The median household income here is $62,349 with median home value settling at $332,600, which is actually a great deal for California real estate. WalletHub, a personal finance website, just released a ranking of the best beach towns to live in, and many of them are in locations you wouldn't expect. With a 50-block historic downtown so pretty it demands its own series of postcards, a lively marina on the Amelia River, broad beaches on the Atlantic, surrounding nature preserves that include spectacular, nearby Cumberland Island, and the bragging rights of being home to the oldest bar in Florida, Fernandina Beach has all the boxes checked when it comes to life on the coast. Carpinteria is a small city just east of Santa Barbara that lays claim to having the world’s safest beach – Carpinteria State Beach — and to being an all-around family-friendly destination. The town itself is filled with one-of-a-kind shops, fine dining restaurants, and great museums, while the beach gives way to dramatic coastline and hiking trails up to the cliffs. You can read more about her on our about page. With that in mind, we asked a panel of experts in fields such as family studies and public health to share their insight regarding the process of evaluating prospective California cities on a … Best Places to Live in Long Beach, California National-center complex - Southern California Coast, south and west of the San Bernardino Mountains. 10+ Nashville Hotspots You Have to Visit. You can create a customized list of the best places to live in California that meets your criteria. Right in the heart of Silicon Valley, this city combines all the great things of San Francisco, without all the negatives. Calm waters make Cayucos an ideal spot for water sports, including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, and diving. Pismo Beach is located on the Central Californian Coast, an area often overlooked by those touring the state who focus on either the San Francisco Bay Area or the LA Basin but that is not without its own hidden gems. Below, we’ve listed the top Southern California cities to live in. Liz Flynn 1 year ago. That’s wonderful! Carmel Oaks is a budget stay in Carmel that has free continental breakfast delivery, and is close to many shops and sites. The city is nestled between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach and has a relatively high median home value, but rents remain affordable. Avila La Fonda Hotel is a luxury property that is home to a spa bath, fireplaces in every room, and free WiFi. Located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Cambria is home to Moonstone Beach (that’s full of glittery gemstones of all colors), wineries, the incredible Hearst Castle, a cute downtown area, coastal bluff trails, and elephant seals. Join them in their quest to find off-the-beaten-path destinations by signing up for weekly emails. Cambria Palms Motel is a budget stay in Cambria that is less than a 10-minute walk from downtown Cambria and offers BBQ facilities. We used data from real estate company Zumper to find the best affordable places to live in California that are located near the iconic city of San Francisco. This list of California small towns is the ultimate girlfriend road trip. California Sound and the Beach Boys aside, Southern California is actually a great place for raising a family, has nearly-perfect weather year round, and well, you’ll be living the California Dream. Folsom, a city in Sacramento County that's commonly known for Folsom Prison, ranked as the second best lake town. Carmel-by-the-Sea is a picturesque little town that looks as though it popped straight out of a fairy tale. Aside from the beach, Laguna Beach is home to upwards of 20,000 acres of pristine wilderness, which you can check out via mountain biking and hiking trails. My mom used to live there, otherwise, it’s possible I would never had thought to visit. 28 Best Jobs for People Who Live In Small Towns. Southern California has great beaches and great weather. The state capital is not only an affordable place to live, but also a vibrant destination packed with fun things to do . The sample included cities with populations between 10,000 and 150,000 and at least one beach listed on TripAdvisor. Good question. Families share a number of common priorities when choosing a new place to call home. The San Diego area has many wonderful beaches and La Jolla Shores is near the top. 2) Danville The Best Place to Live or Retire in California near San Fransisco. Hotel Carmel is a mid-range hotel right in the heart of Carmel. With the decline in the economy last year, and constantly rising cost of living, finding a good, affordable place to live in California has become even more difficult. It's just a short distance to the beautiful Santa Monica beach and is home to great restaurants and boutiques! The hotel features a stone courtyard and unique décor in every room. So great, that it's way overpopulated. From Shelter Cove, you can visit Black Sands Beach, stroll the Lost Coast Hiking Trail, visit the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse, whale watch, go diving, or fish. This is a great place to stay if you want a breezy, bungalow-style place to stay. What is the cheapest place to live in California for 2020? Savannah’s official beach town is a toes-in-the-sand escape, with seafood shacks, tiny cottages, and miles of wide Atlantic beaches. Hospital Workers 'Dread' Possibility Of Rationing Care, California Named Most Fun State In America, 5 Resolutions for Your 2021 Budget Free Workshop, San Diego Senior Home Residents, Staff Receive COVID-19 Vaccines, Encinitas Weather Forecast For The Weekend Ahead, CHP Maximum Enforcement For New Year's Begins Thursday Evening, 35 Of CA's Biggest Moments Of 2020 In Photos. If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, the Surf and Sand Resort is for you. Below are some of the best and most affordable places to retire in California if … Emily Brandon Nov. 