Now that the weather is getting warmer, you know that your personal #content calendar is about to be very busy. Your camera roll will soon be filled with pictures of surfers riding the waves, the lush mountains and hiking trails near your city, and the sky when it turns pink around 8 p.m. To say you're excited would be an understatement, and you're already texting your besties messages like, "Where are we going to take pictures this weekend?" Together, you've considered tropical destinations and cozy cottages on the East Coast. The
best small beach towns and cities in the U.S. are truly where you need to go, though, to make a big splash on social media.
Imagine this: It's a sunny day in the middle of July, and you're in a quaint town that's nestled along the coastline. The beaches aren't that packed, hosting locals who live within walking-distance and travelers who spontaneously stopped along their drive to somewhere else. You're hanging on the porch of your Airbnb or hotel, listening to waves, eating fresh fruit, and occasionally snapping pics on your camera.
To be honest, you couldn't be more at peace if you tried. Everything in your little corner of the world just feels and looks picture-perfect. Well, odds are, you're in one of these six small beach towns and cities that'll make a big splash on your feed. Check them out in real life, OK? Then, post about them on Instagram, Twitter, or wherever you please.
The first small beach town you need to check out is
Surf City, New Jersey, for relaxing and filling your camera roll with lots of pictures of waves. According to VisitNJ.org, it's a prime spot on the East Coast for serenity and enjoying everything that summer has to offer. (Sunscreen, a colorful beach towel, and a good book? Required.)
During your stay, plan on spending an afternoon taking a drive to
Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, renting a bike to ride near the shore, or soaking up that beautiful sunshine on the sand. This sweet getaway will be worth it for the obligatory beach 'Gram — I pinky promise.
When I was in high school, I went on a family vacation to
Ogunquit, Maine. My cousins had raved about it before, so I knew it was going to be a memorable trip. They told me about swimming, eating fresh lobster rolls, and walking along the Marginal Way.
What they didn't tell me is that I'd want to go back one day with my besties or SO to grab the pics I didn't get the first time around. Truth is, social media wasn't huge when I went to this charming beach town. But, I know now that your Instagram followers would love seeing the beautiful flowers hanging over white fences, ocean #views, and sailboats. Don't miss out on this one, OK?
Corolla, North Carolina
As much as you love adventure, sometimes, you just want to plan a trip that revolves around
relaxing and taking pictures. You want to soak up the sunshine and not stress about security lines at the airport or getting yourself to excursions that are really out of the way. That's understandable, and exactly why I'd suggest checking out Corolla, North Carolina.
Located in the Outer Banks, this beach destination is truly whatever you make of it. You can spend your days savoring delicious ice cream, shopping, and sticking your toes in the sand, or exploring the
Currituck Beach Lighthouse. Whatever you work into your itinerary, your soul and social media feed will feel refreshed after this lovely trip — trust me.
Some travelers like to seek out tropical destinations in the middle of winter when their city or hometown is covered in snow. Other travelers like finding paradise, pineapples, and palm trees year-round. If that sounds like you, then check out
Islamorada, Florida (which is actually a "village" comprised of six islands) and live your #bestlife this summer. You'll be smiling from the moment you arrive, to the minute to leave for your next Instagram-worthy adventure.
VisitFlorida.com, Islamorada is 90 minutes south of the city of Miami and is filled with things to do on land and in the sea. You can spot some dolphins at Theater of the Sea, or follow your wanderlust in one of the many state parks. Personally, I'd work on my tan lines and post at least one picture on social media with the caption, "Paradise found."
If you and your besties are already planning on going on an adventure trip on the West Coast, then you may have heard about the beauty of
San Simeon, California. You may have seen pictures of the elephant seals or the rocky cliff sides along the water. What are you waiting for? Go and see the sights with your own two eyes, like, right now.
Make room in your itinerary to stay in this beach town for at least a night during your long drive down the Pacific Coast Highway. Plan to
take a tour of Hearst Castle (The website suggests making a reservation in advance.), and see all of the immensely-decorated rooms. Maybe take a picture or two outside of the castle for the 'Gram, too.
Last but not least is
Cannon Beach, Oregon. Out of all my travels in the U.S. and beyond, this spot remains one of my favorites. And that's because it's quaint, adventurous, and effortlessly feels like home.
From the second you step foot on the beach, you'll be in awe. You'll be surprised at how huge and mountain-like
Haystack Rock is, and excited to see locals and tourist playing fetch with their dogs. You'll want to walk along the waves and grab lots of pictures, but also ditch your phone and simply enjoy the scenery.
I encourage you to do both, and make the most out of your experience. After all, the posts that make a big splash on social media often come with a story or beautiful adventure — possibly made in a small, underrated beach town or city.
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