10 May

Georgetown nominated again for USA Today’s 2022 Best Coastal Small Town award

Georgetown has once again been nominated as one of America’s top choices for Best Coastal Small Town in the prestigious USA Today/10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest. This is the fifth consecutive year that the historic town has been nominated for the award.

In 2018, Georgetown came in first in the online contest and was named America’s “Best Coastal Small Town.” The following two years, in 2019 and 2020, the working waterfront community was nominated again and finished in the top 10. Then, in 2021, Georgetown came in second place behind Bucksport, Maine.

Historic Georgetown’s Harborwalk offers visitors a chance to stroll along the water before or after shopping or dining at one of the many businesses along Front Street. (Photo by Chris Rogers/Courtesy of the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

As voting begins this year, USA Today/10Best said, “Our 20 nominees for Best Coastal Small Town – each with a population of fewer than 25,000 people as of the last census – offer uncrowded, unpretentious and affordable seaside fun in small packages that prove bigger isn’t always better. Vote for your favorite once per day until polls close on Monday, June 6, at noon ET. The 10 winning small towns will be announced on Friday, June 17.

“It is exciting that again we are being nominated as the Best Small Coastal Town,” Georgetown Mayor Carol Jayroe said. “There is nothing like a quaint small town with all of the amenities that we have: hunting, fishing, boating, boutique shopping, fine small restaurants, museums, tree lined streets, walkability and more. Let’s win this! We can do this! Vote!”

To vote for Georgetown, click here. People can vote – and are encouraged to vote — once per day for each day of the contest period.

The online contest asks readers to vote from 20 nominees for Best Coastal Small Town, chosen by a panel that includes editors from USA Today, editors from, and expert contributors. All voting was digital and allowed people to vote once a day for four weeks.

In addition to Georgetown, only one other coastal town – Southport, North Carolina – has appeared in the Top 10 finalists for the past five consecutive years. Unlike Georgetown, however, Southport has never claimed the top spot. Over the past four years, only one other South Carolina town – Beaufort – has placed in the Top 10, and that was in the 2021 contest.

“It is so exciting that Georgetown has been nominated for the Best Coastal Small Town award for the fifth year in a row,” said Mark A. Stevens, director of tourism development for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast. “Georgetown is the quintessential American small town. Our community is tight-knit, rich with history, and offers vacationers easy access to an abundance of outdoor activities, including the nearby Atlantic Ocean.”

A working waterfront community, Georgetown is matched against coastal towns that reside along nearly every major body of water in America, ranging from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Ocean.

The Town Clock in Georgetown is a well-known landmark in the historic city. (Photo by Mark A. Stevens/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

“When USA Today first named Georgetown as America’s Best Coastal Small Town in 2018, it was something local residents have always known,” said Beth Stedman, president and CEO of the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce. “Our roots run deep in American history, and our location here on South Carolina’s beautiful coast is something we celebrate every day. We are so pleased to once again to be included in this annual best-of list.”

South Carolina’s third oldest city, Georgetown is home to more 200-year-old buildings than Charleston, and historic Front Street, located along the water and home to series of charming shops and restaurants, is the town’s heartbeat and boasts five popular museums.

Here’s a look back at the Top 10 in other years in which Georgetown competed in the Best Coastal Small Town competition:

The top ten winners for 2021 were:

1.Bucksport, Maine
3.Rockport, Texas
4.Southport, North Carolina
5.Ocean Springs, Maryland
6.Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi
7.Nags Head, North Carolina
8.Del Mar, California
9.Beaufort, South Carolina
10.Cape May, New Jersey

In 2020, the Top 10 winners in the category were:
1.Chincoteague, Virginia
2.Bayfield, Wisconsin
3.Venice, Florida
4.Rockport, Texas
5.Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi
6.Southport, North Carolina
8.St. Marys, Georgia
9.Gulf Shores, Alabama
10.Sandusky, Ohio

In 2019, the top 10 winners were:
1.Sandusky, Ohio
2.Rockport, Texas
3.Chincoteague, Virginia
5.Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi
6.Gulf Shores, Alabama
7.Southport, North Carolina
8.St. Simons Island, Georgia
9.Saugatuck, Michigan
10.Bayfield, Wisconsin

In 2018, when Georgetown came out on top, the top 10 looked like this:
2.Pismo Beach, California
3.Eastport, Maine
4.Vermilion, Ohio
5.Gulf Shores, Alabama
6.Cape May, New Jersey
7.St. Simons Island, Georgia
8.Mystic, Connecticut
9.Southport, North Carolina
10.Bayfield, Wisconsin

About South Carolina’s Hammock Coast

Georgetown County’s casual charm and Southern hospitality earned it the nickname Hammock Coast. Adventure and relaxation blend together in perfect harmony, like the flowing and ebbing of waves on the county’s famed beaches. With six communities – Garden City, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield, Pawleys Island, Georgetown and Andrews – comprising the pristine coastal area between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, visitors can experience South Carolina’s Hammock Coast like never before.

Georgetown offers an abundance of accommodations for guests, including hotels and cozy bed and breakfasts. Georgetown marinas welcome boaters from around the globe.

For more information on the Hammock Coast, go For more information about Georgetown, go to

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