Many of us are feeling that a proper vacation is long overdue. The ocean may beckon, but after the year we've all been through, we really want to avoid the predictable — and the crowded. Read on for a tour of coastal destinations "less traveled," places perhaps a bit off the beaten path but still full of that enduring by-the-sea charm (and yes, we stretch that definition in a few cases to include gems along bays, gulfs or sounds).
Note: As COVID-19 protocols continue to evolve, destinations will adjust operations; contact the sites directly for the very latest.
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Visit "The City of Discovery," and you'll see why it's so named. This historic (1699) Coastal Mississippi ("The Secret Coast") destination not only has white-sand beaches but also features a quaint Main Street that's home to centuries-old oak trees and is dotted with boutiques and eateries. The small-town appeal has a decidedly artistic bent, with its art association representing more than 300 artists. Public art is also featured, including the 120-foot Bridge Mosaic Mural. All in all, the community is one that balances its lively nightlife with family friendly charm.