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16 Towns Like Nantucket Towns

Wooden beach house at Nantucket.

Nantucket is one of the most interesting towns in America because of its location on an island that is part of the state of Massachusetts. There is plenty of history of the rich and famous spending vacation times on the island, and there are even connections to the Kennedy family and this town.

Needless to say, there is a lot of history to be appreciated in Nantucket, and it leads some people to want to know more about towns that are similar to this one. You see, people may or may not be able to afford to move to a place like Nantucket, but perhaps they can appreciate a town that shares some of the same qualities.

Some of the towns that we will explore are also in Massachusetts and are nearby to Nantucket, and others are nowhere close to the area. We try to provide a good mix of both to you because we want to show you how you can find places that are similar to Nantucket throughout the country.

1. Mystic, Connecticut

Mystic, CT welcome sign board.

Mystic has a population of just 4,205 according to the latest figures. This is somewhat smaller than the roughly 11,000 who live in Nantucket, but there are some other similarities. The town is also on the water, and it boasts of great tourism spots to check out including the Mystic Aquarium, which is popular with people of all ages.

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People flock to Mystic to check that out, and they also appreciate the opportunity to get away from the busiest parts of other cities. The fact that this city has a population of just 4,205 is not a bad thing in the eyes of many people. In fact, they appreciate it because it allows them a chance to step back and breath a little easier.

Living in a smaller town like this is ideal for many people, particularly when that town happens to be right on the water as Mystic is. They can get away from some of the worst parts of living in a city without also giving up on the aspects of city life that they do like (such as access to great food!). Thus, living in Mystic, Connecticut actually works out fantastically for some people, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

2. Menemsha, Massachusetts

A yacht parked at Menemsha, Massachusetts.

This small fishing village is most famous for being the backdrop for the 1975 movie “Jaws”. It is a small area on Martha’s Vineyard which is very near Nantucket, and it is the perfect getaway for some people who are able to afford to live there.

You can’t beat the amenities that you can get in a place like this, but you should be prepared to pay a steep price for them. It is not cheap to live anywhere on the island, but some people just can’t help themselves and don’t want to live anywhere else.

Indeed, if you are looking for an area that is the most similar to Nantucket, you can’t go wrong with selecting a place that is on the same island and features many of the same types of work and play. Menemsha is the perfect place for you to lay down your roots if you want to go to a village that is incredibly similar to Nantucket. Just be prepared for the fact that you will need to have the money to move to a place like this.

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3. Leland, North Carolina

Beach town at Leland North Carolina.

Stepping away from New England for a bit, we want to take a look at Leland, North Carolina. With a population of just over 23,000, Leland is a little bigger than Nantucket, but they are still of comparable size. The two places are similar enough in how they look and feel that people can relate to both.

Leland, North Carolina is an ideal spot to get started in life because it does have the small-town vibe that so many people are looking for. At the same time, the town is not far from the coast of North Carolina, and it is known for having high educational standards.

An estimated 94.5% of Leland residents have a high school diploma with a total of 37.8% of residents aged twenty-five or older holding a Bachelor’s Degree. That is a lot higher than the national average, and it goes to show you that the area is interested in promoting education and is attractive to the highly educated as well.

4. West Haven, Utah

Another city that is nowhere close to Nantucket geographically, but which bears some of the same characteristics as Nantucket is West Haven, Utah. This is the place to go if you want to discover the perfect compromise between small-town living and big-city amenities.

Seated not far from Salt Lake City, West Haven is much smaller in terms of population, but it has easy access to the Salt Lake City area. That is incredibly important simply because most people who live in West Haven like the fact that they have access to Salt Lake City when they need it. They don’t have to go there all the time, but they can enjoy it when the mood hits them.

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West Haven is growing fast as more and more people realize what an amazing place it is. A newsletter put out in 2008 said that West Haven was the fastest growing city in all of Utah for that year. Indeed, they saw a more than 50% increase in population between the 2010 and 2020 census.

5. Mount Juliet, Tennessee

Welcome Signage at Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

Mount Juliet, TN is similar to Nantucket in that it is a smaller town (approximately 43,000 people live there) that has very close ties to the much larger city of Nashville, TN. Another similarity to Nantucket is the fact that it is getting somewhat expensive to live in the town of Mount Juliet, TN. The fact is that people are seeing property values skyrocketing across the Nashville area as it becomes a big draw for people from out of state.

