Are you having trouble choosing your next destination? Here is a list of some of the cheapest beach towns in California to assist you in deciding where to spend your next vacation.
California is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and we’ve put together a list of 12 beach towns that are perfect for those who want to enjoy California without spending too much money.
These places offer affordable hotels, restaurants, and activities. Some even have free admission! Check out our list below.
California is a fantastic place to surf and sunbathe all year. While California isn’t known for being cheap, there are the most inexpensive places to settle in California near the coast that are usually lower than the state’s average cost of living. This list of 12 cheapest beach towns in California is a great resource for those who want to enjoy the coast without spending too much money
1. San Pedro
Los Angeles’ San Pedro is a seaside community located just south of the city. Because it is in Los Angeles, median home values are still expensive, but the rest of the expenses are nearly on par with the state average. It is one of the busiest ports in Los Angeles, yet it still has a beach vibe.
San Pedro’s crime rate is 24% lower than the rest of Los Angeles, and its housing prices are actually 10% cheaper than those in neighboring areas, making it one of the most affordable places to live in California near the beach in Los Angeles.
This beach town is a hidden gem. It has great amenities, is close to the beach, and has low housing prices.
Ventura is a laid-back, yet active beach town located just 1 hour north of Los Angeles. Ventura exudes all the characteristics of a seaside hamlet, with miles of beaches and parks to explore. There’s also a historic downtown, which includes numerous restaurants and a relaxing atmosphere.
It isn’t the cheapest beach town in the world, but it is perhaps less costly than other glamorous beach towns in Los Angeles and the rest of SoCal. It’s not as popular, but it provides the same laid-back lifestyle without the fanfare (and much lower costs).
Located in Ventura County, this beach town is just south of Santa Barbara. It’s at the heart of California winemaking and has a fantastic downtown area that includes trendy restaurants, wine tasting rooms, art galleries etc. This is another great option for those who want to experience coastal living without spending too much money on housing or other expenses.
3. Long Beach
Here is another community located close to Los Angeles. The fourth-largest city in California is Long Beach, which lies in South LA’s unincorporated regions and is just 20 minutes from the coast. Expect a nocturnal lifestyle, as this isn’t exactly a sleepy seaside hamlet.
The city of Long Beach may not have had a good reputation in the past, but it has been rapidly improving, with many new high-rise condominiums and residential townhouses built recently. Crime rates are roughly 5% higher than the California average, but like any city, there are some decent and some awful areas, so do your homework.
Long Beach is a good option for those who want the big city life near the coast without paying too much money.
Located just 45 minutes from Los Angeles, Long Beach is well known as a surfing hotspot and has one of California’s best downtown areas with ample restaurants, bars etc.
San Diego County’s third-largest city, Oceanside is located 35 minutes north of San Diego. Oceanside is only a few miles from Camp Pendleton, which is home to the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, making it an attractive location for businesses looking to reach out to military families.
The picturesque pier extends into the sea for miles, and there is a picturesque beachfront with palm trees. The area is only a short walk from the water, with lively streets chock-full of restaurants, shops, and cafés. Oceanside is a reasonable city in this region, and its proximity to the beach makes it one of the most cost-effective seaside towns in California.
5. Grover Beach
This small village is located in San Luis Obispo County, about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. This family-friendly community of Grover Beach, which is noted for its sand dunes and the limitless number of outdoor activities that are accessible immediately on the Pacific Ocean’s shores, is located along Highway 1.
Grover Beach’s crime rate is also significantly lower than the national average, with a 27% reduction in criminal activity. Grover Beach is a fantastic bargain and a strong alternative for the state’s cheapest beachfront property due to its facilities and prime location between two huge cities.
6. Imperial Beach
The city of Imperial Beach is located 15 minutes from downtown San Diego in California. It is also only a ten-minute drive from the Mexican border.
The coast is accessible to individuals of all ages and abilities, with plenty of activities for the whole family. Residents may take leisurely walks along the beach or visit California’s southernmost pier. There are numerous cafés and retail outlets located along the congested Seacoast Drive, which is only a block from the sea.
