TODAY   |  May 08, 2013

Top 5 seaside towns in the United States

If you’ve ever dreamed of living by the sea but don’t know where to settle down, Coastal Living magazine is here to help. Antonia Van Der Meer reveals the magazine’s annual list of the best places to live by the sea, from Newport, R.I., to Sanibel Island, Fla.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on "today's travel" america's happiest seaside towns. "coastal living" is out with its annual list of the best places to live. an tonia, good to see you.

>> nice to see you.

>> the distinction between happiest and best, what is it?

>> at "coastal living" we believe in happiness. people go to the beach, they feel happy and it's all about your happy place .

>> cool, so get's do the top five but i wanted to start with one honorable mention, la jolla , california.

>> a shout out to the west coast , they didn't make it into the top five but number nine. beautiful cliffs and amazing views, it deserves a ranking.

>> absolutely let's get to the top five we begin in newport, rhode island , historic, famous.

>> totally the vanderbilts had it right here. this is the crowned jewel of rhode island , it's a deepwater harbor so it tracts yachtsman and with the yachtsmen come the socialites, fine dining , incredible shopping so you have to love newport.

>> it's not purely fancy high end .

>> no, it definitely isn't. it's a wonderful place to go with the family, the cliffwalk, the historic mansions. it has the sense of history you want to explore.

>> number four, sag harbor , new york, a place i was in saturday, such a beautiful, little town .

>> a great place to be for dinner over the weekend. it's a world away from manhattan, only two hours from new york city but it's such a charming and quaint village. it has a unique main street with restaurants and shops and their iconic windmill and a lot of community pride, memorial day parades, at christmastime they do a tree light, santa comes in on a fire truck so this lovely sense of community there.

>> legend gear american hotel and with two little kids every ice cream joint i can tell you in that town as well. number three, sanibel island .

>> this is the happiness we could tent equals natural beauty, white wet sand beaches, beautiful blue skies and millions of sea shells and this is what they're known for, the island's been built on that and there's something called the sanibel stoop, people's posture as they look to pick up the wonderful things. two-thirds of the island is a nature preserve so this is a place that really takes that seriously. there are no buildings that are higher than the palm trees there, and no stoplights. come on, this is a place where you can really kick back.

>> a throwback. number two is harwich port , massachusetts.

>> on cape cod , so much to choose from. harwich port is one of seven little villages in the city of harwich and it's a step back in time , incredible nostalgia, ice cream trucks , as you said we love the ice cream , ice cream trucks trolling the streets, music, arts and crafts festivals. lot of the seaside towns have great history, this predates the american revolution .

>> the number one happiest seaside town in america according to "coastal living" magazine is beaufort, north carolina .

>> incredible place, it has a sense of history, the second oldest city in south carolina , second to charleston, they take their historic preservation seriously there, antebellum homes, they have pristine beaches, a beautiful view , on an intracoastal waterway in the sea islands and if all that doesn't get you the shrimp and the sweet tea will.

>> antonia thank you for bringing us the list.

>> thank you.