Mount Juliet is considered a suburb of Nashville, but many people are snapping up properties there while they can. They see it as a more affordable way to live in Nashville without having to quite pay Nashville prices just yet. This may work for a while, but you need to act quickly if you want to keep yourself from paying outrageous prices in the future. Mount Juliet is bringing in a lot of people very quickly!

6. Pacific Grove, California

Luxurious beach resort at Pacific Grove, California.

Pacific Grove, CA is a beautiful coastal city in the middle of California. It is parked right up against the ocean just like Nantucket and features a popular of just over 15,000 (similar to Nantucket). There have been a number of television shows that have used Pacific Grove as a backdrop for their creations. These include:

  • Turner and Hooch
  • A Summer Place
  • Big Little Lies
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The scenery in the area is perfect for shooting movies and television, and it just makes sense that people would want to come and live in a town where there was so much beauty and creativity happening all the time. It seems like Pacific Grove, CA is the right choice for people who want to live in a Nantucket-like city but on the West Coast.

7. Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Beach town and park yacht at Watch Hill, Rhode Island.

Returning to the New England area, you don’t want to sleep in Watch Hill, RI. This town is situated right on the water as well. To be fair, Watch Hill, RI is not for those who need the amenities of the city. The population of Watch Hill sits at just 154 according to the latest census.

That is a LOT smaller than most of the other towns on our list, and it is important to understand that those who choose to live there are making a choice that will impact their life in large and small ways going forward. This town is not for those who can’t deal with a smaller population.

It is quite clear that the best option for anyone who wants the solitude of a very small town that is similar to Nantucket is to go to Watch Hill, RI.

8. Casco Bay Islands, Maine

A town beside the sea at Casco Bay Islands, Maine.

Try out Casco Bay Islands if you still want to be on an island like Nantucket is, but you aren’t able to live in Nantucket itself. Casco Bay Islands is an inlet on the Gulf of Maine, and it has a number of amazing lighthouses to take a look at.

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The state of Maine is known for its lighthouses anyway, and it is incredible to see how something like this has an impact on where someone wants to move and how beautiful the surrounding area can be.

You don’t get much better than what you can find at Casco Bay Islands, and that is really saying something. You may also appreciate the massive amounts of history that you can dig up when you decide to go and live there. It is truly something to be taken aback by.

Don’t take for granted the fact that those who choose to live here are making the choice to live amongst some of the most important history in the ongoing story of the United States.

9. Old Saybrook, Connecticut

Grassland and historical lighthouse at Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

With a population of just over 10,000, Old Saybrook is very similar to Nantucket in terms of size. It is also a coastal New England town that draws a lot of people to its boundaries by making an appeal to those who love the water and small-town living. The city is designed to provide a great space for people of all walks of life to gather and enjoy the ocean and its many wonders.

If you are looking for a place that is not growing as fast as some of the others on this list, then this is the one for you. It was growing steadily for some time, but then it leveled off and has more or less held a steady population for the last 30 years or so. The people who love it stay there, but it doesn’t have a big influx of tourists that you have to worry about.

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The stable population also means that prices have NOT skyrocketed in the ways that they have for many other cities on this list. That is important because you can only afford what you can afford, and it is nice to know that there are still some areas that aren’t getting out of control with things just yet.

10. Amelia Island, Florida

Historical southern castle at Amelia Island, Florida.

You can have a Nantucket-like experience even in the Sunshine State! Amelia Island is in the top right-hand corner of Florida, almost into the state of Georgia. It is extremely well-known for its array of golf courses. There are five in total including:

  • Long Point Course
  • Oak Marsh Course
  • Golf Club of Amelia Island
  • Amelia River Golf Club
  • Fernandina Beach Golf Club

These are a big draw for tourists and for amateur golfers alike. If you love the sport, then this is definitely the kind of place that you will want to relocate to. You will be spoiled by all of the golfing opportunities that are available to you if you decide to take up the opportunity to check out what Amelia Island is all about.

11. Tybee Island, Georgia

Tybee Island historical Light house.

Tybee island, population 3,114 is an island community in Georgia near the state line with South Carolina. The area is right on the water and is famous for many battles fought in and around that area during the Civil War. The people of Tybee Island are a proud people who love the history of their town and who want to help keep it look pristine as possible. You will notice that Tybee Island is one of the cleanest and crispest places that you may come across.

