America's Happiest Seaside Towns 2015: Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Renowned for the mild, sweet oysters, this town of 3,100 is home to much more than its local culinary star. Halfway up the forearm of Cape Cod’s famous, curling shape, Wellfleet has a quaint town center dotted with classically white-clapboard New England–style homes, sophisticated galleries, excellent restaurants, and a drive-in theater that is all-American fun. Photo: John Greim/Getty Images. Coastalliving.com
America's #2 Happiest Seaside Town 2015: Venice, Florida. What does it say about this town of 22,000 people on Florida’s Gulf Coast that it has a designated beach for dogs? Two things: Venice is a town with a big heart, and it has plenty of gorgeous, pearly-white beaches to spare (14 miles, in fact). Photo: James Schwabel/Alamy. Coastalliving.com
Fairhope, Alabama: Located on what’s known as the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay, this gracious Gulf town has long been a destination for artists, writers (including Fannie Flagg and Rick Bragg), and vacationers. The historic downtown blooms—not just with independent cafés, bars, and shopping, but also literally: Colorful blossoms line the sidewalks, decorate street crossings, hang in baskets suspended from light posts, and overflow from planters in front of shops.