America’s Best Little Beach Towns

These uncrowded and unpretentious beach towns, from Florida to Hawaii, promise fun that's (could it be?) actually affordable.

Boca Grande, FL

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This Edenic escape on the Gulf of Mexico is a real slice of Old Florida, with a much-photographed lighthouse watching over Gasparilla Island State Park, tree-lined streets without traffic lights, and long, quiet beaches touched by gentle surf.

Stay: The Gasparilla Inn, a member of the Historic Hotels of America and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is the classic resort and comes complete with a golf course. It’s closed during the hottest months, though; the best alternative is its sister property, the Innlet, which features a waterside restaurant and a relaxed vibe.

Eat: A funky Florida spot with character, Temptation—think murals of leaping tarpon and a neon martini sign—serves local grouper, pompano, and soft-shell crabs.

Tom Austin

America’s Best Little Beach Towns

Boca Grande, FL

This Edenic escape on the Gulf of Mexico is a real slice of Old Florida, with a much-photographed lighthouse watching over Gasparilla Island State Park, tree-lined streets without traffic lights, and long, quiet beaches touched by gentle surf.

Stay: The Gasparilla Inn, a member of the Historic Hotels of America and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is the classic resort and comes complete with a golf course. It’s closed during the hottest months, though; the best alternative is its sister property, the Innlet, which features a waterside restaurant and a relaxed vibe.

Eat: A funky Florida spot with character, Temptation—think murals of leaping tarpon and a neon martini sign—serves local grouper, pompano, and soft-shell crabs.

Tom Austin

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