CAPE CHARLES, Va. (Delmarva Now) -- Cape Charles is in the running to be named Happiest Seaside Town for 2018 by Coastal Living Magazine.
Anyone wanting to boost the Northampton County town's chances of winning the honor may vote once per minute through Feb. 6 at 5 p.m. at the magazine's website.
The magazine describes Cape Charles as "a Cinderella of the Chesapeake," and adds, "This up and coming Eastern Shore gem has transformed itself into a lively beach town with great seafood, a buzzing downtown and charming historic homes."
"We are honored that Cape Charles was chosen as a finalist for the Happiest Seaside Town by Coastal Living," said Elizabeth Dodd Russell, executive director of the Northampton County Chamber of Commerce.
"Cape Charles’ exposure recently has been a collaborative effort with many different organizations. The town has a great energy all year long now, and something new is always popping up. We hope everyone will vote for our small “Bayside”/Seaside town so that many more visitors can enjoy the fun we are having right now!" she said.
To choose the 2018 finalists, the magazine first called for nominations on social media for the best beach town.
Then, it looked at the towns' rank on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index — including the percentage of clear and sunny days, healthiness of beaches, commute times, walkability, crime ratings, standard of living and financial well-being of locals and geographic diversity, along with the editors’ assessment of each town's “coastal vibe,” according to the website.
“All of these towns embody two things we love about the coast: access to beautiful beaches and vibrant communities,” said Sid Evans, editor-in-chief.
“We’re so excited to have this opportunity to engage readers and see which town earns the number one spot,” Evans said.
The winner will be revealed online Tuesday, June 12.
The magazine will feature the towns and their rankings in the July/August 2018 issue.
Chincoteague was named the happiest seaside town by the magazine in 2014.
Rehoboth, Delaware, came in second in the competition in 2016.
Towns that were previous winners are not eligible for the 2018 competition.
Other towns in the running for the honor this year are Traverse City, Michigan; Ocean City, New Jersey; Vero Beach, Florida; Anna Maria, Florida; Bluffton, South Carolina; Hampton, New Hampshire; Bellport, New York; Cambria, California; and Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Coastal Living publishes 10 issues a year and "introduces readers to homes, destinations, activities, and people along the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf shores of North America. Hawaii, Alaska, coastal Canada and Mexico, as well as the multi-national Caribbean islands and U.S. Great Lakes, are included in our scope," according to a description on the magazine's website.
The designation from the magazine comes despite the fact that the term "seaside" has a different connotation locally — local residents might say Cape Charles is the happiest "bayside" town because its long, sandy beach fronts on the Chesapeake Bay, not the Atlantic Ocean.