Top 7 Affordable Beach Towns in California: “Updated 2023”

California boasts of some of the world’s most stunning beaches and coasts, with many popular cities situated in these areas. As a result, it’s not surprising that the cheapest beach towns in California may not be budget-friendly. Nevertheless, there are several affordable beach towns in California that might fit within your price range.

Looking for a beautiful beach home in California? Look no further! Our article aims to assist those who have the means to afford these luxurious properties in finding the perfect one for them. We have compiled a list of unique coastal towns for you to choose from, each with its own set of pros and cons. Whether you’re looking for an affordable option or simply want to live by the sea, we’ve got you covered.

We’ll assist you in achieving your objective by analyzing factors such as median home value, property taxes, and cost of living expenses, among others. This data will aid in your comprehension of the various options available in California. Equally important, we’ll provide practical suggestions to help you avoid overspending and financial difficulties when searching for a home.

Our list of living options covers a wide range of areas, including some that may seem elevated from the norm. We aimed to offer a diverse selection of places to live that would appeal to individuals from all backgrounds. The good news is that there are affordable beachfront residences available in California that may surprise you.

How We Curated the Cheapest Beach Town in California List?

When compiling this list, we consulted numerous credible sources to identify the cities to include. Our primary criterion for rating these cities was the median home value, as this is typically the costliest aspect of finding affordable beach towns in California. However, we also took into consideration other factors such as property taxes, cost of living expenses, crime rate, and more.

Our aim is to equip you with comprehensive insights that would enable you to make an informed decision. There are various factors to consider while contemplating living in a town, including the quality of education and overall livability. Therefore, we recommend going through this list in its entirety, to identify cities and regions that pique your interest. Once you have narrowed down your choices, take the time to find a home that aligns with your needs and preferences.


Kindly note that data limitation may occur when researching affordable home purchases. Our team utilizes government sites or credible sources that offer reliable and inexpensive data. However, we encourage you to conduct your own research to enhance your knowledge. Below are the sites we utilized to gather the information provided:

Cheapest and Affordable Beach Towns in California

As you peruse through the list of the most economical beach towns in California, keep in mind that affordability is subjective. What may seem affordable to some may not be the same for others. Although, compared to the pricier regions in the state, even the most affordable coastal towns in California can save you a substantial amount of money.

7. Ventura


With a population of around 832,605 people, Ventura is a city located in Ventura County. Despite the high population density, living in this area may not be as expensive as one might expect. In fact, Ventura is considered one of the more affordable coastal towns in California, based on several metrics. To determine the cost of living in this area, it’s important to consider the following factors:

    • Median Home Price: $836,927 per Zillow
    • Taxes: $780 per $100,000 home value per Smart Asset
    • Overall Cost of Living: 34.8% higher than the national average
    • Things Ventura is Famous For: Multiple beautiful beaches, including Ventura Pier

Pros and Cons of Living in Ventura

Living in Ventura is a wonderful choice for families, with its abundance of stunning beaches, attractive homes, and top-notch education. The area is especially renowned for its pier entertainment, offering numerous opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment. Additionally, finding a beautiful home in this area is a breeze due to the exceptional designs of many available properties.

While Ventura and the surrounding county offer a comfortable lifestyle, it is important to note that the area is densely populated and may pose some potential crime concerns. As is the case with many populous regions, the crime rates here are higher than desired, which can be a bit challenging to deal with. Additionally, traffic congestion is a common problem in California, and Ventura is no exception. However, these issues aside, the region is an ideal spot to raise a family or enjoy retirement.

6. San Pedro

San Pedro

Located right on the beach, San Pedro is a bustling region within Los Angeles that offers a comfortable and relaxing lifestyle. Despite its big-city feel and abundance of amenities, it is surprisingly one of the more affordable places to live in the Los Angeles area. Of course, the cost of living is still relative, but here are some prices to keep in mind:

Pros and Cons of Living in San Pedro

If you’re looking for an affordable region to settle in Los Angeles, San Pedro might just be the hidden treasure you’ve been searching for. Despite being a beach-front property, it’s surprisingly affordable, making it an ideal choice for those who want to purchase a house in California and spend their days lounging on the beach with the sound of waves crashing in the background.

