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LifestyleThese are the United States' 7 Oldest Beach Towns

These are the United States’ 7 Oldest Beach Towns

Embark on a journey through time as we unveil the charm and history of the United States’ 7 oldest beach towns. From the Atlantic to the Pacific, these coastal gems have witnessed centuries of cultural evolution, each with its unique story to tell. Join us in exploring the sandy shores where American history meets the soothing rhythm of the ocean waves. Delve into the past, where colonial influences, maritime heritage, and natural beauty converge, shaping these beach towns into timeless destinations. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or a beach lover, this blog is your guide to the picturesque landscapes and rich narratives that define these coastal treasures.


United States’ 7 Oldest Beach Towns

Cape May, New Jersey

Nestled on the southern tip of New Jersey, Cape May stands as a testament to colonial history. Founded in 1620, it boasts a rich maritime heritage and Victorian architecture. The town’s pristine beaches are complemented by well-preserved historic sites, including the Emlen Physick Estate and Cape May Lighthouse. Visitors can stroll along tree-lined streets, admiring colorful Victorian homes, and indulge in the town’s famed seafood cuisine. Cape May’s enduring charm and commitment to preserving its past make it a must-visit destination for those seeking a blend of history and coastal beauty.

Also Read: 9 of Mexico’s Best Beach Towns That Are Not Cancun


Plymouth, Massachusetts

Known for its pivotal role in American history, Plymouth is not only the site of the Mayflower landing in 1620 but also one of the nation’s oldest beach towns. The iconic Plymouth Rock serves as a reminder of the Pilgrims’ arrival, while the town’s waterfront offers stunning views of the Atlantic. Explore the Plimoth Plantation for a glimpse into colonial life or relax on the sandy shores of Plymouth Beach. With a rich cultural heritage and a scenic coastline, Plymouth remains a living history book, inviting visitors to step back in time while enjoying the coastal splendor.

York, Maine

Established in 1624, York, Maine, is renowned for its idyllic beaches and historic landmarks. Long Sands Beach and Short Sands Beach provide the perfect backdrop for a seaside retreat. The town’s colonial roots are evident in its historic district, where centuries-old homes and buildings reflect the area’s maritime history. The iconic Nubble Lighthouse adds a touch of charm to the rugged coastline. York seamlessly combines the tranquility of its shores with a deep appreciation for its storied past, creating a destination that appeals to both history enthusiasts and beachgoers alike.


St. Augustine, Florida

As the oldest European settlement in the continental United States that has still been inhabited, St. Augustine, Florida, has a special place in history. Founded by Spanish explorers in 1565, its cobblestone streets and Spanish architecture transport visitors to another era. St. Augustine Beach offers a picturesque retreat, while historic sites like the Castillo de San Marcos provide a glimpse into the town’s military past. The blend of Old World charm and coastal allure makes St. Augustine a captivating destination for those seeking a beach town with centuries of stories to tell.

Gloucester, Massachusetts

Gloucester, settled in 1623, is not only one of the oldest fishing ports in the country but also a charming beach town. Its sandy shores, like Good Harbor Beach and Wingaersheek Beach, attract sunseekers and water enthusiasts. The town’s historic waterfront, with its iconic Fisherman’s Memorial, pays homage to the seafaring heritage that defines Gloucester. Visitors can explore Rocky Neck Art Colony, the oldest art colony in the United States, and savor fresh seafood at local eateries. Gloucester’s maritime legacy and scenic coastal landscapes make it a quintessential New England beach town.


Hampton, New Hampshire

Founded in 1638, Hampton, New Hampshire, is celebrated for its long, sandy beaches and charming seaside atmosphere. Hampton Beach, with its lively boardwalk and entertainment venues, has been a favorite summer destination for centuries. The town’s colonial history is evident in its historic district, where landmarks like the Tuck Museum showcase Hampton’s past. With a perfect blend of coastal beauty and vibrant community spirit, Hampton continues to attract visitors seeking a classic beach town experience with a touch of historical charm.

Also Read: The 7 Best Small Towns in the US to Retire to


Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach, established in 1607, holds the distinction of being one of the oldest beach resorts in the United States. Its expansive shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean provides a backdrop for a variety of recreational activities. Beyond its beaches, Virginia Beach boasts a rich history, with landmarks like Cape Henry Lighthouse and the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse Station. The boardwalk, stretching three miles along the oceanfront, offers a vibrant atmosphere with shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Virginia Beach seamlessly combines a modern resort town with a deep-rooted historical legacy, making it a dynamic destination for beach enthusiasts and history buffs alike.


In concluding our exploration of the United States’ 7 oldest beach towns, it’s evident that these coastal havens have not only withstood the test of time but have flourished into living testaments of America’s maritime heritage. From the cobbled streets to the sun-kissed shores, these towns seamlessly blend the old with the new, inviting travelers to immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of history and natural beauty. As you plan your next coastal getaway, consider these timeless destinations, where the echoes of the past harmonize with the present, creating an experience that transcends eras. Uncover the legacy and allure that make these beach towns an integral part of America’s historical mosaic.



What makes these beach towns the oldest in the United States?

These beach towns claim their age from their colonial roots, dating back to the early days of European settlement, where coastal areas played a pivotal role in trade and commerce.

Are these towns still vibrant today, or are they relics of the past?

Absolutely! While preserving their historical charm, these beach towns have evolved into thriving communities, offering a perfect blend of historic architecture, cultural events, and modern amenities.



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