Don't go getting your swim trunks all in a knot. One of the best beaches in downeast Maine now has a parking area once again.

Last week we told you how the parking area at the Newbury Neck Road beach in Surry had been blocked off and the "park here" signs had been covered over. People in the area and on Facebook had been wondering what the gig was for the past couple of weeks or so and why suddenly they couldn't park their car or truck across from what is officially known as Carrying Place beach.

Turns out at some point the owner of the parcel across from the rock covered beach figured out that they owned it since 1979 and had a big time concern about liability.  Can't blame them.  But it also turns out that the owner, identified as the Mishara family by the Ellsworth American, graciously offered up the 11 acres of prime property to the town for only $215,000.

Now that's a bargain, and certainly well appreciated by the 212 registered voters who showed up at a town meeting at the Surry school this past Monday night to approve the purchase of the land in a unanimous vote.

A collective sigh of relief was heard across the area as people rushed to their Subarus to make room for the beach chairs once again.

Surry town officials say that the parking area will be open again sometime this week and now that they own the land there is always the opportunity for improvement there somewhere down the road.

Good job and thank you, everyone!

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Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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