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Affordable Beach Towns to Live Your Dream Coastal Life

Choosing a beach town can be overwhelming. There are countless options, each offering different lifestyles, amenities, and hazards.

Some may prefer a quiet, remote location, while others may seek the hustle and bustle of a thriving resort town. Personal preferences, lifestyle, and potential hazards are all critical considerations when selecting the right beach town.


To help you in your quest for the perfect beach town, we have developed a methodology that considers critical criteria such as median home prices, median rent, and the cost of living. The data used for our methodology comes from reputable sources such as Zillow and Sperlings Best Places to ensure accuracy.

Our methodology aims to identify the most affordable beach towns that offer an excellent quality of life.

Criteria for Selection

The first factor we considered when determining the best beach towns is the median home price. Housing is a significant expense for most people, and purchasing a home in a popular beach town can be expensive.

To ensure that the beach towns on our list are affordable, we looked for locations where the median home price is below the national average. The second factor we considered is the median rent.

While buying a home is a smart investment for some, renting is often the better option. We looked for beach towns with a reasonable median rental rate to ensure that both homeowners and renters can enjoy a high quality of life without overpaying for housing.

Cost of living was the third factor in our name. Besides housing expenses, other costs such as groceries, utilities, healthcare expenses, and transportation costs also affect the overall cost of living.

Our methodology sought out beach towns that have a cost of living lower than the national average.

Data Sources

Our data comes from two primary sources: Zillow and Sperlings Best Places. Zillow is a well-known online marketplace for buying, selling, and renting properties.

It’s one of the largest public real estate databases in the United States, covering more than 110 million homes. We used Zillow to gather data on median home prices and median rental rates.

Sperlings Best Places is a website that offers detailed data on various cities and towns in the United States. They provide information on topics such as the cost of living, weather, education, crime rate, and job opportunities.

We used data from Sperlings Best Places to determine the cost of living in each beach town.


After analyzing the data, we have compiled a list of the most affordable beach towns that offer a great quality of life. The first town on our list is Gulfport, Mississippi.

This charming Southern town is located on the Gulf of Mexico and boasts a low cost of living, a warm climate, and stunning beaches. The median home price in Gulfport is $139,000, which is significantly lower than the national average.

The second beach town on our list is Pensacola, Florida. Pensacola is known for its pristine white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and excellent fishing opportunities.

The median home price in Pensacola is $185,000, and the median rent is $1,100, making it an affordable option for homeowners and renters alike. Another great option is Port Lavaca, Texas.

Located on the Gulf Coast, Port Lavaca offers excellent fishing, boating, and birdwatching opportunities. The median home price in Port Lavaca is $114,000, making it one of the cheapest beach towns on our list.


Choosing the right beach town can be a daunting task. However, by considering factors such as personal preferences, lifestyle, and potential hazards, you can narrow down your options.

Our methodology used median home prices, median rent, and the cost of living to identify the most affordable beach towns that offer a great quality of life. By considering the data and results, you can make an informed decision when selecting the perfect beach town for you and your family.

Palm Coast, Florida

Palm Coast, Florida, is an idyllic beach town located on the Atlantic coast, approximately 70 miles south of Jacksonville. It is a beautiful, master-planned community that boasts miles of sparkling beaches, world-class golf courses, and beautiful estuaries and marshland.

The town is also conveniently located near several larger metropolitan areas, including Jacksonville and Orlando, providing easy access to all the amenities and attractions those cities have to offer.

Location Features

The beaches in Palm Coast are undoubtedly the star attraction. The oceanfront here offers miles of pristine, white sand beaches with crystal-clear waters, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing with family and friends.

For the more adventurous, Palm Coast also offers a host of watersports, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and surfing. If you’re more into golfing, Palm Coast will not disappoint.

The town is home to several world-class golf courses, including the Jack Nicklaus-designed Ocean Hammock Golf Club, which offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Experienced and novice golfers alike will appreciate the challenging courses and the beautiful scenery that surrounds them.

In Palm Coast, visitors can also explore beautiful estuaries and marshland. The Intracoastal Waterway and the nearby St. Johns River offer plenty of opportunities for boating and fishing enthusiasts.

Kayakers and bird watchers will love the Palm Coast Waterway and Linear Park, which runs along the Intracoastal Waterway. Finally, Palm Coast is fortunate enough to be surrounded by a host of other fantastic cities.

