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10 Beach Towns in the US That Are Shockingly Inexpensive

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Which are the most affordable beach towns in the US?

Life on a beach is alluring—long, relaxing days on the water, dining at delicious restaurants, and sun-kissed skin. What could be more enchanting?

This lifestyle may seem unattainable and extravagant since so many coastal cities have high living costs and overpriced housing. But whether you’re looking for a travel destination or a place to relocate, there are many affordable beach towns where you can recharge your batteries during vacation or even move!

We’ve rounded up some of the cheapest waterfront towns suited for adventurers, retirees, families, and everyone in between seeking a sandy paradise. These places feature affordable hotels and housing, close-knit communities, top-of-the-line shopping and dining, and, most importantly, pristine beaches!

While many are nestled on America’s coast, you might be surprised to find that landlocked states feature gorgeous, affordable beaches as well.

So, let’s get started! Here are the most affordable beach towns in the US!

affordable beach towns
Photo by Steven Frame from Shutterstock

1. Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Whether you’re looking for a sunny destination for your next trip or for a place to move, Fort Walton Beach is an amazing option. This town is one of the most affordable beach towns not only in Florida but in the entire country.

Given a crime rate that is 5.7 points below the national average and the wide range of activities, Fort Walton Beach is a wonderful option for families.

There’s truly no shortage of things to do here—enjoy the vibrant shopping district that houses local restaurants and retailers, or take the family to aquariums and zoos or the local water parks. Adventure seekers will love the ecotourism activities, but there are always fishing trips, museums, and other activities for a more relaxing time.

And not to mention the miles of unspoiled, calm beaches you can visit. Long story short, Fort Walton Beach is definitely one of the best and most affordable beach towns in Florida!

2. Crescent City, California

Crescent City is a picturesque town where mountains meet rocky shores. We recommend this place for naturalists looking for a broad range of activities, as well as those seeking a less populated coastal Californian town.

As one of the most affordable beach towns in the US, Crescent City is ideal if you love surfing. You’ll find a range of waves suited for both beginners and advanced surfers, making it a wonderful place to learn or enhance your skills. If you’re looking for more relaxing water activities, these waters are ideal for tide-pooling or paddleboarding.

There are also miles of biking and hiking trails that offer spellbinding views of the coast, as well as access to the stunning Redwoods Forest.

3. Vero Beach, Florida

If you’re looking for an Atlantic-facing town in Florida, Vero Beach is one of the nicest ones you can find! Walking on the coast of the calm Indian River, taking in the view of the Atlantic Ocean, strolling through the town—life on Vero Beach is all about relaxing. There are so many different ways to access the beautiful beach, from driving right up to the stunning coast to taking nature walks.

As one of the most affordable beach towns, this place boasts an endless amount of activities for all ages. With a broad array of activities, including water sports, golf, historic downtown, and beyond, we cannot recommend this town enough. Moreover, the smaller population creates a cozier feel compared to other bustling cities in the Sunshine State.

4. Brunswick, Georgia

Brunswick, Georgia, offers a relaxing beach environment in a quiet, close-knit town. This is the perfect spot for people who love cities like Savannah but hate the hustle and bustle of urban settings.

This historic downtown area provides a rich history and several museums to explore. There are lots of local restaurants with fresh seafood and plenty of excellent shops. The town also offers superb gold, fishing, and relaxing trails. You’ll find lovely, unspoiled beaches that are only a 15-minute drive away from the many surrounding islands!

Keep reading to discover other affordable beach towns!

st. joseph
Photo by Kenneth Keifer from Shutterstock

5. St. Joseph, Michigan

Perhaps some of the cheapest waterfront properties in the US can be found in Michigan. Located on Lake Huron, St. Joseph is a small town that is well within reach of anyone wanting to enjoy a laid-back vacation or move to a beach town.

Although you might not think there are beaches so far away from the ocean, there are, and some beautiful ones, actually! St. Joseph will definitely not disappoint!

As one of the most affordable beach towns in the US, this place is just a 5-minute drive from lovely beaches. You can relax or enjoy swimming in one of the many waterfront parks. Those who are planning to move to a coastal town will want to consider St. Joseph because the community offers a great place for families to grow.

Moreover, thanks to the low cost of living and low crime rate, we cannot recommend this waterfront town enough!

6. Coos Bay, Oregon

As one of the most affordable beach towns in the country, Coos Bay offers sprawling nature, sandy beaches, and a historic downtown packed with galleries, museums, restaurants, and more.

Located in Oregon, this is a perfect, budget-friendly place for anyone, from adventure seekers to those looking to relocate to a culture-rich coastal town. Plus, you’re within 3 hours’ driving distance of one of the most beautiful national parks in the US: Crater Lake.

If you’re interested in moving to Coos Bay, you should know the town has a small population and offers affordable housing, making it one of the best options for people wanting to move to the West Coast.

7. Swansboro, North Carolina

If you’re searching for affordable beach towns to choose the best one for your next vacation, Swansboro, North Carolina, should be on your radar. Actually, Swansboro is a great place to also move to.

This small town’s cost of living measures 13.7% below the national average while boasting unrivaled beaches that you’ll love. If you’re looking for an adventure, head to Bear Island and explore Hammocks Beach State Park, which is home to plenty of natural beaches and unspoiled beaches. Camping is also available here!

What’s also lovely about Swansboro is that it’s got a really nice, relaxing vibe. Locals enjoy spending time kayaking, hiking, fishing, and paddleboarding. You’ll love the endless beach days you can take in this picturesque paradise! When you’re not on the beach relaxing, you can enjoy a large variety of restaurants as well as local shops.

bay st. louis
Photo by Paul Brady Photography from Shutterstock

8. Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

If it were a contest for the best towns in Mississippi, Bay St. Louis would definitely be a strong candidate. As one of the most affordable beach towns in the country, it boasts miles of white sand where you can spend time with the family; you can even bring your (leashed) dogs along!

The vast, pristine beaches are always within reach—often, residents drive less than 5–10 minutes to access them. The downtown is full of restaurants and bars to choose from, as well as a vibrant shopping scene.

When it comes to the cost of living in Bay St. Louis, it ranks 16.6% below the national average. Between the affordable cost of living and the ample available activities, this Gulf Coast gem is by far one of the most scenic and affordable beach towns in the US!

9. Roger’s City, Michigan

Roger’s City is a coastal town that truly has it all—miles of clean beaches, surrounding parks and natural attractions, and a premier location on Lake Huron.

If you’re planning on relocating to an affordable waterfront town, Roger’s City is a great option. While the median home price is a bit high, this place is one of the most affordable beach towns because of its low cost of living. In fact, Roger’s City scores 32% below the national average, making it easy for anyone to afford to live here.

The small town boasts pristine beaches, beautiful nature, and historic landmarks. You can spend time fishing, exploring miles of trails, and many other things while knowing that the beach is always a couple of miles within reach. By the way, if you’re looking for a new beach bag, there are plenty of options to choose from!

10. Long Beach, Washington

Last but not least on the list of the most affordable beach towns in the US is Long Beach, Washington. This town is perfect for nature lovers seeking peaceful solitude and outgoing extroverts alike!

While there’s ample natural space to explore, there’s also a close-knit community. Given its affordability and setting, it’s no surprise it’s growing.

You’ll enjoy about 27 miles of beach to relax on and explore. Walk down the boardwalk to see quaint stores, free museums, and even some competitive kite flying.

If you liked our article on the most affordable beach towns in the country, you may also want to read 10 US National Park Road Trips With Breathtaking Stops.

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