Visitors come for the colossal glacier and stay for the cascading waterfalls, pristine lakes, and surrounding forests. Keep with LC’s low-key culture and opt for as relaxing of a stay as possible. Known as the “Jewel of Midcoast Maine,” Camden is a quiet coastal village with darling shops, waterfront... 2. Hidden gems: The best beach towns on the East Coast Family Travel North America Travel Tips Summer is coming, so it should come as no surprise that you find your thoughts drifting … It’s just outside of Juneau, which also happens to be a hidden gem in the US (even though it’s the capital of Alaska). While everyone heads to the bustling south end of Long Beach Island, New Jersey, head in the opposite direction to Barnegat Light. While San Francisco is 7×7 miles, there are a TON of strange, unique things hidden in the city limits. Highlights at this seemingly secret destination include Crescent Beach, which features moderate surf for youngsters; boat charters via Passion for Sail Charters; and bicycle tours with Block Island Bike Tours. Skip the big cities and plan a visit to smaller, underrated destinations that are a little more off the beaten path. Beach rentals are the most popular accommodation option for families here. The seasonal summer colony pleases little tikes with the seaside Palace Playland, while parents are more taken by Bayley’s Lobster Pound. The barrier island’s sister destination, Lido Key, also has its own downtown and resort (Lido Beach Resort), and it’s easy and fun to experience both areas in one trip, plus all the nearby fun Sarasota has to offer. Make time for a tour of the estates; two of the most famous being The Breakers—the Vanderbilt’s Italian Renaissance-style abode, and Rosecliff—a Versailles-modeled number which once belonged to a silver heiress. All products are independently selected by our writers and editors. These secret East Coast beach destinations are perfect for families, yet somehow remain under the radar. Recommended Hotel: Jekyll Island Club Resort. Explore the best of the world. Skip the crowds of Miami Beach and head to the nearby Town of Surfside, a quieter destination town with equally great beaches. Explore More: See hotel details | See all Portsmouth, NH hotels. When it comes to East Coast travel, there are plenty of hot spots most everyone has heard about. Once a thriving whaling port and writer’s colony (residents included John Steinbeck, George Sterling, E. L. Doctorow, and more), the village is an amalgam of white picket fences, perfectly-manicured boxwood hedges, and beautifully-kept colonial houses. 1. Gloucester, on Massachusetts' Cape Ann, is another coastal city that has been kept an East Coast secret despite the many things to do. Known for flavorful, regionally-inspired tapas and an extensive wine menu, the spot feels “big city” thanks to options like sesame-seared tuna bento boxes and crab and pineapple Napoleon. This hidden gem features the second longest beach in Virginia, with calm waves ideal for new swimmers. Explore More: See hotel details | See all Aiken, SC hotels, Photos courtesy of Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce. The area is also a good base from which to explore Rockland (an equally adorable town, just 20 minutes away), and Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park (1.5 hours away). Skip forward a couple centuries, and this becomes apparent as any walk through town will reveal an original commons and 17th- and 18th-century buildings like a Quaker meeting house, town hall, schoolhouse, and church, all now tended to by a tight-knit community of less than 5,000 residents. The 14-acre public garden is cut with meandering paths that usher you under romantic 100-year-old live oak and cedar canopies. Guidelines for Travelers. Take the Block Island Ferry from Newport, Rhode Island; Point Judith, Rhode Island; or Fall River, Massachusetts, to discover Block Island. Go for a tasting at Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards, take a caffeine and gallery break at The Art Cafe, or lay down a towel at South Shore Beach. Meanwhile in Michigan. To start your trip off with instant Southern charm, take a driving detour along South Boundary, also known as the “Avenue of the Oaks,” to ogle at the natural green awning before heading 10 minutes down the road to Hopelands Gardens. Ask any out-of-towners where they’re staying, though, and they’ll probably list popular cities like Portland, Ogunquit, or Bar Harbor. Recommended Hotel: Riverview Inn – Colonial Beach. Here, you’ll spend your time on the shores of Island Beach State Park, climbing to the top of Barnegat Light, hopping on a fishing charter, or visiting the adjacent and equally laidback town of Love Ladies. 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