Just an hour’s drive north of Palm Coast is the bustling city of Jacksonville, home to several excellent museums, galleries, and restaurants. Closer by, the town of St. Augustine is just a half-hour’s drive south, offering history and culture in abundance.

Housing Affordability

For anyone looking to buy a home or rent in Palm Coast, the good news is that it is an affordable place to live. According to Zillow, the median list price for a home in Palm Coast is currently $259,000, making it an attainable place for people who want to live somewhere beautiful, while still being financially viable.

The median rent in Palm Coast is around $1,400 per month, which is reasonable when compared to other coastal towns in Florida. However, it’s important to note that certain areas in Palm Coast can be more expensive than others.

Generally, the closer you are to the beach, the more expensive the rent will be. Beaufort, South Carolina

Beaufort, South Carolina is a coastal town that is as picturesque as it is historical.

Located on Port Royal Island, and surrounded by water on three sides, Beaufort offers breathtaking views and a rich history. Beaufort is also home to several Civil War-era mansions and beautiful waterfront views for visitors to enjoy.

Location Features

There’s plenty that makes Beaufort one of the best places to visit in South Carolina. One of the main features of the town is the historic area.

Beaufort’s downtown area is full of stunning architecture and unique boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Visitors can walk around, soaking up the vibrant culture and development of the historic area.

Another popular feature of Beaufort is the gorgeous waterfront views. The city’s location at the intersection of Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and Beaufort River provides for some stunning vistas.

Visitors can take a stroll along Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, with its gazebos and playgrounds.

They can also take a walk along the Spanish Moss Trail, a paved trail that runs for more than 16 miles across the area from Beaufort to Port Royal.

Housing Affordability

The median list price for a home in Beaufort, South Carolina is around $310,000, and it’s slightly higher than the average for the state. However, this median price is a small price to pay for the beautiful, historical homes and waterfront views that Beaufort has to offer.

For those who are looking to rent, the median rent in Beaufort is around $1,300 per month, which is reasonable for a town with so much to offer. However, as with any town, certain areas can be more expensive than others.

The waterfront areas, for example, tend to be more expensive to rent than properties further inland.


Both Palm Coast, Florida, and Beaufort, South Carolina, offer fantastic locations, beautiful views, and plenty of attractions and amenities. Homeowners and renters alike are sure to find affordable options in both of these coastal towns, making it easy to live out their dreams in a beautiful, authentic beach town.

With so much to offer residents, these towns are worth considering for anyone looking to live along the southeastern coastline. North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

North Myrtle Beach is a beautiful coastal city located in the northeast corner of South Carolina.

The city is a popular vacation destination, offering visitors plenty of beachfront activities, horseback riding, parasailing, paddleboarding, and pier fishing. Due to its location, North Myrtle Beach enjoys mild temperatures year-round, making it an ideal coastal destination for both travelers and homeowners.

Location Features

The primary attraction in North Myrtle Beach is the beachfront activities. With more than nine miles of pristine beaches, visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing and relaxing in the sun.

Visitors can also enjoy a wide range of water activities, including parasailing, paddleboarding, surfboarding, and beach volleyball. North Myrtle Beach is also known for horseback riding.

There are several companies within the city that offer horseback riding tours and lessons on the beach. It’s a unique way to see the coastline, and experience the natural beauty of the area.

For those interested in fishing, North Myrtle Beach has plenty of options. Pier fishing offers a tranquil and relaxing experience, while deep-sea fishing excursions allow you to cast your line into deeper waters and target larger sea life.

Housing Affordability

North Myrtle Beach offers several affordable housing options. According to Zillow, the median list price for a home in North Myrtle Beach is currently $285,000, which is lower than the state’s average.

The city’s rental market is also competitively priced. The median rent in North Myrtle Beach is around $1,600 per month, which is reasonable for a coastal town with so much to offer.

Sunset Beach, North Carolina

Sunset Beach is a small, quaint coastal community located on the southern tip of North Carolina. With a population of just over 3,000 people, it’s a perfect location for homeowners looking for a peaceful and serene coastal lifestyle.

The town boasts natural scenic beauty, miles of unspoiled beaches, and a unique charm that you can only find in a small beach community.

Location Features

Sunset Beach is an unspoiled stretch of beach with miles of pristine sand and surf. Visitors can enjoy swimming or sunbathing in the blue waters, taking long walks on the beach, or exploring the various offshore islands that dot the coast.

