Scouted Waterfront Destinations: 6 Quintessential Seaside Spots
For many, summer simply isn’t summer without a trip to the ocean. And while we are in the waning days of the season, there’s still time to enjoy a last gasp getaway—or start planning for next year. If your schedule allows, shoulder season—the months adjacent to summer—are also a wonderful time to visit these areas as the crowds thin out but the weather is pleasantly warm. To help those looking to plan their seaside jaunt, we asked The Scout Guide editor/owners in six cities to share why their towns are the ideal place to take a dip in the big drink and feel the sand between your toes. Read on to discover their recommendations for must-visit spots in these scouted locales, and don’t forget to pack your sunscreen!
MOBILE BAY, ALABAMA
The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa. Photography by Chelsea Francis.
The Mobile Bay area of Alabama has a certain magic that will keep you on your toes. “Whether you’re gathering with loved ones on the wharf or enjoying sunset rides with boat drinks, Mobile Bay is a place to slow down, surround yourself with family and friends, and enjoy the view,” says Jamie Conger, co-owner/co-editor of The Scout Guide Mobile Bay. With many beaches and waterways at your fingertips, including Orange Beach, Mobile Bay, Dog River, Dauphin Island, the Mobile-Tensaw Delta— the options are endless and only a short drive away. Come for the picturesque setting and stay for the southern hospitality.
To plan your Mobile Bay getaway, check out the Mobile Bay Dining Guide, Mobile Bay Shopping Guide, and Mobile Bay Lodging Guide. And for additional recommendations for what to do, see, and experience in Mobile Bay, Alabama, follow The Scout Guide Mobile Bay on Instagram and visit The Scout Guide Mobile Bay website, where you browse or order the latest volume of The Scout Guide Mobile Bay.
Brant Point and the Endeavor. Photography by Rebecca Love Photography.
Located 30 miles out to sea, off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket is the quintessential New England Summer destination that should be experienced at least once in your lifetime. Time spent on this dazzling little island can include lazy beach days, strolls on the charming cobblestone streets, and afternoons spent at local haunts such as Cisco Brewery and CRU Oyster Bar. “Summer is high season and when the town and island are all abuzz with visitors and a busy social calendar,” says Stacey Leuliette, owner/editor of The Scout Guide Nantucket. Make sure to add events such as Figawi Race Weekend, live music at Dreamlands, Nantucket Historical Associations Nantucket by Design, Summer Antiques Show, and Nantucket Community Sailing’s Race Week, to your ‘can’t miss’ list while on the island.
To plan your Nantucket getaway, check out the Nantucket Dining Guide, Nantucket Shopping Guide, and Nantucket Lodging Guide. And for additional recommendations for what to do, see, and experience in Nantucket, Massachusetts, follow The Scout Guide Nantucket on Instagram and visit The Scout Guide Nantucket website, where you can browse or buy the latest volume of The Scout Guide Nantucket.
TWO RIVERS & THE SHORE, NEW JERSEY
Asbury Park Boardwalk. Photography by iStock.
Just a short ferry ride from New York City, you’ll find the many beaches of The Two Rivers & The Shore area of New Jersey. “This region is a hidden gem for beach-lovers, sailors, and boaters,” reports Kathy Kamatani, editor of The Scout Guide Two Rivers & The Shore. With close proximity to NYC, this collection of coastal towns are constantly alive with activity; from the renown live music scene of Asbury Park (hello Springsteen and Bon Jovi), to the bustling boardwalk of Ocean City. When you’re ready to shed your swimsuit and head into town, the wealth of world-class restaurants with cuisines of all varieties, high-end boutiques, fitness studios, galleries, and unique small businesses located all over the shore will keep you entertained until it’s time to suit up again and head back to the beach. If you’re interested in planning your trip around a notable event, Kathy suggests placing a bet at The Haskell Invitational Stakes, one of the premier horse races on the circuit or attending the Sea Hear Now music festival on Asbury Park’s waterfront.
