It's official. We live in America's happiest seaside town.
Coastal Living magazine announced the results of its annual top 10 ranking of the Happiest Seaside Towns in America, and Stuart earned the No. 1 spot.
Coastal Living editors compiled its unranked top 10 list, which was released earlier this year, based on assessments of each town's "costal vibe" and other factors, including percentage of clear and sunny days, commute times, walkability, crime ratings and standard of living. Public voting took place online in January.
"This is a huge win for our area, and with our passionate residents and dedicated ambassadors, [we] were able to edge out the competition," Stuart Mayor Jeff Krauskopf said in a release.
This is the first time a Florida town has won the title, but in 2015, nearby Delray Beach and another Florida city, Venice, earned the No. 3 and No. 2 spots, respectively.
Coastal Living described our happy town as follows:
"Often referred to as a hidden gem just 45 minutes north of Palm Beach, Stuart is an Old Florida–style treasure. Nestled between two rivers and situated on the Atlantic, the town shares its waters with sea turtles, dolphins, and, most famously, the sailfish—its abundant local presence has led to the town’s reputation as the 'sailfish capital of the world.'"
Some favorite Stuart spots and happenings also received shout outs, including the Riverwalk along St. Lucie River, Old Colorado Inn, and the Dancin' in the Streets Music Festival.
"It is a combination of characteristics that makes a place memorable and unique; this just validates what we have known all along," commissioner Anne Scott said. "Martin County is a very special place, and this is why we work hard to protect and preserve what we have."
Here is the full ranking:
- Stuart, Florida
- Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
- Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
- Hilo, Hawaii
- Fairhope, Alabama
- Sullivan's Island, South Carolina
- Capitola, California
- Seaside, Oregon
- Portland, Maine
- Hermosa Beach, California