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Best New England beach town for families?

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My extended family and I (6 adults and 4 kids, ages 4, 4, 5 & 9) are looking to rent a house in a beach town somewhere on the New England coast in late June of 2013. We were thinking Cape Cod, NH or lower ME (below Portland). We are ruling out Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard. Any suggestions on what towns to look into? We'd like a town with lots of good restaurants and with chances to spot marine life. The quainter, the better. Boutique shopping in the area would be a plus too. We realize the water will be freezing.

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