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Sanibel Island, FL Makes The 10 Happiest Beach Towns List

Posted by Benjamin Dona on Friday, April 11th, 2014 at 7:30pm.

Sanibel Island, FL Makes The 10 Happiest Beach Towns ListAn old adage goes "that money can't buy you happiness."  Well, maybe not. But it can buy you a home in one of the country's "Top 10 Happiest Beach Towns."

Coastal Living magazine took its second annual look at the country's "10 Happiest Beach Towns"  in 2013 and you might be surprised by the towns that made their final list.

According to Jennifer Slaton, the magazine's executive editor, "our staffers nominated their favorite beach towns and then winnowed the results down to the final 10. Our readers then ranked the finalists from one to ten."

So what makes a beach town happy? According to Slaton, "staffers used multiple criteria"  in making their choices. Examples included - a nice stretch of beach, invigorating salt air, access to food, sports, and shopping, and how a beach town makes you feel.

Another important criterion was "walkability."  In many of these beach towns, residents can stroll out and find whatever they might need - from grabbing a quick cup of coffee in the morning to getting a fabulous dinner at night - all without having to worry about using their cars, fighting traffic or finding a nearby parking spot.

So, if you're constantly thinking of running away to live on a secluded beach (who doesn't), here's Coastal Living magazines "10 Happiest Beach Towns"  list:

  • Pescadero, California
  • La Jolla, California
  • Paia, Hawaii
  • Kennebunkport, Maine
  • Rowayton, Connecticut
  • Newport, Rhode Island
  • Sag Harbor, New York
  • Sanibel Island, Florida
  • Harwich Port, Massachusetts
  • Beaufort, South Carolina

Our take on this list is that all ten are likely terrific places to live. We know three quite well - Pescadero, La Jolla and Sanibel Island. Terry lived in San Diego for some time and we visited the first two quite often. As for Sanibel Island, it actually played a major role in our falling in love with Southwest Florida in the first place. We spent a week there in 1995 giving a presentation to a group of health care providers holding their symposium at the Sundial Beach Resort. When we weren't working that week, we explored the whole area (not just Sanibel & Captiva) and were just enthralled with what we found. Two and a half years later, we made the move from St. Louis and became permanent residents in Bonita Springs. The rest as they say "is history."

Of course, Sanibel Island is just incredible. And Captiva Island, well, we think it is even better. Not sure how it missed the final list. Both islands offer unbelievable seclusion, especially in many of their lesser known (except to locals) hideaways. Affording to live on either island, that's another question altogether. Their definitely not places for the faint at heart when it comes to purchase costs.

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