7 Cheapest Beach Towns in the US to Move to
Feel the need to get closer to the sea? Then finding a place to live nearer to the beach is your best option. Living closer to the sea has its benefits: the calm sea breeze soothes your mind, the temperature waters are therapeutic to swim, and the beach community has a whole different vibe altogether. Those used to living near the shore may not feel the same difference as someone living in a crowded metropolitan area. If you’re one of those persons who would like to escape the bustle, then moving to a beach town will be advisable.
In general, beach towns are expensive because of tourism and other factors. However, we’ve curated a special list of some of the cheapest beach towns in the US for you to move in. Now you can enjoy surfing the waves without having to worry about burning a hole in your pocket.
Let’s get right into it!
An Overview Of Our Top Picks
- Biloxi, Mississippi
- Fort Walton Beach, Florida
- Eureka, California
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- Coos Bay, Oregon
- Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
- Freeport, Texas
1. Biloxi, Mississippi
Median Home Value: $161,700
Median Rent: $864
Median Household Income: $48,137
Unemployment Rate (National Average is 6.0%): 5.8%
We start out our list of the cheapest beach towns in the US with Biloxi for a reason. If you’re looking for a beach town with Hard Rock hotels, casinos, and golf courses, then this place has got you covered. Being one of Mississippi’s largest cities, you’d expect exorbitant prices on real estate and rent. But in reality, you’ll be astounded by how cheap the prices of real estate and rent are in Biloxi. This is indeed good news because you won’t have to cut corners to live in this place.
Also, Biloxi has a rich French heritage especially along its coast, so don’t be surprised if you see a couple of French speakers there.
Coming to the weather, you should expect hot, humid summers and temperate winters. The average high yearly temperature is around 76°F whereas the average low temperature hits approximately 60°F annually. With such temperatures, enjoying the beach or taking a stroll outside is even more pleasant.
As many of you may or may not know, Biloxi suffered a major population decline due to the devastating destruction brought about by Hurricane Katrina. However, this city has slowly built its way up from the ashes by generating a great deal of income on tourism and gaming. So if you’re feeling lucky, Biloxi’s finest legal casinos such as Casino Magic, Grand Casino, Isle of Capri Casino Resort Biloxi, Boomtown Casino, President Casino Broadwater Resort, and Imperial Palace will help you to achieve some of that beginner’s luck.
Just a fun fact for all the bibliophiles out there, the thematic settings of many of John Grisham’s novels such as The Runaway Jury and The Partner are centered around Biloxi. Pretty interesting, right?
2. Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Median Home Value: $185,902
Median Rent: $990
Median Household Income: $54,334
Unemployment Rate (National Average is 6.0%): 4.0%
Each beach town in the US has a certain vibe and aesthetic adorning it. And Fort Walton Beach is no short of that. Located in Okaloosa County, you’ll find an immense presence of the fishing and beach resort community over here. Well, this constitutes just one part that influences Fort Walton Beach’s economy; the other part is influenced by the military.
No matter what part of town you’re staying in, the beaches are closer than you think- roughly around 10 minutes walking distance from where you’re living. This makes traveling more convenient if you have sudden plans of basking in the sun.
As far as temperatures go, you might find the summer a bit too hot as the average high temperature annually hits 78°F. But you will get accustomed to the climate after staying a few weeks or even days in this place; so don’t worry about the heat getting to you. On the other hand, The average low temperature annually is 61°F; more pleasant and temperate than the summer heat.
A town should at least have one museum dedicated to all things military, especially when its economy is dependent on it. Fort Walton Beach is home to the Air Force Armament Museum where military equipment and aircrafts dating back to World War II are conserved to educate the public about the components used by the US military base.
Some other tourist attractions you should visit are:
- Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
- Indian Temple and Mound Museum
- Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone
- Garnier Post Office Museum
Fun Fact: Did you know that Alter Bridge’s and Creed’s bass player, Brain Marshall, is from this quaint beach town?
See also: Moving to Florida – A Relocation Guide
3. Eureka, California
Median Home Value: $281,400
Median Rent: $916
Median Household Income: $42,890
Unemployment Rate (National Average is 6.0%): 6.6%
Who knew that a city somewhere embedded in the US is named Eureka; a pretty quirky name to be honest. But don’t let the quirky name fool you because Eureka is filled with numerous opportunities, different cultures, and affordable housing options. Located at the outskirts of Humboldt Bay and roughly between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, we can say you’ll be experiencing more of that humidity.
Coming to the weather, you will generally experience some amount of coastal fog, especially when the temperatures stand at 64 °F during the summer. Despite that, you’ll still enjoy a substantial measure of sunshine throughout the year. The average high temperature stands at about 59°F annually whereas the average low temperature remains at 46°F throughout the year. This is really comfortable if you aren’t accustomed to high temperatures.
There’s a lot to be explored in Eureka. For starters, the Victorian-era-style homes preserved in mint condition are something to admire. This adds a whole new level of aesthetics to this beach town. Also, Eureka is known to host a range of cultural, music, and art festivals. Some of which are:
- Redwood Coast Music Festival
- Rhododendron Festival
- Humboldt Wood Fair
- Craftsman’s Days
- Humboldt Bay Full of Blues
Apart from these festivals, this place has numerous museums to celebrate American heritage. Some of these include:
- Clarke Historical Museum
- The Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum
- The Morris Graves Museum of Art
Fun Fact: Brendan Fraser from the George Of The Jungle series is said to have spent his early childhood years in Eureka.
