000 beaches on the United States’ Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts and on the Great Lakes identified by states and tribes in response to the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act of 2000. The act requires states to report water quality monitoring to an EPA database.

Stacker determined rankings by a number of factors, with the most weight given to the number of beaches within a quarter mile of a city or town and the total shoreline of those beaches. Weather patterns and the duration of each beach’s swim season affect town scores. The ranking also takes into account the prevalence of beach-related businesses, unemployment rates, and median home prices.

The data was analyzed before the devastating wildfires in Hawaii, so the ranking includes Lahaina, which was obliterated by the blaze. Hawaii’s governor estimates it will take years to rebuild the historic site. 

Read on to get some vacation planning inspiration.

Source : wfmz.com