Road trip: 25 best beach cities in America

Several beach resorts within a few hours' drive from Washington make the list of the nation's 25 best beach cities. See which towns made the list and what you should do when you're there.

WASHINGTON — Many in the D.C. area will head to the seashore sometime soon — and won’t have to travel far to get to some of the country’s best resorts.

The 25 best beach cities in America, as compiled by the food, drink and travel website Thrillist, includes Ocean City, Maryland; Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; and Nags Head, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

In the alphabetized list, Nags Head is praised for its spectacular ocean views, tall sand dunes, iconic lighthouses and proximity to Kill Devil Hills, where the Wright brothers made their historic first flight. The “must eat/drink” selection is Outer Banks Brewing Station, America’s only wind-powered brewery. And, it’s legal to drive on the beach.

Ocean City is included for its Ferris wheel, ice cream, nightlife at Seacrets and “shamelessly tacky boardwalk nostalgia.” Thrillist says say the food that has to be eaten while in Ocean City is Thrasher’s french fries.

With its clean beaches, Rehoboth Beach is noted for its iconic boardwalk, historic hotels and boutiques without sales tax. Thrillist’s “must eat/drink” destination in Rehoboth is Chesapeake & Maine, a sister restaurant to the Dogfish Head brewery. And don’t leave town without getting saltwater taffy at Dolles (pronounced Dolly’s, of course).

A bit further north, Cape May and Asbury Park, in New Jersey, make the top 25; slightly south of the Outer Banks is Beaufort, North Carolina.

Thrillist’s complete list of the 25 best beach cities in America:

  • Anna Maria Island, Florida
  • Asbury Park, New Jersey
  • Beaufort, North Carolina
  • Blue Hill, Maine
  • Cannon Beach, Oregon
  • Cape May, New Jersey
  • Clearwater, Florida
  • Falmouth, Massachusetts
  • Fernandina Beach, Florida
  • Grand Haven, Michigan
  • Gulf Shores, Alabama
  • Haleiwa, Hawaii
  • Laguna Beach, California
  • Morro Bay, California
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  • Nags Head, North Carolina
  • Narragansett, Rhode Island
  • Newport, Oregon
  • Ocean City, Maryland
  • Ocean Springs, Mississippi
  • Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
  • Santa Cruz, California
  • Sequim, Washington
  • Traverse City, Michigan
  • Yakutat, Alaska

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