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6 Best Beach Towns to Live In

Places by the sea can be charming with those beautiful shorelines, sea air, and characteristic palm trees. But when looking for the best beach towns to live in, keep in mind that the warm and beautiful summer brings along with it an invasion of tourists and the urban bustle we see in big cities every day. That is the case with all popular summer destinations. However, there are smaller towns with a moderate number of tourists, low advertising, and the preserved local way of laid-back living where you can still enjoy some fun activities and see a lot of marine attractions.

Capitola, California

This small town on the Pacific coast started as a lumber port first and later became a seaside resort. It is nestled in Monterey Bay and surrounded by cliffs, with charming Soquel Creek running through it. 

The town has maintained its historical image but has also added some new vibrant districts, including a personalized commercial area with a lot of restaurants, boutiques, galleries and shops for entertainment. The wide coast opening to the beautiful Monterey Bay offers a number of water activities such as surfing and boating, as well as concerts. 

Capitola is famous for its begonia flower production and has been hosting a Capitola Begonia Festival for 64 years. Also, there is a Capitola Art & Wine Festival with a number of personalized wine tasting rooms. Soquel Creek, with its picturesque gardens and waterfalls, is a special attraction. 

Education is also at a high level. According to data, there are many prominent public and private colleges, as well as a distinguished university with excellent conditions for students.

Capitola, California

Folly Beach, South Carolina

After the Civil War, this little city on Folly Island south of Charleston was abandoned. However, its vicinity to Charleston and secluded nature facilitated its transformation and offered privacy to its residents. The reconstruction reached its peak in the 1960s with the construction of the Folly pier, which became a musical hotspot for a great number of known musicians. 

Along Center Street, there are a lot of surf and souvenir shops, but the town also offers picnics, kayaking, and other marine activities. Some of the most popular events are Follypalooza, a local festival, Folly Beach Christmas Parade and a New Year’s Eve “Flip Flop Drop.”

According to data, the climate is subtropical with cool coastal breezes, clear blue skies, and abundant sunshine, as well as cool evenings to help you sleep better. Schools are good and healthcare is easily accessible in the nearby Charleston, as well as in other islands in the vicinity.

6 Best Beach Towns to Live In

Anna Maria Island, Florida

With its broad sandy beaches and turquoise waters, this small resort city on the Gulf Coast has kept the old charm of Florida by refraining from high-rise buildings and fast-food restaurants and maintaining a private, laid-back way of life. Pine Avenue is offering a lot of shops, restaurants, and galleries. Like most of the coastal cities, Anna Maria Island also has a wooden pier which adds to its marine charm. 

The temperatures are ideal and mild climate allows strolling along the beaches, sightseeing tourist attractions, and shopping. You can also visit the largest Natural & Cultural History Museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast, a Planetarium and an Aquarium. Anna Maria Island also has wildlife preserves and golf clubs.

Anna Maria Island, Florida

Galveston, Texas

The position of Galveston as an island city in the Galveston Bay along the Gulf of Mexico allowed it to become a trade center in Texas. 

Moody Gardens is a well-known educational destination featuring giant glass aquarium pyramids with sharks and other animals and a variety of seasonal attractions. Another popular site is the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier with amusement rides and restaurants, as well as the Galveston Island State Park, home to numerous bird species and activities like kayaking and fishing. Galveston Harbor, home to frolicking dolphins, offers visitors a chance to enjoy in personalized boat rides with these wonderful animals in the Discovery Point lagoon. 

According to official data, the public school system is rated above average and there are three higher education institutions – The University of Texas Medical Branch, which has a positive impact on healthcare, Galveston College and Texas A&M University. The city’s ethnically diverse population is a true example of the American “melting pot.”

galveston texas

Long Beach, Mississippi

The success of Long Beach, a coastal city in the Gulf of Mexico, is based on its three pillars – developed small businesses, an excellent educational system, and a diverse population. 

The city offers industrial and commercial opportunities typical for an urban environment but still keeps its quiet way of living and privacy. It is business-oriented with strong ties between local business, community, schools and non-profit organizations. There are plenty of outdoor activities, including biking, fishing, running and various community sports. 

When it comes to education, the fact that the city has a school district with five campuses and an “A” rating speaks for itself. And last but not least, as data states, it is considered to be among the ten safest sites in Mississippi.

Long Beach, Mississippi

Ocean City, Maryland

Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Isle of Wight Bay, this resort offers ten miles of the best coast and three miles of wooden boardwalk with theme-park attractions. 

Ocean City was originally a quiet little fishing village until the railroad traversed Sinepuxent Bay, opening new prospects for the village to become a popular resort. The city is famous for its inlet from the bay to the ocean, created by the storm in 1933 and made permanent by the engineers. 

Events are organized all year round and there are plenty of activities such as kayaking, canoeing, boating, surfing, fishing, playing golf, etc. Some of the popular events are the Springfest and Sunfest – free art and craft show with food and live music, Sundaes in the Park – free live concerts, Winterfest – Ocean City’s Christmas Holiday event and Ocean City Christmas Parade. Public transportation includes buses, trams, and shuttles, which minimize the need for driving to any location.

ocean city maryland

Why Move to One of the Best Beach Towns to Live In

Each of the mentioned towns features its specific sites and advantages, but what they all have in common are clear skies, sandy beaches, turquoise waters, cozy atmosphere and a token of old times’ charm.

If that is not enough to convince you to start packing your stuff and contact a moving company to move you there, know that these places offer a quiet life with no city turmoil, no traffic congestion, no searching for a parking spot or commuting for hours? But at the same time, they have a good educational system for your kids, good healthcare and mild climate.

Why Move to One of the Best Beach Towns to Live In

Things to Do in a Coastal Town

Apart from excellent places to eat and drink, you have access to a number of water activities, such as surfing, kayaking, swimming and diving, hiking, biking, playing golf or other sports and so on. If you are not in for too much activity, it’s fine – you can just sit comfortably on your porch sipping wine and watching breathtaking sunsets.

Popular Destinations

If you prefer city bustle to a relaxing vacation in some secluded coastal resort, then you can opt for some of the more popular destinations easily found through online advertising. But be prepared to face crowded beaches and promenades, restaurants, transportation, and other facilities during the summer season and less commotion during the offseason.