4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Median Home Value: $216,100
Median Rent: $913
Median Household Income: $43,200
Unemployment Rate (National Average is 6.0%): 7.6%
Myrtle Beach has a little bit more action than other places. Since it’s a tourist destination, expect to see large crowds and immense traffic. But still, it is one of the few places that is bustling and growing, but still cheap to live in. The beaches are not the only source of attraction to tourists. The Myrtle Beach stretch is decked with countless golf courses (the Golf Academy of America is based here) and restaurants as well. Myrtle Beach will serve you well if you’re more of an individual who loves to explore the outdoors. On the other hand, this place can be hell for those who prefer quietness and serenity.
Having a humid subtropical climate, you can expect the average daytime high temperature throughout the state to range between 83 to 91°F whereas the nighttime temperatures fall in the comfortable range of 70°F to 50°F. Also, you won’t have to worry about weather hazards since the last known hurricane in this city was in 1989.
If you’re seeking an affordable beach town with active nightlife, then Myrtle Beach is a grab. With numerous events, crowded concerts, and huge malls, you can be sure of having a blast in this place. Here are some of the many interesting places to visit in Myrtle Beach:
- The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk
- Ripley’s Aquarium
- Dolly Parton’s Pirates Voyage
- Brookgreen Gardens
- Family Kingdom Amusement Park
- Carolina Country Music Fest (CCMF)
5. Coos Bay, Oregon
Median Home Value: $181,200
Median Rent: $820
Median Household Income: $48,919
Unemployment Rate (National Average is 6.0%): 7.8%
Coos Bay is a warm and fuzzy place that’s more mellow compared to the other towns mentioned in this list. If Myrtle Beach is too turbulent for you, then move to Coos Bay. In terms of entertainment, there’s nothing much to do, but the hiking, fishing, and camping spots are to die for. Perhaps this is what makes it charming: less bustle, more nature.
The summers are much cooler and warmer than in the other towns. Here, the average high temperature annually hits 60°F while the average low temperature annually is around 45°F. It does get a bit foggy during summers, but that will be the least of your concerns.
Just because Coos Bay is quieter doesn’t mean this city is void of anything to do. Here are some of the places you should visit and events to go to:
- Coos Art Museum
- Coos Historical & Maritime Center
- The Egyptian Theatre
- Oregon Coast Music Festival
- Blackberry Arts Festival
- The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
- Golden And Silver Falls
- Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area
6. Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Median Home Value: $172,600
Median Rent: $835
Median Household Income: $39,721
Unemployment Rate (National Average is 6.0%): 6.9%
Just like Biloxi, Bay St. Louis suffered a major setback, but thanks to the locals, the place has now been restored to its former glory. Located 50 miles from New Orleans, you can be sure of not feeling the traffic and its resultant chaos. What makes the beaches so special over here is the fact that they’re dog-friendly. You can easily bring your dog here without having to worry about strays or other menaces disrupting your walk with your furry little friend.
Although the nightlife in Bay St. Louis is not so prominent, the streets are decked with numerous shops and stalls for you to visit. And the best part is: they’re inexpensive. Here are some places for you to experience Bay St. Louis:
- Mystic Ghost Ride Company
- Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum
- Shore Thing Fishing Charters
- Bridges Golf Club at Hollywood Casino
- Mockingbird Café
- The Blind Tiger
7. Freeport, Texas
Median Home Value: $81,100
Median Rent: $872
Median Household Income: $38,462
Unemployment Rate (National Average is 6.0%): 8.4%
If you really have a tight budget and need at least one beach surrounding you, then Freeport, Texas is a comparatively good option. We say “comparatively” because this town has fewer amenities than those of others mentioned before; nevertheless, if you search deeply, you’ll find numerous charters that take fishing expeditions to the next level. If not the beach, there’s ample opportunity for fishing.
Even though Freeport is primarily a manufacturing town, there’s plenty of serene beauty to admire and enjoy. Here are some places you need to visit, or things to do while in Freeport:
- Freeport Texas Fishing Charters
- South Texas Salt Life Adventures
- Bryan Beach
- Freeport Municipal Golf Course
- Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge
Some Notable Mentions
Median Home Value: $124,300
Median Rent: $754
Median Household Income: $44,445
Unemployment Rate (National Average is 6.0%): 8.8%
Median Home Value: $182,800
Median Rent: $954
Median Household Income: $50,493
Unemployment Rate (National Average is 6.0%): 4.3%
Daytona Beach, Florida
Median Home Value: $153,000
Median Rent: $934
Median Household Income: $35,893
Unemployment Rate (National Average is 6.0%): 7.1%
Each beach town in the US sports its own vibe and culture. All the ones we’ve listed are sure to go easy on your pockets. Now it’s up to you to decide which place you find attractive among the ones we have researched for you. Best of luck and happy planning!
What Beach Towns Have Low Unemployment Rates?
Based on what we’ve listed, Fort Walton Beach (FL), Biloxi (MS), and Pensacola (FL) have low unemployment rates.
Where Is The Cheapest Place To Buy Beachfront Property?
Based on median home value, Freeport (TX), Coos Bay (OR), and Daytona Beach (FL) have affordable real estate. But if you’re on a serious budget, then Freeport is the cheapest place to buy property.
What is the most affordable beach town in the US?
Based on median home value and rent, Aberdeen, Washington is among the most affordable beach town in the US.
See also: Cheapest Cities to Move to