The town offers its visitors a unique charm and relaxed pace of life. Visitors and homeowners can enjoy the natural beauty of the area, including the stunning sunsets over the marshland, which have become a signature event for the town.

The town holds numerous festivals and events throughout the year, giving residents opportunities to socialize and enjoy their new coastal lifestyle.

Housing Affordability

Living in the Sunset Beach area is cost-effective. According to Zillow, the median list price for a home in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, is at $475,000, which is higher than the national average, but lower than other coastal towns.

The town provides its residents with an excellent quality of life and plenty of socialization, which residents often struggle to find in more populous areas. The median rent in Sunset Beach is about $1,700, making the town affordable for renters as well.

Moreover, the town’s cost of living is below the national average, making it a wise financial option for those who want to save a few dollars while enjoying their coastal lifestyle.


North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Sunset Beach, North Carolina are both beautiful coastal towns that provide their residents with fantastic quality of life and amenities. The towns are known for their natural beauty, miles of pristine beaches, and various water and beachfront activities.

Homeowners, as well as renters, can find dwellings in these two towns affordable. The community is welcoming, and the pace of life is serene in Sunset Beach.

On the other hand, North Myrtle Beach is a travel destination, and it sees more footfall annually. Overall, both options offer fantastic locations for anyone seeking a peaceful and enjoyable coastal lifestyle.

Melbourne, Florida

Melbourne, Florida, is a beautiful beach city located on the Atlantic coast. The city has a lot to offer visitors and residents alike, from its beach location and historic downtown district to the nearby Kennedy Space Center and annual festivals.

Location Features

The beach in Melbourne is a popular destination for visitors. The beach runs for several miles along the coastline and offers crystal-clear waters and soft sand.

Visitors can enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, or simply relaxing in the sun. The Historic Downtown District in Melbourne is an excellent location for those who are looking for a more relaxed environment than the beach.

It features several boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants, making it the ideal spot for strolling and enjoying the surroundings. Melbourne is also famous for its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center.

Visitors can tour the center and view exhibits, learn about space exploration history and even take a virtual spacecraft ride to experience what it is like to be an astronaut. This location makes Melbourne a great spot for space enthusiasts of all ages.

Finally, Melbourne is known for annual festivals like the Melbourne Art Festival, Meg O’Malley’s St. Patrick’s Day Street Party, and the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival, which offer a vast array of entertainment options throughout the year.

Housing Affordability

Melbourne, Florida, offers its residents a wealth of affordable housing options. The median list price for a home in Melbourne is around $290,000, which makes it a great, affordable option for people looking to move to a beach town.

The median rent in Melbourne is around $1,400 per month, which is quite competitive when compared to other cities in Florida. Largo, Florida

Largo, Florida, is a coastal town located within the Tampa Bay area in Pinellas County.

It is located just miles away from some of the best beaches in Florida and has a population of around 80,000 people.

Location Features

Largo is located near some of the best beaches in Florida. Residents can easily access Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, and other popular beaches nearby.

The town boasts several lakes and parks, such as Largo Central Park, which features a large playground, walking trails, and picnic tables. In addition, Largo is also home to numerous cultural events throughout the year.

Art festivals, concerts and outdoor movie showings are just a few of the activities that residents can enjoy. Largo is also located within the Tampa Bay area, giving residents access to shopping, dining, and entertainment amenities.

These include the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, the Lowry Park Zoo, and the Tampa Museum of Art.

Housing Affordability

Largo is an affordable place to live. The median list price for a home in Largo is around $240,000, which is lower than the national average.

The median rent in Largo is around $1,200 per month, making it an attractive option for renters as well. Furthermore, the cost of living in Largo is reasonable and falls below the national average, making it an excellent option for those who are looking to save money while living near the beach and enjoying all the amenities of the Tampa Bay area.


Melbourne, Florida, and Largo, Florida, offer excellent beach town options for those looking to move to a new area on the Florida coast. Melbourne has an idyllic beach town vibe, and homeowners and renters of all ages will find affordable housing here.

Largo offers a beautiful location near famous beaches and Tampa Bay area amenities, making it an excellent option for those who want living near urban amenities with a touch of coastal living. The options provide easy access to beaches, restaurants, and cultural events, making both cities top options for those looking to enjoy the Florida lifestyle.

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