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

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5 min read

November 25, 2021

Looking for a home in the U.S.A. nowadays is like trying to find a needle in a really expensive haystack. Everyone is bringing their A-game—and by that, we mean cutthroat competition for a highly limited amount of real estate. And even when you think you might have won, someone can swoop in at the very last second and crush your dreams.

Before you give up your quest, however, we want to remind you that not all is lost. If you’re sitting there daydreaming of living close to the waves, it’s actually not at all impossible. The cheapest beach towns in the U.S. are aplenty. While you might end up leaving behind big-city amenities, plenty of smaller locales—mostly in the West—will make all your beachiest dreams come true; they’ll do it for far less than what a one-bedroom condo costs in a lot of major metropolitan areas.

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

When it comes to Florida, competition is tough, especially when we’re talking about beachfront property. If you’ve ever overlooked this Treasure Coast gem, go ahead and forgive yourself. With beaches that are rarely crowded but just as scenic and vacation-envy-inducing, Fort Pierce is one of the cheapest beach towns in America. The laid-back city is home to plenty of museums and theme parks, in case breaking waves gets a little too monotonous.

Eureka is a state historic landmark, which has hundreds of significant Victorian homes, including the nationally recognized Carson Mansion.

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 is full of powdery white sand beaches, but it’s only Swansboro where you can watch Osprey landings while you tan. The one-time ship building and fishing hub is located about an hour and a half up the coast from Wilmington, sharing a border with Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Hammocks Beach State Park might be why the area’s considered to be one of the cheapest beach towns to live in North Carolina—it’s an oceanfront stretch where a handful of secluded beaches are only reachable by boat. Weekend getaways at Swansboro include quick jaunts to the Outer Banks or sleepy islands like Ocracoke. And meanwhile, the town itself boasts charming main street boutiques and cafes, all armed with the most Instagrammable water views imaginable.

Lompoc has been inhabited by the Chumash people, who called the area Lum Poc, meaning "stagnant waters" or "lagoon" in the local 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 has a lingering reputation as a kitschy, hectic spring break spot—it’s not unlikely for you to come across a college kid or two loitering on the boardwalk, but we’re here to tell you the town is much, much more than that. Nestled on the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach offers a far more slower-paced and family-friendly vibe than people realize. Eat and drink yourself silly along the 60-mile shoreline or ditch the touristy spots and opt for the more idyllic neighborhoods like Cherry Grove in North Myrtle. But whatever you do, remember that cheap beach towns in North Carolina have never been this scenic.

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’s laid-back lifestyle and comfortable year-round climate make it all the more puzzling that it’s one of the cheapest beach towns to live in the U.S. But miracles do indeed come true in this coastal city of boundless opportunity, both for work and outdoor recreation. Thanks to its pristine beaches and a well-preserved historic downtown, Oxnard attracts thousands of visitors for the annual California Strawberry Festival, one of the top food events in the nation.

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