Did you ever want to live on a beach in California only to feel put off by the price tags on the homes there? While you might not be able to live in Malibu, you might be able to afford some of these affordable California beach towns.
10 Most Affordable Beach Towns in California
- Long Beach
- Crescent City
- South Bay
- Fort Bragg
- Santa Barbara
The cheapest beach town in California is Arcata. This affordable Northern California town is well-known for having a low cost of living. Arcata is a great place to live if you want to enjoy the best NorCal has to offer, including the local beaches, Humboldt Beach, and Mad River Beach. It’s got good school systems, beautiful views, and a lot of friendly people.
If you want to call Arcata home, you will be happy to know that renting and owning is fairly affordable here. The median home price in Arcata was $408,000 in 2022. That makes it a great pick for young professionals who want a suburb-city lifestyle with a lower price tag.
Another one of the most affordable beach towns in California is Eureka. This gorgeous Cali beach town is located just south of Arcata in Northern California. Eureka is known for its clean beaches, Victorian-style homes, and a lot of small-town charm.
Currently, the home prices in the area are a median of $440,000. This is higher than the median home price nationally, but it’s still far below most other California beach home prices. Besides, it’s hard not to sound like you’re bragging when you say you live there.
3. Long Beach
Long Beach is best described as a California city that has the feeling of a suburb, and yes, it has plenty of beaches for everyone. This region has nightlife, a fairly cool surfing scene, and decent restaurants. It’s edgy, but not too edgy.
Right now, the median home price in Long Beach is $459,000. This may change soon since this California town has become incredibly popular as a backdrop for television shows and more. Glittery? Not quite there yet, but you’ll definitely feel like the “in” crowd here.
4. Crescent City
NorCal has plenty of affordable California beach towns, and Crescent City is about as north as you can go before you hit the next state. This quiet little beach town is only 20 miles away from Oregon and has plenty of gorgeous views to spare.
This city currently has a cost of living that rests slightly below the national average, which is a serious rarity for California. When it comes to California living costs, Crescent City boasts a rate that is a whopping 28 percent below the average.
5. South Bay
South Bay is one of those beach towns that is very well-hidden and has yet to be fully appreciated for all it offers. This is home to the Humboldt Botanical Gardens, Instagram-worthy shot places and excellent restaurants.
More impressively, the 2022 median home price in South Bay is a very reasonable $460,000 at the time of this writing. There is something really elegant about being able to say that you live right by a bay near some of the most famous gardens in California. Here, you can say that and save on home prices!
Located right next to Eureka is Myrtletown, its sister city. Myrtletown is a beach town that technically isn’t a beach town. It’s right next to a small river that lets into the Pacific Ocean and just a quick drive away from the actual beach. Even so, it’s a bargain town worth writing about.
Myrtletown has all the amenities you would expect from a beach town, including good food, a relaxed atmosphere, and plenty of picturesque sights to see. The weather here is always pleasant. Maybe that’s why people are happier here.
If you ask any real estate agent in California, they’ll tell you that you won’t regret moving to Ventura. This beach town is quickly becoming popular with young professionals, small families, and people who just want to live it up.
The low real estate prices in Ventura also mean it’s the most affordable beach town in the area. The median home price rests at $485,000. That’s not too shabby.
8. Fort Bragg
Are you looking for a small-ish town that has a little bit of a rustic side to it? Then Fort Bragg might be a better beach town for your home. The median home price here is $618,000, but don’t be put off by this place. The truth is that you can find very reasonable homes in town for less than $450,000.
This is a great town for people who want to keep things quiet and peaceful. Many outdoor amenities make it a camper’s dream, not to mention a slew of breathtaking sights to see.
9. Santa Barbara
Surprised to see this on the list? You’re not alone. However, it’s true. Santa Barbara has been getting a lot of real estate development that helped alleviate the high prices that this region once had. Even though it’s one of the cheapest beach towns in California, it’s still a fairly pricey place to live when compared to most of California.
Santa Barbara is a great pick for people who want to be close to amusement parks, roaring nightlife, and college campuses. It’s a youthful place that has a lot of fun to offer people of every age. With that said, you still will have to pay $618,000 for a median-priced home.
Another final unsung hero of the low-cost real estate scene is Oxnard, a cute little beach town with a lot to offer the right family. This is a great choice for people who want beachside dining, an amazing Strawberry Festival every year, and tons of nightlife.
With a median home price hovering around $660,000, Oxnard is an affordable California beach town where you can feel right at home instantly.