12 Cheapest Beach Towns to Live In
- Port Arthur, Texas
- Atlantic City, New Jersey
- Gulfport, Mississippi
- New London, Connecticut
- Hampton, Virginia
- Essex, Maryland
- Pensacola, Florida
- Daytona Beac, Florida
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- Coos Bay, Oregon
- Eureka, California
- Port Angeles, Washington
1. Port Arthur, Texas
The cheapest beach town to live in the USA is Port Arthur, Texas. This beautiful city is home to roughly 56,000 people and is best known for its ideal location along the Gulf of Mexico. Other notable features of Port Arthur include its many parks and recreational spaces, historical sites, and its extensive deepwater port, which is the largest in the Gulf. Popular local attractions in this area include the Sea Rim State Park, the Museum of the Gulf Coast, and the Gulf Coast Music and Crab Festival – all of which add to the area’s coastal charm. The cost to purchase a house in Port Arthur is approximately $90k, making this the most affordable beach town in the nation.
2. Atlantic City, New Jersey
Atlantic City, New Jersey, is the second-cheapest beach town in the United States. Situated along the iconic Jersey Shore, this city is particularly known for its buzzing casinos, coastal beaches, and infamous boardwalk. It is home to nearly 40,000 people, all of whom can enjoy the area’s exceptional selection of outdoor recreation and urban amenities, which include a thrilling nightlife environment. Favorite local pastimes include gambling at one of the city’s major casinos, visiting the Absecon Lighthouse, and sunbathing upon the local shoreline. Home values here average $172k, making it America’s second-most affordable beach town.
3. Gulfport, Mississippi
Gulfport, Mississippi, is one of the cheapest beach towns along the Gulf Coast. This city covers about 55.63 square miles and is home to 72,000 people, making it the second-largest city in Mississippi. Known for its high-volume gambling scene, ample fishing opportunities, and beautiful beaches, this city is a favorite for local entertainment. Additionally, those who visit and live in Gulfport will find top-tier attractions like Gulf Islands Waterpark, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, Ship Island Excursions, and the Island View Casino Resort. With homes for sale in Gulfport averaging $176k, this city is another excellent choice for cost-effective beachfront living.
4. New London, Connecticut
New London, Connecticut, is a highly affordable beach town that is located on Long Island Sound’s north shore. Known for its rich maritime history, this city is home to the United States Coast Guard Academy, Custom House Maritime Museum, and National Coast Guard Museum, all of which provide ample insight into the city’s past. For those who prefer to live in the present, Ocean Beach Park is the most popular spot in the city for swimming, fishing, and picnicking. With New London real estate prices averaging $238k, this beach town is affordable and historically significant.
5. Hampton, Virginia
Hampton, Virginia, is another affordable beach town with a rich history. Located on the state’s southeastern coastline, this city is part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area and is home to nearly 138,000 people. The history of this area dates back to the 1600s, and the city has since played a major role in both the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Top historical attractions here include the Virginia Air and Space Center and the Hampton University Museum. And, of course, no trip to Hampton is complete without visiting the stunning natural scenery of Buckroe Beach Park and Sandy Bottom Nature Park. Homes for sale in Hampton have an average cost of $238k, keeping it a historical part of America’s most affordable beach towns.
6. Essex, Maryland
Essex, Maryland, is a cheap beach town with plenty to offer. Located in Baltimore County, this city is situated along the Back River, a tidal estuary that flows into the Chesapeake Bay. A primarily residential area, the city is home to roughly 40,000 people and possesses many single-family residences, townhomes, and apartment buildings. The main attraction here is Rocky Point Beach and Park, a stunning 300-foot shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay that offers beautiful views of Hart-Miller Islands and Craighill Light. Essex real estate prices average around $249k, placing it among the most affordable beach towns in the United States.
7. Pensacola, Florida
Pensacola, Florida, is one of the most beloved beach towns in Florida. Best known for its attractive location along the Gulf of Mexico, this city’s beaches are renowned for their white sand and turquoise waters. Among the area’s most popular waterfront destinations are Pensacola Beach, Perdido Key, and Johnson Beach, all of which provide the perfect atmosphere for lazy sunbathing. Other interesting things to do in Pensacola include visiting museums, art galleries, performing arts studios, and historical landmarks. With so much to offer, it’s surprising that home values in this area average only $244k.
8. Daytona Beach, Florida
Daytona is Florida’s second-most affordable beach town. Located on the state’s east coast, Daytona is home to more than 23 miles of beachfront, which contains warm waters, pristine sand, and abundant waterfront activities. But, in addition to its beaches, Daytona is also known for its motorsports events, such as the Daytona 500, the Coke Zero Sugar 400, and the Rolex 24 at Daytona. All of these events and more are held at the Daytona International Speedway, which attracts visitors from all over the world. Home values in Daytona average at $254k, making this Floridian city an entertaining addition to the most affordable beach towns in the nation.
9. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular waterfront destinations in all of South Carolina. Located in the state’s northeastern region, this city offers nearly 60 miles of wide, sandy beaches and gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean. The area is home to roughly 37,000 people, who prefer the area for its soft sand, warm waters, and abundance of other amenities – such as golf courses, amusement parks, aquariums, and theaters. Favorite hotspots include the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, Promenade, and the infamous Skywheel. With homes for sale in Myrtle Beach averaging $298k, this is a well-rounded area for beachgoers nationwide.
10. Coos Bay, Oregon
Coos Bay is the cheapest beach town on the west coast. Located directly on the Pacific Coast, this thriving city is the largest deep-draft port between San Francisco and Puget Sound and is home to nearly 16,000 people. Residents of this area possess a deeply creative and artistic nature, which can be experienced through the city’s abundance of theaters, shops, independent restaurants, art galleries, and parks. Other local attractions here include Shore Acres State Park and Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, two highly popular areas for gorgeous views of the Oregon coastline. Home prices here average at $311k, making Coos Bay the cheapest beach town on the Pacific Coast.
11. Eureka, California
Eureka is a classic California beach town with the cheapest waterfront living in the Golden State. Situated on the state’s northern coast, this city stretches across the shores of Humboldt Bay, which is home to one of the area’s most notable harbors. Residents of Eureka will note the city’s rich history, which can be seen through its distinctly Victorian-style buildings, many of which have been restored and transformed into shops, restaurants, and office spaces. Other fun local attractions include the Redwood National and State Parks, the Redwood Coast Music Festival, and the Kinetic Grand Championship, which help keep the local atmosphere alive. Eureka real estate sells at an average cost of $398k, making it the most affordable beach town in California.
12. Port Angeles, Washington
Port Angeles is Washington state’s contribution to the most affordable beach towns in America. Located in the state’s northwestern region, this city is situated on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and is home to an abundance of natural beauty. Downtown, locals and visitors alike will find a variety of shops, restaurants, art galleries, and parks – all of which add to the area’s charm. But, the city's beating heart is Olympic National Park, which features a stunning assortment of natural landscapes such as mountains, forests, and (of course) beaches. Home values here average at $406k, making it the best affordable beach towns to live in Washington state.