Spend some time at the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge, which is perfect for hikers and bikers to get in touch with nature.
The homes in Imperial Beach are not inexpensive, costing more than $600,000, but living expenses are reasonable given the city’s 3% below-average cost of living. It’s not terrible, given that you have direct access to the beach and are only a few miles from San Diego.
Eureka, which is only a few miles from Arcata Bay and Arcata in California’s North Coast region, is one of the most affordable beachfront properties in the state. Compared to Arcata, Eureka is just 15 minutes south, and it might save you up to $60,000 on the cost of your property. The area, which was designated as the first city in California to have houses for less than $300,000, is home to many significant aerospace companies.
So, what exactly does Eureka have to offer? It’s recognized for having a small-town feel with plenty to do, especially for nature enthusiasts. The southern portion of the city, which includes Sequoia Park, is a great place to visit. In the northern part of town, visitors may enjoy the waterfront.
There’s also Eureka’s old town, which has Victorian-era architecture among the many restaurants and merchants that line the area.
But, keep in mind that the beaches of Northern California are not similar to the warm, sunny beaches of Southern California. It’s usually considerably colder and rainier up north.
Oxnard is a seaside town about an hour and a half northwest of Los Angeles. It’s a neighbor of Ventura, which ranked #12 on our list.
Oxnard, like Ventura, has miles of sandy and rocky beaches, but it has double the people and is often less expensive. In actuality, house costs in Oxnard are about $100,000 less than Ventura on average.
The city of Oxnard is a wonderful bargain, especially considering all it has to offer. The beach is perfect for swimming, fishing, or sunbathing. Residents may also participate in a variety of outdoor activities elsewhere on the island or around Channel Islands Harbor. There’s also a historical downtown jam-packed with charming little eateries and boutiques. It boasts its own airport and, in addition to a number of other tourist attractions, two automotive museums.
Arcata is in Humboldt County, Northern California, about 5 hours north of San Francisco. Arcata is a small town on California’s north coast that offers easy access to the Pacific Ocean at Humboldt Beach, less than 15 miles away.
Arcata is a small, quiet town nestled in the lush redwood forest region of Humboldt County. Arcata’s residents enjoy a laid-back lifestyle and a vibrant community within the vast wooded areas surrounding it. In fact, Arcata is only 30 minutes from Redwood National and State Parks.
There are a few local restaurants and enterprises just outside the city center, most notably Arcata Plaza, which is the heart of the charming historic downtown area. Arcata has its own university, which is located in the city. Humboldt State University, which is located near the beach in California’s Redwood Coast region, contributes to the community’s youthful vitality and makes it a pleasant, yet inexpensive place to live.
Oceano is a tiny town located just north of Grover Beach, which was ranked #10 on this list of California’s cheapest beach towns. Oceano is about 7% less expensive than Grover Beach, with a median home price of $273,750, which is roughly $70,000 less. What are the various explanations for this?
Grover Beach, on the other hand, offers a wider range of services and facilities than Oceano. Grover Beach, which has the area’s Walmart, Vons, Aldi and Trader Joe’s is less accessible than Vista Del Mar. So you’ll have to go a bit further to get there.
You may enjoy the same quick access to the Pismo State Beach’s sandy beaches. Oceano is a beach community located on the Central California Coast, offering excellent value for money in California. For individuals searching to save money, it’s one of the most reasonably priced places to live near the beach in California.
11. Crescent City
The city of Crescent City, California, is the most budget-friendly beach town in California. Crescent City is California’s most inexpensive city, and it’s located right on the beach.
Crescent City is in northern California, about an hour and a half from Oregon. The city is surrounded by nature on all sides, with the exception of one. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is 10 minutes from the city center, while the sandy shoreline extends all the way down to the south of this seaside hamlet. The pier and the harbor area are popular spots for tourists looking to catch a glimpse of the beautiful view over the Pacific Ocean.
However, don’t expect to enjoy a sunny day every day for the next 365 days. The beach is considerably cooler and hazy than in Southern California. Furthermore, keep an eye on the crime rate in Crescent City – it is around 100% greater than the national average.
