America’s Best Little Beach Towns

Keith Daly

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

Gearhart, OR

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With its antiques shops and picturesque hiking trails, Gearhart—just north of the renowned, more-bustling Cannon Beach—is an in-the-know haven for Portland hipsters like Paige Powell and Gus Van Sant. In the evenings, people drive onto the hard-packed sand for wine and stargazing parties.

Stay: The 12 attached cottages of the Gearhart Ocean Inn, constructed in 1941, are an easy walk to the beach, and the owners will furnish a “clam gun” for scooping up clams from the sand.

Eat: The nicely refined Pacific Way Bakery & Café serves top-notch muffins and coffee in the morning, and later a menu that includes bay shrimp, designer pizzas, and flawless crab cakes. —Tom Austin

Gearhart, Oregon

America’s Best Little Beach Towns

Gearhart, OR

With its antiques shops and picturesque hiking trails, Gearhart—just north of the renowned, more-bustling Cannon Beach—is an in-the-know haven for Portland hipsters like Paige Powell and Gus Van Sant. In the evenings, people drive onto the hard-packed sand for wine and stargazing parties.

Stay: The 12 attached cottages of the Gearhart Ocean Inn, constructed in 1941, are an easy walk to the beach, and the owners will furnish a “clam gun” for scooping up clams from the sand.

Eat: The nicely refined Pacific Way Bakery & Café serves top-notch muffins and coffee in the morning, and later a menu that includes bay shrimp, designer pizzas, and flawless crab cakes. —Tom Austin

Keith Daly
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