Georgetown one of the Best Coastal Small Towns? Voters again say yes

17 Jun

Georgetown one of the Best Coastal Small Towns? Voters again say yes

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

Rice Museum in Georgetown, SC
Georgetown placed third in the 2022 USA TODAY Best Coastal Small Town contest.
(Photo by Mark Stevens/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

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.

The top finalists for 2022 are:

  1. Ocean Springs, Maryland
  2. Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi
  4. Rockport, Texas
  5. Nags Head, North Carolina
  6. Bandon, Oregon
  7. Half Moon Bay, California
  8. Los Osos, California
  9. Bar Harbor, Maine
  10. Cape May, New Jersey
Front Street in downtown Georgetown has a variety of shops, museums and art galleries for visitors to enjoy.
(Photo by Clayton Stairs/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

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.

“We are so pleased that Georgetown has been named as a top three finalist for the Best Coastal Small Town award,” said Mark A. Stevens, director of tourism development for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast. “Our historic hub is in the heart of Georgetown, and we know visitors to the Hammock Coast love coming to Georgetown for our wonderful restaurants and shops and especially all the history to be explored there.

“It’s particularly nice that Georgetown has been part of this USA Today/10Best contest since its inception, and I think that speaks to the importance of Georgetown and all of the Hammock Coast as a favorite for tourists who come here throughout the year.”

A working waterfront community, Georgetown is matched in the contest against coastal towns found along nearly every major body of water in America, ranging from the Great Lakes or the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

South Carolina’s third oldest city, Georgetown is home to more historic properties 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. Georgetown offers an abundance of accommodations for guests, including hotels and cozy bed and breakfasts. Georgetown marinas welcome boaters from around the globe.

The Harborwalk runs parallel to Front Street in Georgetown on the waterfront.
(Photo by Clayton Stairs/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

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.

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

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