Sorry, not on an ocean, but Lake Michigan. The small village of Saugatuck, Michigan is great. There's another small village across the harbor called Douglas. Both towns have lot of art galleries and neat shops. Saugatuck is located just south of Holland, MI.
If you're in Michigan and like these kinds of towns also check out: South Haven, Pentwater, Manistee, Glen Arbor, Suttons Bay, Traverse Ciy, Charlevoix, & Petoskey. All of these towns are along Lake Michigan.
Anna Marie Island (Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach). No high-rises. Pastel colors. Cool fishing pier with a bar with food downstream; restaurant upstairs. Key West residential feel without the high prices. No Duvall Street, thankfully.
I camp at Holiday Cove, right across the beach in Cortez. 2 restaurants within walking distance. Backs up to a canal with gulf access and a launch ramp.
Yes, in Michigan as it has 3200 miles of true non-swampy fresh potable water (no salt) coastline. Longest by far of any state except Alaska with dozens of very neat clean, and quaint drive to coastal towns and villages with real ports. We already live at our "favorite coastal" town and wouldn't move away for anything. This place has it all and over 6 million visitors each year seem to think so also because they keep coming back year after year and many simply move here to live! Thus our constant growth as it's done right here in this area of the Midwest. Far from the norm for the region!
BTW, Alaska has so few accessible coastal towns or villages but we sure do love visiting the huge Alaska that makes Texas look and seem tiny. Of course, that is visiting Alaska during the summer months only with it's long daylight hours and nice temps. Our 5th time is coming up!
A superb CC LB 4X4, GM HD Diesel, airbags, Rancho's, lots more
Lance Legend TC 11' 4", loaded including 3400 PP generator and my deluxe 2' X 7' rear porch
29 ft Carriage Carri-lite 5'er - a specially built gem
A like new '07 Sunline Solaris 26' TT
Not to touristy but very cool shops and great restaurants...hmmm gulf coast...yes, check out St.George Island SP off Apalachicola Florida. Nice beaches, voted #6 from somebody or other, uncrowded, white sand, dunes, a historic light house in St George and maybe best of all, Apalachicola. Very cool little town filled with artists and great restaurants! Unspoiled, hard to get to, NO high rises, active shrimp, fish and oyster docks. The state park is about 15 miles from the town.
Of course I can also go on and on about OBX, Ocracoke Island, or Hunting Island...all are wonderful vacation spots along the coast.
Hey Shoes, tell us about Ocracoke these days. I last visited there in 1968 when the campground was in the center of town, where the staging area for the mainland ferry currently is. I would like to revisit but don't want to turn off the generators at 10:00 pm.