HomeThese are the United States' 7 Oldest Beach Towns

    These are the United States’ 7 Oldest Beach Towns

    Discover the rich history and coastal charm of the United States’ oldest beach towns. From the shores of New Jersey to the coasts of Oregon, these historic destinations have welcomed visitors for centuries, offering a glimpse into America’s maritime past.

    Cape May, New Jersey

    Established in 1766, Cape May holds the distinction of being the oldest coastal town in America. Initially attracting tourists from Philadelphia, Cape May’s popularity soared, leading to the development of accommodations by 1834.

    Ocracoke, North Carolina

    In the 18th century, Ocracoke witnessed a period of prosperity driven by efforts to preserve waterways. Notably, Ocracoke is renowned as the site of Blackbeard the Pirate’s final harbor raid and demise, adding to its allure.

    Key West, Florida

    Located at the southernmost point of the continental United States, Key West’s history dates back to the sixteenth century when Juan Ponce de León settled in the area. By 1823, Key West began to gain prominence as a notable coastal town.

    Pensacola, Florida

    With origins as one of America’s oldest colonies in the sixteenth century, Pensacola has undergone numerous ownership changes over the years. Visitors can explore the city’s rich history through historic tours and visits to its scenic beaches.

    Astoria, Oregon

    Founded in 1811, Astoria holds the distinction of being the earliest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. This coastal town gained further recognition as the backdrop for the iconic 1985 film, The Goonies, and thrived as a center of the fur trade in the 19th century.

    Newport, Rhode Island

    A favorite retreat for America’s elite, Newport has been a summer destination for politicians, movie stars, and affluent families like the Vanderbilts. The grand homes of these families still line the coast, adding to Newport’s timeless appeal.

    Revere Beach

    Opening its doors in 1896, Revere Beach holds the distinction of being the nation’s first public beach. Before the decline of its amusement park in the late 1970s, Revere Beach boasted one of the country’s largest roller coasters, offering visitors a taste of seaside entertainment.


    From the quaint shores of Cape May to the sun-drenched beaches of Key West, the United States’ oldest beach towns offer a captivating blend of history, charm, and natural beauty. Whether you’re exploring colonial-era architecture or soaking up the sun on pristine shores, these coastal destinations invite visitors to experience the timeless allure of America’s maritime heritage.

    FAQs About Oldest Beach Towns in the United States

    1. What makes a beach town the “oldest” in the United States?
      • The designation of the “oldest” beach town is based on historical records and the date of its establishment as a coastal settlement.
    2. Are these beach towns still popular tourist destinations today?
      • Yes, many of these historic beach towns continue to attract visitors with their unique charm, cultural attractions, and scenic beaches.
    3. Can visitors explore historical sites in these beach towns?
      • Absolutely! Most of these beach towns offer guided tours, museums, and historic landmarks that provide insights into their rich maritime heritage.
    4. Are these beach towns suitable for family vacations?
      • Yes, many of these beach towns offer family-friendly activities, accommodations, and amenities, making them ideal destinations for vacations with children.
    5. What is the best time of year to visit these oldest beach towns?
      • The best time to visit varies depending on the destination, but generally, the summer months offer ideal weather for beach activities and outdoor exploration.
    Elsie Bernier
    Elsie Bernier
    Elsie Bernier brings her passion for authentic Italian flavors to every slice at Fratello Pizzeria. With years of culinary expertise and a love for crafting the perfect pizza, Elsie has made Fratello's a haven for pizza enthusiasts seeking a taste of Italy right in their neighborhood.


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