7 Best American Seafood Shacks

There's nothing better than a plate of fresh crab doused in a healthy slather of warm butter as you stare out at the sunset over the ocean. The seagulls cawing overhead make for an interesting melody as you dig in to the most delicious seafood meals of your life. You have to eat, even when you're on a whirlwind educational student trip, so stop by one of these delectable restaurants and treat your tastebuds to a vacation.

Clam Shack - Kennebunkport, ME
Try the: lobster rolls
People line up around the corner to get one of the Clam Shack's famous lobster rolls. Lucky for you, the scenery is beautiful as you stand in line waiting for fresh juicy huge hunks of lobster (a whopping one pound!) cradled in a soft bun. It's calling your name, and everyone in Kennebunkport will be asking if you've had it yet.

Lulu's - Gulf Shores, AL
Try the: gumbo
Lucy "Lulu," the owner is the gumbo loving sister of famed singer Jimmy Buffet. While that's pretty cool in itself, the thousands of visitors that Lulu gets every year isn't because of him. Her gumbo is known far and wide, as are the fried crab claws, shrimp, and other specialties that Lulu's restaurant churns out on a daily basis. Plus, the restaurant sits directly on the water so you have amazing views from all around.

Marshall Store - Marshall, CA
Try the: oysters
Up around Tomales Bay along the Pacific Coast Highway you'll see makeshift tables and chairs lined against the edge of the road where it slopes down to meet the sea. Just because they don't have real tables, don't judge them just yet. The Marshall Store is renowned as the best possible place to get oysters - of all kinds, all taken from their backyard. They serve oysters Rockefeller, smoked, chorizo, BBQ, Kilpatrick with bacon and worcestshire, and of course raw. They also have delicious fish tacos, crab, and sandwiches if you're not an oyster person.

Dave's Carry Out - Charleston, SC
Try the: seafood platter for first time visitors
Known as  being unpretentious and down to earth, Dave's Carry Out may be a small "hole in the wall" establishment but it's truly adored by its patrons. Surprisingly affordable, delicious, and wonderfully innovative with fresh catch recipes, Dave's is a wholly authentic southern seafood shack. Fried fish sandwiches, stuffed crab, and the seafood platter (shrimp, fish, scallops, and devil crab) get people coming again and again. If you're not in the mood for seafood, they also serve barbecue!

Doc's Seafood - Orange Beach, AL
Try the: "Best fried shrimp in the entire civilized world" (so says the sign above the entrance)
It says right on the door that they serve the best fried shrimp, so you'd best believe it. They serve it all, and it's guaranteed to be available "because Doc tells us to" as the menu states. Oysters on the half shell, fried shrimp, fried stuffed crab, fish fillets, fried clam strips, deviled crab, and much more are available just for you. If you can't decide on a single one, Doc's lets you make your own platter, or you can bring in your own fresh catch and they'll cook it up for you!

Crab Shack - Tybee Island, GA
Try the: Shack Specialty seafood platter
Tybee Island is lovely, and hot. So when you're visiting in the summer, stop in for a bite at the Crab Shack, "where the elite eat in their bare feet." The shack sits right next to the water and every day their fishermen bring in their catches so they can cook it up and serve it directly to the customer. It's insanely fresh and you can taste the freshness in every bite of Louisiana crawfish, deviled crab, oysters, and the collection of seafood available with the Shack Specialty seafood platter.

Tides Tavern - Gig Harbor, WA
Try the: halibut and chips
Down to earth and, frankly, delicious, Tides Tavern is a historic part of Puget Sound. All of their fish is supplied by the Northern Fish Company, from Hawaii, Alaska, and other Northern waters with the freshest quality. Fresh Pacific oysters and dungeness crab, halibut sandwiches, and the classic fish and chips are but a few of the options available and you'll have a hard time deciding! Now they're offering live music as you enjoy your meal overlooking the water, sitting on the patio for a lovely, relaxing, and mouthwatering vacation stop.

oysters-924001_1920