To plan your Two Rivers & The Shore getaway, check out the Two Rivers & The Shore Lodging Guide, Two Rivers & The Shore Shopping Guide, and Two Rivers & The Shore Dining Guide. And for additional recommendations for what to do, see, and experience in Two Rivers & The Shore, New York, follow The Scout Guide Two Rivers & The Shore on Instagram and visit The Scout Guide Two Rivers & The Shore website, where you can browse or buy the latest volume of The Scout Guide Two Rivers & The Shore.
THE HAMPTONS, NEW YORK
Photography by iStock.
Summer in the Hamptons is all about long days relaxing on the beach, catching the surf, and exploring the charming farm stands and wineries that dot the area. According to Stacey Leuliette, owner/editor of The Scout Guide Hamptons, this enchanting region of villages, hamlets and towns along the east end of Long Island can be as low-key or as extravagant as you’d like! “The Hamptons draws a mix of casual fun and big city sophistication due to the number of Manhattanites who escape the city to come out east,” Stacey explains. “Summer begins Memorial Day weekend, but July to Labor Day is the true high season.” Don’t fret if you miss the window for a summer trip here as September and October are also a lovely time to visit thanks to cooler weather and less crowds. If you decide to make the journey out east, locals highly recommend attending one (or all!) of these quintessential annual summer soirees: Hamptons Fashion Week, Parrish Art Museum’s Midsummer Party, Hayground Chefs Dinner, Hope for Depression Research Foundation’s run and The Hamptons Classic.
To plan your Hamptons getaway, check out the Hamptons Lodging Guide, Hamptons Shopping Guide, and Hamptons Dining Guide. And for additional recommendations for what to do, see, and experience in the Hamptons, New York, follow The Scout Guide Hamptons on Instagram and visit The Scout Guide Hamptons website, where you can browse or buy the latest volume of The Scout Guide Hamptons.
Tidewater beach. Photography by Zoe Grant and Andi and Zoe Photography.
The Tidewater region is home to several cities on and near the water, making it an excellent choice for a summertime respite. The largest of those cities, Virginia Beach, is home to a bustling boardwalk that stretches nearly three miles long and offers plenty of fun-in-the-sun options. “There seems to be endless ways to enjoy your time on the waterfront in the Tidewater region, thanks to the front row access to the ocean, sound, Chesapeake Bay, and countless other tributaries,” says Mary Kaufman, owner/editor of The Scout Guide Tidewater. Every year in August the city hosts the East Coast Surfing Championship (this year’s event takes place August 21-28), attracting surfers from all over. Take the city by boat, sample local oysters at one of the many stellar restaurants, bop to live music, or spend the day shopping small at the plentiful boutiques in the area.
To plan your Tidewater getaway, check out the Tidewater City Cheat Sheet, Tidewater Lodging Guide, Tidewater Shopping Guide, and Tidewater Dining Guide. And for additional recommendations for what to do, see, and experience in Tidewater, Virginia, follow The Scout Guide Tidewater on Instagram and visit The Scout Guide Tidewater website, where you can browse or order the latest volume of The Scout Guide Tidewater.
NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA
Photography by iStock.
If a west coast beach is calling your name, the southern California hotspot of Newport Beach will fit the bill. While this seaside town is a marvelous place to visit all year long thanks to that temperate Cali climate, it really comes alive in the summer. A vibrant yachting community, top-notch shopping, and culinary scene that’s hard to beat, has travelers flocking from far and wide to this laid-back beach town. “Newport Beach is guaranteed to please everyone with that perfect juxtaposition of seaside elegance and a casual relaxed atmosphere,” says Catherine Lowe, editor of The Scout Guide Newport Beach. “It’s truly a dream destination for families, girls’ trips, sailors, surfers, and everyone in between.”
To plan your Newport Beach getaway, check out the Newport Beach Lodging Guide, Newport Beach Shopping Guide, and Newport Beach Dining Guide. And for additional recommendations for what to do, see, and experience in Newport Beach, California, follow The Scout Guide Newport Beach on Instagram and visit The Scout Guide Newport Beach website. Keep an eye out for the inaugural issue of The Scout Guide Newport Beach in late-spring 2023.