“Best Harbor in the U.S.” 2020 Winners Announced

The”Best Harbor” 2020 winner is: Depoe Bay, Oregon!

The 2020 Runner’s Up are:

The 2020 Best Harbor contest ran on our site and social channels throughout the month of May, and was open to all 1,403 harbors for which we provide tides, weather, and harbor information. Over 5 million people had the opportunity to vote during the course of the contest. We received votes for 786 harbors from communities across the country, and were very excited to have harbors in the Great Lakes included for the first time.

It was a very tight and enthusiastic race to the win among a handful of harbors, but in the end Depoe Bay, Oregon took the lead. The contest is ultimately about the passion we all feel for our coastal communities, and the way they enhance our lives. Our team here at US Harbors thanks all of you who voted, and are extremely proud of the passion and strenght of our local communities!

About Depoe Bay, Oregon: the Best Harbor in the U.S. 2020

Depoe Bay is a picturesque harbor of only 6 square acres, and claims to be the “smallest navigable harbor in the world”. It is both the whale-watching capital of Oregon, and home to a working fishing community.  Their Whale Watching Center allows visitors of all-ages to see the annual whale migration– a fun and educational experience.

Depoe Bay residents enthusiastically shared their love of their community, the “Whale Watching Capital of the Oregon Coast”, by voting, emailing and messaging us on social media, in droves. Thanks to the team at DiscoverDepoeBay.org for helping to spread the word about their beautiful harbor!

Image Provided by Discover Depoe Bay.
In response to the question “What do you love about Depoe Bay?”, Linda B. wrote “It’s small and so friendly. It’s just so peaceful.” Heather M. responded “Everything!” and dozens of entries mentioned their appreciation for the local Coast Guard station and Whale Watching Center.
Image Courtesy of Discover Depoe Bay.

2020 BEST HARBOR Runners-up

OnSet Beach, MA

Located on Buzzard’s Bay, OnSet Beach features a calm harbor with many family-friendly activities and a downtown area just a few minutes from the beach that includes numerous shops restaurants and cafes.
Mark A. – “It is the perfect place for a boater.”
Richard S. – “The history, the beauty and the views. You will not finds a more picturesque place.”

Padanaram, MA

Our 2019 Best Harbor winner is back on the list thanks to the enthusiasm and strong community spirit of the year-round residents and loyal boating community. Padanaram offers numerous boating services in addition to excellent restaurants and local shops and the US Harbors team personally witnessed their hospitality last year when Harbormaster Steve Melo invited us to visit the brand new Community Maritime CenterSteve Melo, Dartmouth Harbormaster – “US Harbors recognition of Padanaram Harbor as 2019’s Best Harbor absolutely put us on the chart!  It was both humbling and gratifying for our waterfront community to be recognized for unending collective efforts to improve our waterway, our historic village, and the connection between them.  Our gratitude overflows for US Harbors and the unequaled information and connections they provide to mariners everywhere.”
Gail Farias, Marketing Manager, Cape Yachts @ South Wharf Yacht Yard – “It’s nice to drive into Padanaram Village and see our beautiful harbor every day. Working in such a scenic and historic area, truly has its advantages. We were so excited to win the inaugural contest last year and are disappointed to no longer be able to say we are “Best US Harbor.” We are happy to pass the title to Depoe Bay, OR for 2020 and hope to reclaim our title in the years ahead. Thank you USHarbors for bringing beautiful Padanaram Harbor the attention it truly deserves.”

Boothbay Harbor, ME

One of the larger towns dotted along mid-coast Maine, Boothbay is a quiet and close-knit winter community that expands into a bustling tourist destination during the summer months. Boothbay offers a mix of kid-friendly daytime activities in addition to a thriving nightlife scene with numerous bars and restaurants dotting the waterfront. If you’re in the area don’t miss the Fourth of July fireworks just over the bridge!

Boothbay Harbor Maine
Photo Courtesy – Roger Mathews
Mary J. – “Combines being a working harbor and a pleasure boat mecca, with all the supplies needed for setting out on a long cruise. Beautiful, historic, and welcoming.”
Bill H. – “Deep water, sheltered from storms, rich in history; still supporting commercial fishing industry.”

Cuttyhunk, MA

Cuttyhunk manages to be welcoming without losing the feeling of remoteness that makes it so popular with cruising boaters. A close neighbor of Padanaram, the island is a quiet retreat featuring a few small shops to help you stock up on anything you may have forgotten on the mainland.
Cuttyhunk Island
Cuttyhunk Island

James W. – “I like the 360 degree protection and it is a fantastic jumping off point for great day sails to Menemsha, Padanaram, Quicks Hole, Tarpaulin Cove, Tashmoo Pond. And, don’t forget the Cuttyhunk Oysters…”

Sandra M. – “If you love spending time on the water, taking in amazing views, and watching the world hurry by Chuttyhunk is the place to be. Boating at it’s best.”

Oriental, NC

Located just off the Neuse River at ICW mile 182 and provides a welcoming stop for cruisers. Beyond the shrimp docks is the town landing which offers free dockage for up to forty-eight hours on a first come first served basis. Although it’s been cancelled for this year, the annual Croaker Fest is considered the best Fourth of July festival in eastern North Carolina – check it out in 2021!

Thanks to VisitONC.com.

Image Courtesy of Chuck Forrest.

Thanks to everyone who voted for their “Best Harbor” and best of luck in Best Harbor 2021!