If you’re looking for a seaside town with a cozy, small-town atmosphere, look no further than Rockport, MA. Rockport is a relatively small town that boasts a population of about 7,231. This coastal suburb of Boston offers a variety of coffee shops, restaurants, and parks. It is also close to the sea, which means that visitors to Rockport can take advantage of beautiful views and nearby beaches.
1. Topsfield, Massachusetts
Topsfield is a small rural town in Essex County, MA, located just outside of Boston. Topsfield offers comfortable rural living with many nearby parks. A night in Topsfield, MA costs upwards of $114 for tourists who want to enjoy the countryside with close access to the big city feel of Boston, just like Rockport.
2. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Rated as one of the best places to live in the state of California, Carmel-by-the-Sea is an idyllic coastal town with a tiny local population of 3,830. Like Rockport, Carmel-by-the-Sea acts as a cute coastal getaway for tourists with access to nearby beaches and local fare. A 3-star hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea can cost upwards of $400, but the beautiful view and quaint scenery are worth the hefty price.
3. Ipswich, Massachusetts
Located in the same county of Massachusetts as Rockport, Ipswich is another adorable coastal town known for its proximity to the Boston Metro area. Ipswich’s approximate population of 13,963 almost doubles Rockport in size, which makes it the perfect spot for vacationers looking for a larger town to stay.
Ipswich has a variety of parks and local restaurants, so visitors won’t get bored–as a plus, the town’s accessibility to Boston and local beaches are sure to make it an interesting spot to vacation for about $170 per night.
4. Nags Head, North Carolina
Traveling lower on the east coast than Rockport, tourists looking to vacation in a coastal town might enjoy the small town of Nags Head, NC with its tiny population of 2,923. Although it might sound extremely small, this town is one of the largest towns located in the Outer Banks region of North Carolina.
Visitors can appreciate mini-golf, restaurants geared towards comfortable family dining, and gorgeous views from the town’s acclaimed Janette’s Pier concrete structure for about $158 per night.
5. Bainbridge Island, Washington
As a suburb of Seattle, WA with an approximate population of 24,486, Bainbridge Island is far larger than Rockport and located on the polar opposite coast. However, the town’s gorgeous natural scenery is sure to please those looking for a beautiful coastal vacation space. Bainbridge Island’s main industries include restaurants, parks, coffee shops, and outdoor activities, which make its nightly cost of about $70-$160 worthwhile.
6. Rowley, Massachusetts
With a population of about 6,372, Rowley, MA is comparable in size to Rockport. The town offers tourists a seaside small-town feel. Rowley boasts a number of restaurants and parks–for those looking for more activity, it is a quick drive to Boston. A night in Rowley, MA costs roughly $129, but during certain seasons it may be higher or lower.
7. Nahant, Massachusetts
If you are looking to stay in a small, tight-knit community to vacation near Boston, Salem, or Marblehead, MA, Nahant might be the best fit for your needs. Nahant is located in Essex County, Massachusetts, and gains its fame from being the smallest municipality by population in the entire county of Essex.
Staying in Nahant for a night can cost anywhere between $180-$380. The price of the stay is well worth it for the hiking, golfing, and New England seafood eateries that are stationed nearby. Nahant, Massachusetts
8. Astoria, Oregon
As the setting for a variety of famous films such as Free Willy and The Goonies, Astoria, OR might be the perfect coastal getaway for cinema fanatics and movie buffs of all stripes. With a population of about 9, 836, Astoria is slightly larger than Rockport but it is still a comfortable seaside town on the West Coast.
Besides admiring the aesthetic that has been a popular backdrop for famous films, Astoria, OR offers tourists a range of restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and parks to visit for a reasonable price of roughly $179 per night.
9. Old Saybrook, Connecticut
For those who want to stay along the New England coast when vacationing, Old Saybrook in Connecticut might be one of the best options outside of Rockport. Old Saybrook offers a rural, smalltown feel with its modest population of 10,090 while outsizing Rockport in population size by a few thousand.
Old Saybrook is close to interesting cities such as New London, CT, and an easy road trip distance away from larger cities in New England such as Hartford, CT and Boston with an affordable price point of $59 per night.