Los Angeles, being a densely populated area, can be overwhelming for some individuals. The heavy traffic may not be enjoyable, and the potential for various types of crimes can be high in certain neighborhoods. It’s important to exercise caution when relocating to this region.

5. Long Beach

Long Beach

Long Beach may not appear to be one of the most affordable beach towns in California based on the prices provided, but it is relatively inexpensive considering its location. With a population of 451,307 people, it is one of the largest cities in Los Angeles. As a result, it is included in this list. The following are the types of price information you can anticipate from this region:

Pros and Cons of Living in Long Beach

If you’re on the lookout for affordable beach towns in California, it’s crucial to select locations that fit your budget. Long Beach is an excellent option as it offers reasonable living expenses compared to other neighboring regions. Additionally, it boasts of amenities such as easy access to LA areas, a diverse culinary scene, and decent educational institutions. Moreover, the crime rate in Long Beach is relatively low, especially considering its size.

Living in Long Beach may not suit everyone due to its high population density. Even though the city has less than 500,000 residents, it is still a lot for a relatively small area. The region is densely populated, much like other parts of Los Angeles, and it can feel overwhelming for those who prefer more space and fewer people. Therefore, Long Beach investments may not be the best choice for individuals who do not enjoy being around large groups of people.

4. Grover Beach

Grover Beach

Grover Beach, a small but charming town situated in San Luis Obispo County, offers a delightful setting near the Pacific Ocean. Despite having a population of only 12,619, the town is not too remote from larger cities, making it an ideal location for those who seek a cozy atmosphere without sacrificing access to modern amenities. If you’re considering buying a home in Grover Beach, here are a few crucial factors to keep in mind.

    • Median Home Price: $723,971 per Zillow
    • Taxes: $800 per $100,000 home value per Smart Asset
    • Overall Cost of Living: 43.2% higher than the national average
    • Things Grover Beach is Famous For: Access to Big Sur and a fun ghost and true-crime tour

Pros and Cons of Living in Grover Beach

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly beach destination, Grover Beach should definitely be on your radar. Despite having a median home price and cost of living that are slightly higher than the national average, they’re more affordable compared to other Californian beach areas. Additionally, Grover Beach boasts a lower crime rate and a robust education system, making it a standout option in terms of livability.

For some individuals, the city’s relatively small population may pose a challenge. Seeing the same group of people every day without much diversity can be tough to handle. Additionally, purchasing a house in this area may prove to be difficult as people do not frequently sell their homes. When a home is put up for sale, it is crucial to act quickly and make a competitive bid to increase your chances of securing the property.

3. Arcata


Located in the Arcata Bay region, Arcata is a charming beach town that offers an affordable living option in California. With a population of 18,555, it’s a cozy and comfortable place to call home. Whether you’re looking to relocate permanently or buy a vacation house, this town won’t disappoint. Not only is it one of the cheapest beach towns in California, but it also has a lot to offer. Here’s what you should know about Arcata.

Pros and Cons of Living in Arcata

If you’re looking for a comfortable and cozy place to retire, Arcata is an excellent choice. Its smaller size creates a close-knit community where you can easily get to know your neighbors and make lifelong friends. The secluded nature of the city also provides a peaceful and calming atmosphere without the overwhelming hustle and bustle found in other California cities.

Regrettably, Arcata has gained notoriety for its significant crime issues, which is a matter you should be aware of. The city is plagued with various concerns related to minor crimes like drug abuse and other problems. Although crime is present in most affordable coastal towns in California, it is more prevalent in Arcata. Additionally, the education system in Arcata is only average.

2. Eureka


Eureka, situated in Humboldt County on the northern coast of California, boasts of a great reputation and offers an unexpectedly affordable beachside dwelling. With a population of 26,129, Eureka exudes a charming small-town vibe without feeling too cramped. It’s a serene and peaceful location that would be ideal for many retirement home requirements. The cost of living in Eureka encompasses:

    • Median Home Price: $424,062 per Zillow
    • Taxes: $770 per $100,000 home value per Smart Asset
    • Overall Cost of Living: 6.9% higher than the national average
    • Things Eureka is Famous For: Redwood Highway, Sequoia Park Zoo, and Carson Mansion

Pros and Cons of Living in Eureka

If you’re looking for an affordable yet beachside living option in California, Eureka could be the perfect place for you. With its affordability and access to great education, Eureka is a popular choice for families on a budget. The education system in Eureka is better than average, which means your children will have access to numerous learning opportunities. This makes it an ideal place to raise your young ones and give them a strong foundation for their future.

