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Many of today’s travelers are opting to take vacations that don’t include bright lights and big cities. Smaller, less crowded destinations tend to be their choice of where to go and what to do and see. For some, this is because of a desire to avoid crowds, while for others it’s just because they want a change of pace. For anyone starting to explore vacation plans for the summer, here is a list of small East Coast towns to consider. Visit one or make it a true adventure and visit several.

TRAVELER TIP: No matter the destination, be sure to check for any COVID-related rules, travel restrictions, and closures that may still be in effect.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Have fun in family-friendly Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. Enjoy the batting cages, water parks, and mini golf. If gaming is the activity of choice, head down to the boardwalk for some arcade action, and if thrill-seeking is your thing there’s also an amusement park. Mom can go shopping in an open-air mall with a full license to spend because in Delaware there is no sales tax. #dutyfree

Lewes, Delaware. Better suited for couples, little Lewes, Delaware is less than 10 miles up the coast from Rehoboth Beach. Start with a leisurely walking or boat tour, browse antique shops, and then cap the night off with dinner and drinks at a waterside restaurant. Lewes offers couples the chance to relax and just enjoy each other’s company.

Mystic, Connecticut. Visiting towns where movies were filmed is always a fun idea. Mystic, Connecticut was featured in the 1980’s movie Mystic Pizza, starring Julia Roberts and Conchata Ferrell (who later starred in Two and a Half Men). The quirky little fishing village of Mystic features museums, quaint shops, and fun places to eat, one of which, of course, is Mystic Pizza.

Beaufort, South Carolina. Continuing with the movie-themed vacation, here is the charming, classic Southern town of Beaufort, South Carolina, where most of the timeless movie The Big Chill was filmed. Beaufort is the 2nd oldest city in South Carolina behind Charleston, which is a little over an hour away. Dotted with moss-covered trees and Antebellum-style homes, Beaufort is the perfect place to, well, just chill.