Last updated July 2, 2022
These 10 coastal small towns offer plenty of fun and relaxation. Forget about Miami and Laguna Beach! The 10 Best Coastal Small Towns — each with a population of fewer than 25,000 people as of the last census — offer unpretentious and affordable seaside fun without the crowds, proving that biggest isn't always better.
Photo courtesy of ArtistheJourney // Getty Images
1. BEST COASTAL SMALL TOWN? READERS SELECT OCEAN SPRINGS, MISSISSIPPI
Known as the "City of Discovery," the historic coastal town of Ocean Springs is the perfect place for visitors to relax and enjoy. After exploring downtown with its quaint cottage-like Main Street, artistic flair, and small-town appeal, head to the beach for a day in the sun. Stroll along miles of soft white sand, and find more tranquil stretches of beach for romantic walks or moonlight picnics. Take a boat cruise and enjoy dinner and a magnificent sunset, or paddleboard, kayak or canoe along river bayous and through constantly developing natural marshlands.
Photo courtesy of iStock // ArtistheJourney
2. BAY SAINT LOUIS, MISSISSIPPI
The quaint seaside town of Bay St. Louis calls itself, "a place apart," and it's easy to see why. The friendly community has everything you'd want from a small town seaside escape — a store-lined Main Street, restaurants serving fresh Gulf seafood, museums and an 8.5-mile canoe and kayak trail.