Classic Coastal Destinations To Visit Before You Die

There’s nothing quite like a seaside escape in the summertime—whether the destination skews hip or quaint, a getaway that involves water in near proximity always promises to be relaxing above all. Though there are countless escapes across the country we’d be more than willing to frequent, there are some that stick out as classics, with rich, continued history as tourist destinations. Here, five places to plan your next summer vacay and locales to visit at each.


Escape To The Water

Photos: Malibu Beach Inn and Nobu

Malibu, CA

The beautiful beach town nestled just west of the heart of Los Angeles is known for its laid-back luxury, picturesque coastline and of course, famous residents.

Stay at Malibu Beach Inn. Sip margaritas at Cafe Habana. Enjoy an al fresco dinner at Taverna Tony. Lounge at Nobu for incredible views and even better sushi. Spend an afternoon shopping at Malibu Country Mart. Sunbathe (with SPF, of course) at Zuma Beach.

Photos: Wolffer Estate Vineyard, Beacon and Highway Restaurant & Bar

The Hamptons, NY

The collective of towns clustered on the eastern end of Long Island attracts Manhattanites in droves during the summer, offering a welcome escape to the hustle and bustle of NYC. Ongoings range from tranquil to raucous, pending your location.

Stay at Topping Rose House. Dine at Tutto il Giorno, Beacon and Moby's. Stop into BuddhaBerry in Sag Harbor for the best frozen yogurt in town. Spend a Friday at Wolffer Estate Vineyard enjoying wine, cheese and live music. Indulge in retail therapy at Calypso, Zimmermann and Jenni Kayne's pop-up shop. Have a drink at Highway Restaurant & Bar.

Photos: White Elephant and Nautilus

Nantucket, MA

An island off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket is a prepster's paradise with a distinct New England feel and plenty of seafood to go around.

Stay at White Elephant. Have breakfast at Black Eyed Susans. Eat fresh seafood at Nautilus or right off the dock at Slip 14. Enjoy a no-frills night out at The Chicken Box. Rent bikes and ride to Madaket and Surfside beaches. Visit the Sankaty Head Lighthouse and explore the village of Siasconset.

Photos: The Clam Shack and White Barn Inn

Kennebunkport, ME

A scenic area off the coast of Maine, Kennebunkport is relatively low key—save for the fact the Bush family owns a home and Taylor Swift once filmed her video for "Mine" there.

Stay at White Barn Inn (and have a nice dinner at the hotel restaurant) or Colony Hotel. Eat lobster everything; rolls at The Clam Shack, pizza at Blue Sky. Take a guided kayak tour on the water.

Photos: Inn At The Park and Sand Castle Inn

South Haven, MI

A coastal locale within reach of the Heartland, South Haven is an enchanting, sleepy town that sits along Lake Michigan.

Stay at an idyllic bed and breakfast on the water, like Inn At The Park or Sand Castle Inn. Spend mornings at Cafe Julia. Go antique shopping downtown at Murphy's. Have Italian food at Tello. Pick up blueberries from a local stand. Cool off with ice cream from Sherman's.