The Best Coastal Small Town in America Is in New England, According to USA Today

It turns out the best coastal small town in the US is here in New England, according to the 2021 10Best Readers' Choice Travel Awards.

Town of Bucksport/Facebook

There's something to be said about coastal small towns.

They're often under the radar and perhaps even off the beaten path. They're charming and quaint, boasting spectacular views and that small-town appeal you can't find just anywhere.

But among thousands of miles of coastlines in the United States, there's one small town that really stood out this year in the eyes of USA Today readers.

That's right, the best coastal small town in the US is here in New England, according to the 2021 10Best Readers' Choice Travel Awards.

It's the town of Bucksport, Maine.

For those not familiar with this award-winning spot, it's located by the Penobscot River, is home to approximately 5,000 people, and has a downtown waterfront area that seems to draw visitors in.

If you're looking to fish (there's even a winter fishing derby), kayak or canoe, there's Silver Lake and Jacob Buck Pond. And there's a public dock located directly off Main Street.

Some suggestions from a 10Best contributor include stopping for a craft beer at the Friar’s Brewhouse, visiting the history museum, or trying a glass of wine at Verona Wine and Design.

The town of Bucksport took the contest very seriously, asking residents to vote daily. And they are all excited for this honor, saying the "little engine that could" has chugged its way to the winner's circle.

"...For all those of us who have been bitten by the 'I Love Bucksport' bug - it is an awesome opportunity to share all that is wonderful about this resilient, wonderful community and its incredible people," a Facebook post last month read. "Let’s put Bucksport on the map in a big way! We are definitely the little engine that could!"

Here are the top 10 winners in the Best Coastal Small Town category:

  1. Bucksport - Maine
  2. Georgetown - South Carolina
  3. Rockport - Texas
  4. Southport - North Carolina
  5. Ocean Springs - Mississippi
  6. Bay Saint Louis - Mississippi
  7. Nags Head - North Carolina
  8. Del Mar - California
  9. Beaufort - South Carolina
  10. Cape May - New Jersey

Every coastal destination has a different vibe, but all 10 are uncrowded, unpretentious, and offer affordable seaside fun. Each has a population of fewer than 25,000 people, the publication said.

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