Although Eureka offers affordable beach homes, it falls short in terms of crime and livability ratings. The secluded location of the area contributes to the livability problem, as it limits access to amenities such as high-speed internet. Nonetheless, Eureka can still be a relatively comfortable place to call home despite these challenges.

1. Crescent City

Crescent City

Crescent City in Del Norte County takes the crown as the most affordable beach town in California. With a population of just 5,983, it is the smallest city on our list and also serves as the county seat. If you’re considering moving here, here’s what you should know.

    • Median Home Price: $356,968 per Zillow
    • Taxes: $660 per $100,000 home value per Smart Asset
    • Overall Cost of Living: 6.9% higher than the national average
    • Things Crescent City is Famous For: Amazing redwood forests and beautiful lakes

Pros and Cons of Living in Crescent City

Crescent City is a great option for those looking for an affordable beach town in California. One of its biggest draws is its cost, which is hard to beat. In addition, the town boasts high marks for education and livability, providing modern amenities that create a comfortable living space. While there may be some concerns over crime, it has not deterred many from considering the move to this cozy town.

Compared to other affordable coastal towns in California, the major drawback that we could identify is its secluded location. If you prefer the lively atmosphere of big cities, then this town may not be the right fit for you. However, if you are looking for a more isolated and quiet community to retire or raise your family, then it could be an excellent option.

Tips for Buying Beach Town Property in California

By now, you may be confident in your ability to select a desirable and reasonably priced beachfront home in California. Nevertheless, it’s essential to recognize that there are several pitfalls to avoid. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the various factors that may impact your purchase to ensure a successful transaction. Some of these factors include basic advice such as:

    • Checking Other Costs: Did you pay attention to the taxes and other expenses that might affect you? It’s important to do so because these might be more than you expect. Just as importantly, they can affect how much you pay in the long term.
    • Reading Local Policies: Do you know anything about California law and the ways they might affect you? If not, it’s important to learn about them ASAP before buying a house. Doing so will help you save money and ensure that you don’t spend too much cash.
    • Researching Dangerous Problems: When buying in the cheapest beach towns in California, make sure that you know how heavily it gets hit by hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes. Try to avoid areas that might endanger you and your family.
    • Knowing About Future Costs: Even the most affordable beach towns in California will retain their value well and can provide you with a great profit range. Make sure you keep that in mind before buying a home in California to ensure that you get the results you deserve.
    • Working With Professionals: Try to avoid buying real estate without the help of a professional. Simply put, you need to find a realtor who understands your needs and who can provide the hands-on support that makes sense for you and saves you good money in the process.

To increase your chances of finding an affordable coastal home in California, it’s important to stay focused on certain key factors during your research process. Keep in mind that investing in property in California is a smart decision, as property values in the state tend to appreciate over time. By staying focused on these important factors, you may be able to find a home that not only meets your current needs but also becomes a valuable asset for you in the future.

FAQs on Cheapest Beach Towns in California

Living on the beach in California can be expensive, but Crescent City offers an affordable option. While it may still require some money to live there, it is the most budget-friendly option in the state. In fact, there aren’t many other places that can offer a cheaper cost of living than Crescent City.

Capitola, while not the most budget-friendly option, is one of California’s oldest and most secure beach towns. Its laid-back atmosphere and welcoming environment make it an ideal destination for a stay. Whether you’re looking to visit or settle down permanently, Capitola offers the same wonderful experience.

If you’re on the lookout for affordable beach property in California, Crescent City is the ideal place to retire. Not only is its cost of living low, but its home prices are also incredibly reasonable for beachfront property. To ensure you find the best deal, it’s advisable to seek the assistance of a reliable realtor.

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