2017’s best beach towns in the U.S.

A WalletHub report

As the weather gets cooler across the country and we bundle up, turn up the thermostat, and pour cup after cup of hot cocoa, many people are dreaming of a warm day at the beach rather than getting snowed in. Sure, snowmen and fuzzy hats are cute, but after weeks of sub-zero temps, even Santa would trade in his red suit for a swimsuit instead.

Have you ever considered packing up and moving to a picturesque beach town? Living by the water and feeling the sand between your toes certainly doesn't sound too shabby, especially when frostbite is nipping at your nose. If beachside living is something you are curious about, WalletHub's recent report revealing 2017's best beach towns to live in will have you feeling beachy keen.

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The personal finance site compared an impressive 227 beach towns and cities all across America. Using 49 key indicators of livability, their qualified team of experts determined which are the best, specifically when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck… or shall we say the most beach for your buck?!

These 49 key indicators include factors such as housing costs, median household income, annual property taxes, percentage of for-sale waterfront homes, water temperature, violent crime rate, foreclosure rate, percentage of insured population, restaurants, coffee shops, and nightlife establishments per capita, etc. They covered anything and everything you would want to know about an area before making a move to reside there.

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Here is what you have been waiting for… the top 10, as per WalletHub's assessment. If you happen to reside in one of these beach towns, you are sure to agree that they provide for a wonderful way of life.

Naples, FL

Key West, FL

Eden Prairie, MN

Traverse City, MI

St. Augustine, FL

Charleston, SC

Marco Island, FL

Key Biscayne, FL

Boca Raton, FL

Duluth, MN

Snagging an impressive six of the top ten slots, Florida is not surprisingly a beach-lovers paradise. Lots of people head down south and opt for Florida for its sunny weather, bountiful beaches, and availability of waterfront homes for purchase. There is plenty to see and do and residents rave about the breathtaking surroundings they feel lucky to live within.

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Here are some interesting tidbits pulled from the WalletHub report.

If you are looking for low-cost living, La Porte, TX gas the lowest median home price as a share of income. The highest? Malibu, CA.

The lowest median annual property taxes can be found in Wailuku, HI, with Zion, IL coming in with the highest.

Safety is seen in Rye, NY, which boasts the lowest property crimes per 1,000 residents. Myrtle Beach, SC has the highest crime rate, as per the report's findings.

If the beach life is your calling, take some time to review the complete ranking of all 227 towns and cities reviewed by WalletHub, as well as the site's unique methodology and other interesting facts and findings. You may find your town or city on the list. See if you are in agreement with the results of WalletHub's report and if you are inclined to make a move to a new place to live.

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For more beach-centric reading, check out the six best beaches in New England.

Life, is indeed, a beach!

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10 Endangered Animals to Weep Over

Celebrate Endangered Species Day.

An endangered species is not a tragedy, because if a species is endangered, then they aren't yet extinct.

Sadly, there are millions of endangered species across the world, all facing threats that mostly stem from human activities. Still, it's not too late. Take a gander at these majestic animals, and then donate to a wildlife fund or environmental activism group of your choice.


Of course, nature doesn't need saving—humans do—and climate change and environmental destruction are threats to humans as well as animals, but if you need a reminder of the beauty and fragility of the natural world, check out these extraordinary species.



SPONSORED

Do Non-Melatonin Sleep Aids Really Work?

Objective makes a chocolate square.

I Can't Sleep.

I truly cannot remember the last time I had a good night's rest. Even before the stay-at-home orders, I was just a little ball of nerves.

But lately, it's been awful. I toss and turn, it's always too hot or even too cold, sometimes I make myself tea and read for a bit, but when I'm still up at 1 a.m., I reach for my phone and then I'm up until 3. My sister and I have a weekly call, and our small talk about our exhaustion turned into an hour long conversation about sleep.

I Thought I'd Tried Everything. Even Melatonin.

My sister asked why I hadn't gone for the old staple, melatonin and I reminded her about the time we traveled abroad, and it gave me the weirdest nightmares (the horrible kind where you wake up in your dream and you're still in a dream). Chamomile tea didn't work, nothing worked.

She said she had a friend who swore by something I definitely hadn't heard of.

They Were NOT Pills, Teas or Anything I'd Seen Before.