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You can find some interesting-looking lighthouses in this area as well. That is not as common in the South as it is up North, so it is a particular treat that Tybee Island features lighthouses like this that make for a great piece of manmade scenery in the area.

12. Camden, Maine

A gulf town at Camden, Maine.

Camden, Maine is said to be similar to Nantucket in that it is the home of many wealthy Northwesterners including people from Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Even though this area has a population of just 5,232, you certainly can feel the sense of wealth in the area, and that is why so many people feel that there is a certain something about moving to a town like this.

You certainly need money to make it happen, and some say that you need a certain level of status on top of that.

This is the kind of place that you can choose to move to if you want your experience to be very similar to that of Nantucket. However, you don’t want to do so if your reason for NOT choosing Nantucket in the first place was due to costs. The fact is, you aren’t going to escape the high costs of Nantucket if you move to a place like Camden, Maine. It just isn’t going to happen.

13. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.

The people of Hampton Beach, NH love their home. They are specifically appreciative of the fact that they can enjoy the beach weather and life without having to pay some of the prices that you would in some other towns. They are also keenly aware of the fact that their town has become something of a tourist destination.

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On the one hand, some people try to avoid tourist spots as much as possible, but others really appreciate that their town is so appealing to other people that they want to come flooding into it all the time. There is something to be said for a place that brings in a crowd like this.

The Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom is one attraction to make sure you take a look at if you happen to be in the area. It has drawn big-name entertainers there for many years and is a focal point in the city. For an area that is as small as it is, it is nice to know that Hampton Beach is still able to draw in a big crowd for some entertainment when it wants to do so.

14. Cape May, New Jersey

Historical colorful houses at Cape May, New Jersey.

One of the coolest things that you will hear about Cape May, NJ is the fact that it was featured as one of the top 10 beaches in America on the Travel Channel. That is quite the honor given the number of places that the Travel Channel could have elected to choose. It is nice to know that the people of Cape May are getting their due respect as far as having some of the most incredible beaches in the entire country. It is something they can and do boast of.

Why wouldn’t you want to move somewhere that is prestigious enough that the Travel Channel felt that it had to be honored with the title of top 10 best beaches in America? That sounds like the perfect place to kick back and enjoy you life. You will see some similarities between Cape May and Nantucket in that they both feature some out-of-this-world beaches, and that is something that cannot be overlooked about either one of them.

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15. Spring Lake, New Jersey

White sand beach resort Spring Lake, New Jersey.

Another New Jersey selection, Spring Lake is also an ocean town with a lot of reasons to want to live there. Home to famous names such as Wilbur Ross and Craig Bigglio, this sometimes overlooked town is another that is similar to Nantucket in many ways. The people of Spring Lake are very proud of their history and of the culture that they have helped bring to the rest of the country.

The town has been featured in a novel or two, and it is the setting for part of the movie “The Manchurian Candidate”. That is a popular film that has had massive cultural impacts over the years. Thus, it is clear that people react to Spring Lake, NJ in ways that make it worth considering as your potential next home. You just never know what kind of interesting things you could find out about a place until you give it a try, and this is definitely one that you don’t want to miss out on.

16. Cannon Beach, Oregon

Scenic view at Cannon Beach, Oregon.

Tucked away in the far western corner of the US is Cannon Beach, Oregon. National Geographic named it “one of the world’s 100 most beautiful places” in 2013. That is saying something pretty extraordinary when you think about it. To be named one of the world’s top 100 most beautiful places is not an easy thing to accomplish, and the fact that this designation was made by a publication like National Geographic means that there is some serious firepower behind it.

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You don’t get that kind of praise from National Geographic for no reason. Thus, it is pretty important to make sure that you at least consider Cannon Beach as the type of place where you might want to spend some time. The fact remains that it is a beautiful town no matter how you look at it, and it is similar to Nantucket in many ways.

Given that Cannon Beach is so remote, it has remained somewhat affordable for people to live there. That is excellent news that means that more people can finally get the chance to see what a town that is similar to Nantucket really looks like.

There are many amazing things about Nantucket and the towns that are similar to it. You may not fully understand the obsession with it until you have lived in a place that is similar, but once you do, it will click with you. Therefore, there is no time like the present to find a place that is like Nantucket where you can enjoy some time to yourself and appreciate the scenery and the culture that a place like this has to offer. It is up to you to determine what you need to do to get into a place like this, but you can certainly make that happen when you visit one of the places on this list.