Boston restaurateur Brian Piccini has been coming to Provincetown, Massachusetts nearly every summer since he was a boy. “You’re surrounded by water, and at sunset when the light shines over the dunes and reflects off the boats, it’s spectacular,” says Piccini. “Even as a kid, I could sense the magic."
And Piccini isn’t alone. In this year’s America’s Favorite Places survey, Travel + Leisure readers voted the town at the tip of Cape Cod America’s favorite beach town. A winning trifecta of gorgeous natural scenery, charming architecture, and an everyone-is-welcome cultural scene, earned P-Town top honors. In the words of Piccini, “it hits the nail on all heads.”
In the annual America's Favorite Places survey, readers of all stripes evaluate hundreds of cities and towns across a range of categories, from the friendliness of the locals to the quality of the pizza. Unlike Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards, which encourages readers to weigh in on travel experiences across the globe, the America's Favorite Places survey is a way for locals to share what their hometowns do best.
As the results make clear, American beachgoers are looking for more than just expanses of sand on their summer vacations. Some travelers are looking for resorts with a longstanding tradition of leisure.
That’s the case for one California beach town, which is celebrating one hundred years as a haven for sun-seekers this year. Others have a more of-the-moment feel, including an up-and-coming Midwest destination that’s traded sawmills and canning factories for hip wineries and beach umbrellas.
Read on for this year’s ranking of America’s favorite beach towns, and get that sunscreen ready.
Travel + Leisure’s America’s Favorite Places survey opened on 10/8/2015 and closed on 04/15/2016. It was open to everyone, and ran alongside a sweepstakes. The open-response survey asked respondents to submit their favorite place and rate it in over 65 categories, including affordability, notable restaurants, and public parks. Cities are defined as governed bodies with a population over 100,000.