You can make Grand Haven the 'happiest'

Alex Doty • Sep 27, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Grand Haven has once again been selected as one of the top 10 “Happiest Seaside Towns” in the country, according to Coastal Living magazine.

“We are happy to be included on Coastal Living’s top 10 list,” said Marci Cisneros, director of the Grand Haven Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We are the only community to make the list from Michigan, and actually the only town from all of the Great Lakes region.”

Now, it’s time to make the community No. 1. 

Online voting began Monday at http://www.coastalliving.com/travel/happiest-seaside-town to help determine “America’s Happiest Seaside Town in 2017” — a list that includes top U.S. beach destinations from Washington to Maine and Michigan to Florida.

Voters have until Oct. 18 to vote for their favorite town. Coastal Living will reveal the top town via social media and online on Jan. 11, 2017. The winning town will be featured in the magazine’s May 2017 issue.

“After getting to know the small-town charms of these communities, we are beyond thrilled to see which place wins the top spot to live by the sea,” Coastal Living Editor-in-Chief Steele Marcoux said. “From the shopping and dining paradise of Carmel, Calif., to the historic resort town of Cape May, N.J., all 10 of these towns truly embody a special magic.”

To choose the finalists, Coastal Living editors begin by reviewing destinations that have been covered by the magazine and nominated via social media. The magazine then collected each town’s rank on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, percentage of sunny days, air quality, healthiness of beaches, commute times, crime ratings, walkability, standard of living and financial well-being of the locals, geographic diversity, and the editors’ assessment of each town’s “coastal vibe.” A proprietary formula yields the list of finalists, with the final ranking determined by an online vote.

“These contests are a fun way to get residents and visitors engaged in showing their support on social media,” Cisneros said.

Aside from bragging rights of being on another “Top 10” list, Cisneros noted that the ranking also has other benefits.

“(It) gets our community recognized on a national level alongside some other great waterfront communities in America,” she explained. “Winning the top spot would not only mean capturing another great accolade for our beautiful beach town, but it also means winning an editorial feature in the May 2017 20th anniversary edition of Coastal Living. That would be a wonderful way to showcase the Grand Haven area.”

Here’s the complete “America’s Happiest Seaside Towns in 2017” list, in alphabetical order: Camden, Maine; Cape May, N.J.; Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.; Dana Point, Calif.; Fernandina Beach, Fla.; Grand Haven; Hilton Head Island, S.C.; Langley, Wash.; Orleans, Mass.; and Sarasota, Fla.

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