Mass. has 2 of the best beach towns on the East Coast, according to Conde Nast Traveler

One has “the most-often painted building in America.”

The famous red fishing shack known as Motif No. 1 in Rockport. Angela Cook / Cape Ann Chamber

Massachusetts is full of beach towns brimming with charm, history, and stunning scenery, and two seaside spots were just named among the best on the East Coast by Conde Nast Traveler.

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Rockport and Oak Bluffs just made Conde Nast Traveler’s list of 10 best beach towns on the East Coast.

“Historic, charming, tropical, wild, the Atlantic seaboard has it all,” the travel publication wrote about its top 10, which were chosen from the 14 states that make up the East Coast of the U.S.

Here’s what Conde Nast Traveler wrote, in part, about Rockport:

“Forty miles north of Boston, the town has a can’t-miss natural gem in Halibut Point State Park, from which visitors can spot Maine in the distance 80 miles away. Rockport is also beloved by art history buffs: it is home to Motif Number 1, a fishing shack with the superlative “the most-often painted building in America.” It was built in 1840, and was a popular subject because it represented New England’s nautical character. (And it didn’t hurt that the light hit it just so.) A replica was built promptly following the historic Blizzard of 1978, which destroyed the original. Gray Malin photographed it for his recent project on Boston.”

And here’s what the publication wrote about Oak Bluffs:

“Ferries deliver day trippers to this little Martha’s Vineyard town daily and the colorful gingerbread houses for which Oak Bluffs is known are straight out of a storybook. Visitors walk straight off their boats into Ocean Park, a circular green overlooking the sea, encircled by said houses, with a frothy, delicate gazebo sitting in the center. Oak Bluffs has a long history of welcoming Black visitors, and today it is home to the annual African-American Film Festival.”

Two other New England destinations made the list: Newport, R.I., and Bar Harbor, Maine. The latter was recently named among the 20 friendliest cities and towns in America by Expedia travelers.


View the entire list of 10 best beach towns on the East Coast.

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