A company called Objective makes Fast Asleep, a sleep solution delivered as chocolatey treats. They're created with saffron and GABA. If going to sleep was as easy as eating a piece of these chocolatey, minty delights every night, I'd be sold.

What Exactly Was In It?

Cocoa contains caffeine, so I didn't know how this would help me sleep. After talking with my sister, I went online and saw that the calming, sleep-supporting ingredients cancel out any of the very little caffeine content.

Saffron, the spice, is apparently known to help with staying asleep, and their GABA is a fermented version of the neurotransmitter that's known to help you relax and fall asleep faster. In a study, 100% of customers saw improvement in their sleep quality thanks to saffron. One hundred percent!

Do I Try It?

A bag of 30 pieces was only $40, and they had a money-back guarantee.

They're keto-friendly and only 30 calories a piece, so not too decadent before bedtime.

They were chocolatey-minty, which is my favorite flavor, so I was sold. I ordered a bag to try.

The First Night, I Wasn't Impressed.

I took one piece (super yummy!) - 30-60 minutes before bedtime is recommended - but when I climbed in, I didn't notice a difference. I was worried I'd wasted my money.

However, once I fell asleep, I stayed asleep until my alarm went off, which hasn't always been the case for me.

I checked the site again, and noticed that many people didn't notice a real difference until the third or fourth night - it builds up in your system over time, so I decided to keep an open mind the rest of the week.

The Second Night Was Completely Different

Without doing anything differently from the first night, my second night was amazing. I felt calm and sleepy as I was getting ready for bed, and once I hit the pillow, I was out the whole night.

It had to be these sweet treats. The next day, I even felt more balanced and relaxed - Fast Asleep helps boost serotonin levels and reduce cortisol (the stress hormone), and I definitely noticed a difference in my overall mood and alertness.

I Already Ordered More.

Just In Case! There's nothing habit-forming about this product, so it's completely safe to take every night, and I honestly always want to keep it in the house. I'd also love to offer it to anyone staying over in the guest room, whenever we have guests again.

Now that I'm getting a healthy 8 hours of sleep every night, I feel more equipped during the day to tackle the things I need to do and deal with some of my daytime stressors. I finally had the energy to clean the kitchen, which had been bothering me so much for the past few weeks.

With Objective's Fast Asleep, I get real sleep and balance my levels, so I don't have to feel tired during my waking hours. Sleep in the form of chocolate squares sounds so weird, but oh my goodness, do they work.

Our partners at Objective Wellness are currently offering a 25% discount if you use the coupon code STAYHOME. Check them out here!

Food & Drink

The Best Apps for Craft Beer Delivery

Try beers from all over the world–from your phone.

With breweries and distilleries out of business for the foreseeable future, your favorite beer may feel particularly out of reach this time of year, especially with the weather changing. But don't let quarantine suck all the fun out of summer. Luckily, thanks to technology, a lot of craft beer is now deliverable straight to your door step. Here are a few of the best apps to help make sure you stay up to date on the latest trendy brews.

Tavour

Tavour

Simplistic and elegant, Tavour allows users to easily fill up a box of beer over a period of time before shipping. The app offers more than 650 different breweries both local and national and is perfect for those who like to experiment. It's easy to use, and their menu rotates regularly so you and your beer never grow stale.

TapRM

TapRM

TapRM offers a wide range of both craft beers and hard seltzers. While based almost exclusively in New York City, the app offers fast, same day delivery from some of the best beer brands in the world. They also provide a unique selection of beers to help you find your new favorite. All you need to do is download the app and place your order!

Drizly

Offering a stark variety of craft beer, Drizly allows its users to mix and match 12-packs, sixers or by the bottle. Their guarantee is that they can have whatever you order delivered to your house in less than an hour. You can even schedule your delivery for a specific time, with each delivery taking around 20-40 minutes.

Saucey

Saucey takes delivery very seriously. When you order with them they guarantee that they'll deliver in 30-minutes or less, or they guarantee two day shipping. Also, beer aside, their entire liquor cabinet is also up for grabs. From tequila and whiksey, to vodka and wine, nothing is off the table for Saucey.

Beer Menus

BeerMenus

For those who enjoy strictly local beers, BeerMenus features a tap list from local bars and a broader stock list from your neighborhood beer store. With that, you can make sure to create a list of your favorite beers in your neighborhood, so that when they're in stock you can be ready to go.