New England’s Best Beach Towns 2012
Thursday, August 09, 2012
What is New England's Best Beach Town?
Today, GoLocal unveils its first comprehensive head-to-head comparison and ranking of New England's beach towns. This brand-new analysis utilized thousands of data points to assess and compare towns in every state (with a coastline) in the region.
The methodology began with every coastal town in the region, and then eliminated anything with a year-round population over 50,000. From there, we scrutinized travel sites for beach reviews, and cross-referenced the best beaches with the towns where they were located. This yielded 33 finalists, from tiny Ogonquit, Maine (population 892) to Milford, Connecticut (population 49,619).
This list of 33 contenders was then assessed in 5 general areas: Environment, Walkability, Food & Drink, Lodging, and Beach Amenities. With metrics ranging from air and water quality, percent of sunny days, numbers of restaurants, bars, and ice cream parlors, hotel and B&B rooms, walkability ranking and a survey of 23 beach amenities, from parasailing to nature trails, GoLocal's researchers culled national databases and spoke to hundreds of tourism professionals, chamber of commerce members, real estate agents, parks and recreation officials, as well as other locals to tabulate the many numbers that figured into the analysis. Finally, the GoLocal proprietary formula weighted each metric to yield the final ranking: what made each of these beach towns great places to play as well as stay (for details on the methodology, go here).
GoLocal's 33 finalists were from the 5 New England states with coastline:
Connecticut: East Lyme, Madison, Milford, Westport
Maine: Bar Harbor, Georgetown, Kennebunk/Kennebunkport (the Kennebunks), Lubec, Ogunquit, Old Orchard Beach, Scarborough, Wells, York
Massachusetts: Chatham, Eastham, Edgartown, Gloucester, Hyannis, Ipswich, Manchester-By-The-Sea, Nantucket, Provincetown, Oak Bluffs, Salisbury, Sandwich, Wellfleet, Westport, Yarmouth
New Hampshire: Hampton
Rhode Island: Little Compton, Narragansett, New Shoreham, Westerly/Watch HIll
Vermont: (no ocean coastline)
What emerged after hundreds of hours of research and analysis was both a quantifiable as well as a fun view of New England’s best beach towns. Which spots hold the magic combination of beautiful environment, restaurants, bars, lodging, walkability and ample amenities that combine to make them New England's best? Read on.
For the full ranking list from #1 to #33, go here.
For profiles of the Top 10 New England’s Best Beach Towns 2012, go here.
For more coverage of New England's Best Beach Towns 2012, don't miss GoLocalTV, fresh every day at 4pm and on demand 24/7, here.
With research contributions from Meia Geddes, Scott O'Leary, Ian Poris Slater, and Jake Costello.
- Rhode Island’s 10 Best Beaches
- 18 Secret Summer Spots
- New England’s Best Beach Towns 2012
- Top 10 Beach Towns: New England’s Best Beach Towns 2012
- Rankings List: New England’s Best Beach Towns 2012
- Methodology: New England’s Best Beach Towns 2012
- Best Lobster Dishes + Where to Eat Them
- Rhode Island’s Best Clam Shacks 2012