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Sarasota named 3rd happiest seaside town by Coastal Living Magazine

By Maggie Menderski
Retail Reporter, Herald Tribune

Life here is "sweet, easy and an aesthetic joy," says Coastal Living Magazine.

Coastal Living Magazine on Friday named Sarasota the country's third-happiest seaside town.

Grand Haven, Michigan, took the top spot and Orleans, Massachusetts, was named first runner-up.

Coastal Living editors reviewed destinations that had been covered by the magazine as well as nominations through social media. The staff examined Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the percentage of sunny days, air quality, healthiness of beaches, commute times, crime ratings, walkability, standard of living and financial well-being of the locals and geographic diversity. The final rankings were decided by online voting.

"This is a city of surprises," the magazine said of Sarasota. "Harboring world-class beaches and a top-shelf arts and culture scene (resident opera and ballet companies, plus its own symphony orchestra), Sarasota has beauty and brains in equal measure. Further, a collection of old-school neighborhoods with small-scale homes (not to mention a heralded collection of midcentury modern architecture) makes day-to-day life sweet, easy and an aesthetic joy. And then there's that Gulf-provider of breezes, local catch, and a laid-back cultural overlay that keeps life here in an ideal balance."

Fernandina Beach in north Florida also received a nomination.

Other nominations included Camden, Maine; Cape May, New Jersey; Carmel-by-the-Sea, California; Dana Point, California; Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and Langley, Washington.

The announcement marks the sixth annual edition of Coast Living's America's Happiest Seaside Towns.

Past winners include Stuart, on Florida's southeast coast; Southport, North Carolina; Chincoteague, Virginia; Beaufort, South Carolina and Kiawah Island, South Carolina.


The happy list

See the complete rankings at



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