10. Andover, Massachusetts
While Andover, MA is almost 5 times as large as Rockport with a population of 35,816, it does bear some similarities to Rockport including its proximity to Boston and its east coast access to the seaside.
Andover, MA is a great place to vacation for those who want more places to go and things to do such as restaurants, art galleries, and nature reservations. For a reasonable price point between $99-$144, Andover, MA is a moderately priced town with a lot of bang for your buck.
11. Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts
With a name like Manchester-by-the-Sea, this Massachusetts town offers everything lovable and quaint about the New England seaside experience, including a small population of 5,830 that compares to the size of Rockport.
The town has a bunch of little shops and restaurants, as well as local acclaim–it was even featured in a 2016 film with the same name as the town. Since the locals are used to accommodating tourists during peak seasons, Manchester-by-the-Sea will be a friendly, wonderful experience for vacationers with a budget of about $191 per night.
12. Sequim, Washington
Since it has a population of 7,248, Sequim, WA is almost identical in size to Rockport. The biggest difference between Sequim and Rockport is their opposite positions on the coasts–Sequim sits along the west coast while Rockport settles on the east coast.
Sequim also has a dense suburban feel, which may make it seem more crowded than Rockport, MA. However, the access to beaches, parks, restaurants, and shopping will make Sequim as good of a vacation spot as Rockport for upwards of $50–a steal for vacationing prices!
13. Provincetown, Massachusetts
Provincetown (also known affectionately as P-Town by the locals) offers a seaside experience along the northern coast of Cape Cod with a booming nightlife and a wide range of social and cultural activities. Provincetown is quite a bit larger than Rockport during peak season in terms of population size–it swells to upwards of 60,000 residents during those months.
However, in the off-season, P-Town lowers in population to under 3,000, which makes it the perfect place to visit during the off-season for tourists who want a lot of space and little social interaction for upwards of $150 per night.
14. Westport, Connecticut
As a suburb of Bridgeport, the sparsely suburban Connecticut town of Westport boasts a booming population of 28,016. While it is significantly larger than Rockport, Westport has some similarities to Rockport including its proximity to the major New England cities like Boston, its easy access to New York City, and its seaside location. Westport is a significantly wealthy and expensive area with the median home valued at $1,150,400 and the regular nightly rate staying around $200.
15. Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts
Located in Dukes County near Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, Oak Bluffs is an idyllic, adorable seaside town that offers a restful, rejuvenating seaside vacation experience. With a small population of 4,665 and a rural feel, Oak Bluffs is the perfect country getaway for those looking to vacation on the east coast.
Because it is so close to Martha’s Vineyard, Oak Bluffs can be expensive for vacationing–about $300 per night in some hotels–but the unique, beautiful views and wonderful family atmosphere makes it worth the price tag.
16. Meredith, New Hampshire
While Meredith, New Hampshire would take a short drive to get to the sea, this lakeside town will quench your thirst for a vacation by the waterfront without breaking the bank. Meredith’s suburban-rural mix feel will give visitors the countryside scenery they crave without feeling too far outside of the rest of civilization.
This scenic town offers wineries, outdoor activities, and farms open for visiting for the relatively expensive price of about $184 per night.
17. Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portsmouth, New Hampshire is quite a bit bigger than Rockport with a population of 21,775. Despite its larger size, Portsmouth offers the same seaside vacation joys such as going to the beach and dining at local seafood restaurants that Rockport does.
Portsmouth also hosts a variety of historical gems such as the Moffatt Ladd House where William Whipple (signer of the Declaration of Independence) once lived and a guided costumed tour through the ride of Paul Revere for an expensive price of $230 per night.
18. Edenton, North Carolina
For those looking for a quiet coastal getaway with historical significance, Edenton might be a great fit. Edenton has a variety of wonderful attractions for tourists and locals including the trolley ride tour of the 300-year-old town and the historic Chowan County Courthouse.
For about $198 per night, this coastal town with a population of 4,676 is similar to Rockport in size and history and different in its southern location and southern hospitality.