Best Coastal Small Town Top 10

Georgetown finishes in Top 10 in contest for USA Today’s America’s Best Coastal Small Town

Georgetown’s Harborwalk is popular with locals and visitors alike. (Photo by Chris Rogers/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

Georgetown is once again among the top winners in the USA Today/10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for Best Coastal Small Town.

The official announcement was made Friday, July 10. The online contest asked readers to vote from 20 nominees for Best Coastal Small Town, chosen by a panel of relevant experts that included editors from USA Today, editors from, and expert contributors. All voting was digital and allowed people to vote once a day for four weeks.

Georgetown, which came in No. 1 on the list of Best Coastal Small Towns in 2018 and finished fourth in 2019, finished in seventh place in 202o. Georgetown was one of only a handful of towns to be nominated three years in a row.

The Top 10 winners for 2020 are follows:

  1. Chincoteague, Virginia
  2. Bayfield, Minnesota 
  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

“For three years in a row, Georgetown has finished in the Top 10 for this prestigious, highly sought-after award,” said Mark A. Stevens, director of tourism development for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerceand South Carolina’s Hammock Coast. “Sandusky, Ohio, which finished in first place in 2019, finished in tenth place in 2020. That gives you a clear indication just how competitive this contest is.

“Georgetown, of course, came in first in 2018 and has placed in the Top 10 every year since. Our historic city is one of the few cities to have been nominated for three consecutive years, and we are proud, year after year, to earn our designation as a Best Coastal Small Town nominee. Georgetown is a shining star here on South Carolina’s Hammock Coast.”

While the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest lives on – a standalone travel media site – it is promoted across the USA Today Travel Media Group’s digital and mobile products, as well as via social media. Nominees are also announced and/or promoted across relevant USA Today departments, and through Gannett media outlets. provides users with original, unbiased, and experiential travel content of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world. The core of the site’s uniqueness is its team of local travel experts: a well-traveled and well-educated group who are not only experts in their fields – and their cities – but discriminating in their tastes. These local experts live in the city they write about so the content is constantly updated. averages 5 million visitors per month. It was acquired by USA TODAY in January of 2013.

As a working waterfront community, Georgetown has been matched in the contest against coastal towns along nearly every major body of water in America, ranging from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Ocean.

Visitors enjoy shopping along historic Front Street in Georgetown. (Photo by Chris Rogers/Courtesy of the 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.

Georgetown is one of six communities that make up South Carolina’s Hammock Coast, joining Andrews, Garden City, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield and Pawleys Island.

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