Of course, there are wonderful areas within the metropolis, but you’ll need the assistance of a local to discover them. Anyhow, Crescent City’s low cost of living (which is almost ⅓ lower than the rest of California), as well as its low housing costs, make it the champion among the most affordable seaside towns in California.
Eureka and Arcata in Northern California are protected from storms by the island of Samoa. Arcata is a small rural town of around 200 people that lies directly between the Arcata Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Both sides of town are accessible via the canal, which is why it’s such an ideal spot for water sports.
However, it is possible that the low cost of living in this town is owing to the limited facilities on offer. Essentially, it’s just a few residential neighborhoods with only one restaurant.
However, it is also quite soothing and restful, which might be beneficial for individuals seeking a slower lifestyle.
Although the median house price in Samoa is quite cheap, the country’s small size ensures that homes are rarely for sale. You’ll need to be somewhat lucky if you want to visit this little beach hamlet. But if you do, you’ll be able to get some of the state’s most inexpensive beachfront property.
Why Find the Most Affordable Beach Towns?
There are several reasons why individuals might want to find the most affordable beach towns. The first reason is that you simply don’t have a lot of money, and finding an area where it’s cheap to live will help you meet your financial goals.
Another possibility is that you’re looking for someplace quiet but still near all the amenities offered by a larger city. This might be because you’re not ready for all the hustle and bustle of a large town yet, or maybe you simply enjoy the relaxed atmosphere that comes with living in a small community.
However, there are also people who don’t want to live near other people – they like their privacy too much to share it with others. These people might also like the idea of living right on a beach, but they’re tired of having to live within close proximity to others – and that’s where these towns come in handy.
How Much Will It Cost?
However, there are also people who don’t want to live near other people – they like their privacy too much to share it with others. These people might also like the idea of living right on a beach, but they’re tired of having to live within cl
The price will vary depending upon what amenities you want nearby as well as how far away from major metropolitan areas you are willing to live. While it’s possible to get a beachfront home in the most affordable areas for less than $200,000, you can expect that price tag to rise if you want more amenities nearby or are closer to population centers.
However, these towns have an advantage over their larger neighbors – there is much less competition for available homes, so you’ll have more opportunities to find your dream home at a price that fits within your budget.
Of course, it’s also possible to rent in many of these areas for less than $800 per month – although there are some towns where prices change depending on the time of year and how close to the beach you live. If you don’t mind moving around a bit, you can find some great deals in these areas.
However, if you’re looking for the most affordable beach towns that are still close enough to larger cities where there is plenty of employment available, then Crescent City may be your best bet – it’s only an hour away from Portland and Seattle. It also has several festivals and celebrations throughout the year, so you can enjoy all of your favorite activities without having to travel too far from home.
Why Are They Affordable?
There are a number of reasons why these towns have such inexpensive housing options available – it could be because they’re relatively small communities where there is less competition for real estate or simply because they’re located in areas that are less desirable than larger cities.
However, there’s also the possibility that these towns have a lower cost of living because they don’t offer as many amenities – so if you want to live in one of these beach communities but still be close enough to enjoy all the excitement and entertainment offered by major metropolitan areas, then it may be in your best interest to live in one of these towns.
If you want to take advantage of the many benefits offered by living near a beach, but still enjoy an affordable lifestyle, then one of these 12 most affordable beach towns should be at the top of your list.
Therefore, if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on real estate, want to live in a quiet area but still near larger cities so that job opportunities are close by, or simply enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of small towns and would like living right on the beach without having to share it with many others – then one these 12 most affordable beach towns may be the best option for you.
These are just some of the possibilities that come with living in one of these towns – but regardless of why you want to live close to the beach without having to spend a lot, there is something here for everyone looking to purchase or rent their own home by the ocean.
12 Cheapest Beach Towns in California
- 1. San Pedro
- 2. Ventura
- 3. Long Beach
- 4. Oceanside
- 5. Grover Beach
- 6. Imperial Beach
- 7. Eureka
- 8. Oxnard
- 9. Arcata
- 10. Oceano
- 11. Crescent City
- 12. Samoa
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