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The 9 Cheapest Beach Towns in the U.S.
Real Estate

The 9 Cheapest Beach Towns in the U.S.

If you’re sitting there daydreaming of living close to the waves, it’s not impossible. Discover the 9 cheapest beach towns in the U.S. now.


5 min read

November 25, 2021

Searching for a home in today’s U.S. market feels like seeking a tiny, elusive gem within a vast, pricey field. The competition is fierce, with buyers vying intensely for a scarce selection of homes. Just when you think you're close to sealing the deal, there's always the chance of a last-minute upset.

Yet, don't let this discourage you completely. Hope still shines brightly for those yearning for a life by the sea. Believe it or not, affordable beach towns dot the U.S., offering the coastal lifestyle you've been dreaming of without the hefty price tag of urban living. These hidden gems, often found in the Western part of the country, provide a serene escape with the charm and natural beauty of beachside living, all at a fraction of the cost of a small city apartment.

While many coastal towns have a high cost of living, including expensive real estate, some are more affordable than you might think.

These Are the Cheapest Beach Towns To Live in the U.S.

A house by the ocean isn’t just a pipe dream—you just have to get a little more creative to achieve it. Many of the countries’ ritziest beach towns are populated by the wealthy and the famous, or at least one would assume so while looking at their price tags. If you don’t consider yourself a part of that income bracket just yet, that’s more than okay. 

America is home to plenty of affordable beach towns with beautiful stretches of coastline to match, but somehow, these don’t bask in the same international recognition. To that, we say ‘even better’—hidden gems are truly where it’s at.

Crescent City, California 

Median home price: $294,940

The seat of Del Norte County, Crescent City is located about 20 miles south of the Oregon border—it’s safe to say not your typical California beach town. By no means is it shabby though. Its unconventionality is what makes Crescent City’s unique charm, with stunning coastal vistas and more variety in weather than SoCal. Evoking all the cool and relaxed vibes you can expect from an under-seven thousand-resident area, Crescent City is also one of the most affordable beach towns in the US.

Fort Pierce is also known as the Sunrise City, sister to San Francisco, California, the Sunset City.

Fort Pierce, Florida 

Median home price: $223,220

Florida is famous for its fierce competition over beachfront properties, but there's a hidden jewel along the Treasure Coast that might have slipped under your radar. Give yourself a break if you've missed out on Fort Pierce until now. This city offers tranquil, picturesque beaches without the usual crowds, making it one of the most affordable beach towns in the U.S. Beyond the allure of its serene shores, Fort Pierce boasts a variety of museums and theme parks, providing a perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment for those moments when you're looking for something more than the soothing rhythm of the waves.

With hundreds of noteworthy Victorian mansions, including the globally acclaimed Carson Mansion, Eureka is a state historic site.

Eureka, California 

Median home price: $389,930

NorCal’s darling Eureka is a great place to live if you wish to save up without sacrificing the beauty of nature. And this place has both—you’ve got the beach and the infinite glory of the towering redwoods. There are also several impressive rivers running through the area with rafting and fishing opportunities galore. Living here will mean indulging in fine cuisine at every street corner, all the while surrounded by fairy-tale-like architecture and old-timey charm.

Located at the southern point of the Palos Verdes Peninsula is San Pedro, home to the busiest port in the country.

San Pedro, California 

Median home price: $776,400

Would you ever imagine that one of the cheapest coastal towns in the U.S. is technically a part of sprawling Los Angeles County? Introducing San Pedro—a sleepy, quaint little town in SoCal granting you direct access to one of the most famous cities in the world. San Pedro is heavily investing in infrastructure and public resources to draw investors and make the city more inviting. So if you’re looking to hop into a coastal town on the rise (before the prices start to skyrocket), this is your perfect option.

Swansboro took its name from Samuel Swann, a Speaker in the North Carolina House of Commons and a resident of Onslow County.

Swansboro, North Carolina

Median home price: $266,080

North Carolina boasts a plethora of beaches with soft, white sands, but Swansboro offers a unique experience where you can bask in the sun while watching ospreys glide gracefully overhead. This quaint town, with its rich history in shipbuilding and fishing, sits roughly 90 minutes from Wilmington and neighbors the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Its proximity to Hammocks Beach State Park, a haven of pristine, boat-accessible secluded beaches, contributes to Swansboro's reputation as one of North Carolina's most affordable beach towns.

Whether you're planning a weekend escape to the Outer Banks or the tranquil island of Ocracoke, Swansboro serves as an ideal base. The town itself enchants visitors with its picturesque main street, featuring boutique shopping and cozy cafes, all set against the backdrop of captivating water views perfect for your next Instagram post.

The Chumash people have lived in Lompoc. They named the region Lum Poc, which translates to "lagoon" or "stagnant waters" in the Purisimeño language.

Lompoc, California

Median home price: $481,550

Located in Santa Barbara County, Lompoc guarantees the best beaches in the world by default. And while it’s not directly on the beach, West Coast’s least expensive beach town is within a striking distance. The space and price you’ll get here is a steal compared to the incredibly expensive sister-coastal towns you’ll find in the Golden State. Wake up staring out at the horizon over the ocean, and bask in the recreational benefits of living close by the shore.

Myrtle Beach is located in the center of a long and continuous 60-mile stretch of beach known as "The Grand Strand."

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 

Median home price: $239,660 

Myrtle Beach is often pegged as a bustling spring break destination, complete with the occasional college student meandering along the boardwalk. However, this coastal town nestled along the Grand Strand is ready to show you it's capable of much more. Beyond its lively reputation, Myrtle Beach unfolds as a tranquil, family-oriented retreat. Indulge in the culinary delights scattered across its 60 miles of beautiful shoreline, or seek out the serene beauty of quieter areas like Cherry Grove in North Myrtle Beach. And while it's actually located in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach competes with the scenic charm often attributed to the quaint, more affordable beach towns of North Carolina.

Grover Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, which is the location of the Pacific Crossing cable Landing station.

Grover Beach, California

Median home price: $665,570

This small beach community located in San Luis Obispo County is about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, and Highway 1 passes right through. Dotted with iconic sand dunes and a limitless number of outdoor recreation, Grover Beach is a steal in more sense than one. Move here to pop by the metropolis fun every once in a while, but live far enough to maintain that shoreline zen.

With its beaches, dunes, wetlands, creeks and the Santa Clara River, Oxnard contains a number of important biological communities.

Oxnard, California 

Median home price: $666,710

Oxnard offers an inviting blend of relaxed living and mild weather throughout the year, making it a surprise to find it listed among the more affordable beach towns in the U.S. This hidden gem presents endless possibilities for both employment and leisure activities. With its untouched beaches and a historic downtown area that has been meticulously maintained, Oxnard draws crowds by the thousands each year, especially during the California Strawberry Festival, renowned as one of the premier culinary events in the country.

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