Disney World may bill itself as the happiest place on earth, but in Coastal Living magazine’s newly released 2018 list of America’s happiest seaside towns, the winner is not Orlando, Florida, but Ocean City, New Jersey.
Within New England, the honor goes to Hampton/Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, No. 8 of 10 on Coastal Living‘s list and the only location in the region to make the cut this year.
“Savvy New Englanders know that New Hampshire’s 13-mile coastline holds a charming, old-fashioned village: Hampton Beach, complete with broad sands, a lively boardwalk, seafood spots, and an annual sand-sculpture festival that’s pure summer,” editors wrote. “With the surrounding town of Hampton serving as a base for tech companies and retail, the one-two punch is irresistible.”
To determine the list, editors reviewed more than 300 towns nominated via social media. Then they collected each town’s ranking on the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, as well as the town’s percentage of sunny days, air quality, healthiness of beaches, commute times, crime ratings, walkability, geographic diversity, and standards of living, and the editors’ assessment of each town’s “coastal vibe.” After that, editors named 10 finalists, and then readers voted online in January and February to determine those beaches’ rankings within the top 10.