The 7 Best Beach Towns on the East Coast

Acadia National Park, home to Cadillac Mountain and John D. Rockefeller Jr.-funded carriage routes, covers most of Mt. Desert Island in Maine. However, lovely Bar Harbor in the island's northeast corner is a destination.

Bar Harbor, Maine

North Shore communities in Greater Boston are culturally significant. Seafood, beaches, and historic sites are popular in the coastal area. Famous films including Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island and Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester-by-the-Sea were shot here.

Rockport, Massachusetts

Daily ferries bring day trippers to Oak Bluffs, a Martha's Vineyard village with fairytale gingerbread mansions. Visitors get off their boats into Ocean Park, a circular green with cottages and a frothy, fragile pavilion overlooking the water.

Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts

This Massachusetts peninsula is a favorite vacation area for good reason. It's lovely year-round and full of history (visit Plymouth to see where the Mayflower docked), but summers are hot.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Newport is a coastal town with distinct residences than Oak Bluffs. The famed cliff walk has ten massive, historic houses that were formerly the vacation residences of the Vanderbilts, Nevada silver heiresses, and other wealthy Westerners.

Newport, Rhode Island

Montauk, Long Island's easternmost point, is the End. Strong winds, high sea, and plenty of conserved land make this place seem like the edge of the planet. (Some inhabitants of Long Island's furthest out community say it's the Beginning.

Montauk, New York

Cape May, with its pink triple-decker Victorian mansions and busy, celebratory promenade, is America's idyllic beach town ideal, complete with melting ice cream on the sidewalk and Fourth of July picnics.

Cape May, New Jersey