23, 2020 We like this beach because you can shove off and explore the La Jolla Shore in a kayak or on a stand-up paddleboard. A community in San Luis Obispo County, Avila Beach is a great California getaway for the whole family. For a budget stay in Laguna Beach, check out The Tides. I lived there for a while but couldn't take the traffic, crowded beaches, and the smog. Naples, Florida, landed at the top of the list of best ocean towns. While in Carmel, head down to Carmel Beach and stroll the scenic road, go wine tasting (the village has almost 20 wine tasting rooms! That said, if you are looking for a great surfing spot, one of the state’s best surfing beaches, Rincon, is just three miles southeast. These are the ocean beach cities in California that made the rankings. The state capital is not only an affordable place to live, but also a vibrant destination packed with fun things to do . Read more: Where to Stay in San Francisco (And The Best Hotels in Each Area). Places Across America. That’s because the absolute cheapest cities aren’t all that desirable: They suffer from high crime rates, extreme heat, … Around the world and in the US we found beautiful, cheap beach cities where you can live your best life for less than you do now. To select Best Places to Live 2019, we consulted a number of reports, studies, and lists, including real estate data from ATTOM Data Solutions. Not only is the area home to a beach full of glistening sea glass, but it also has a striking, craggy, coastline that will sweep you off your feet. Ventura. If you can live near the beach fine, but most can't afford it and getting to the beach on a nice day if you live inland can be a nightmare. Traditionally, California has been one of the most expensive places in the United States. Santa Cruz where I lived for 20 years is the quintessential California beach town with lots of surfers and great spots, but is no longer affordable as it has been invaded by Silicon Valley techies. Over the last 30 days, beach resorts in California have been available starting from $120, though prices have typically been closer to $183. It’s true that Southern California is an expensive place to live, but it’s equally true that it’s a wonderful place to be with stunning scenery and glorious weather almost every day of the year. We used data from real estate company Zumper to find the best affordable places to live in California that are located near … Originally a military garrison and later a lumber town, Fort Bragg is now one of the top beach destinations in the state, and for good reason. Cliff House Inn is a mid-range property offering private beach access, on-site dining, and an outdoor pool. But few realize their dream of living by the water, precisely because of the misconception that beach towns are relatively more expensive and generally less livable than landlocked cities. Your email address will not be published. ), Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Guide – Everything You Need to Know, The Vagabond’s House Boutique Inn & Spa Studio, 15 Best Things to Do in San Diego, California, Where to Stay in San Francisco (And The Best Hotels in Each Area). It’s easy on the eyes and on the wallet! National rankings are in parenthesis: These are the lake beach towns in California that made the rankings. Pier View Suites is a boutique hotel adjacent to the beach. The Vagabond’s House Boutique Inn & Spa Studio is a 4-star property just 1-mile from Carmel Beach City Park. https://www.niche.com/places-to-live/laguna-beach-orange-ca Whether you have just a couple days or a week to spend in a California beach town, Cambria and its many attractions will be sure to keep you occupied. The 20 Best Places to Live in Northern California. California’s coastal town of Dana Point offers beach access to the Pacific Ocean at popular spots like Doheny State Beach or Salt Creek Beach. The Best Photography Locations in California, Fairfield Inn & Suites Santa Cruz – Capitola, 15 Best Weekend Getaways in California (And Where to Stay! The town itself is fairly easy-going, offering many casual dining options, mom-and-pop shops, and small bars. For more information on how we rank, read the Best Places to Live methodology. A little more upscale, Pelican Inn & Suites features a seasonal outdoor pool and unique room décor. California is thought by many to be the land of dreams! This hotel overlooks the ocean, gives guests private beach access, and is located in central Laguna Beach. Not to mention, the waters themselves are perfect for watersports. It’s a popular spot that can be jam-packed at times. North Cliff Hotel is more of an upscale stay that offers a hot breakfast buffet and great views of the ocean and Noyo Bay. After traveling consistently for over 10 years, we’ve come to trust and rely on a few websites to help us find the best deals on flights and accommodation. Most California beach towns are similar in that they have warm, inviting spirits, with friendly locals and great ocean views, but they’re all different in things to do and general atmosphere. Fairfield Inn & Suites Santa Cruz – Capitola is a mid-range hotel that offers an outdoor pool and spacious suites. So many of these places are incredibly photogenic too, so be sure to bring your camera! A lot of people choose to have a beach house (secondary house) in Oxnard. Methodology. Irvine. Located in Monterey, the town is one-square-mile big and is full of charming restaurants, boutiques, and cafes – there are no fast food chain restaurants here. The town’s motto is “Small town atmosphere, outstanding quality of life”. Santa Cruz represents the quintessential California beach town, complete with a relaxed, laid back vibe, friendly residents, a host of outdoor recreations, and, of course, the beach. Read more: 15 Best Weekend Getaways in California (And Where to Stay!). Orange County isn’t exactly short of desirable places to live, but the delightful Costa Mesa ranks as one of the best. The fun doesn’t end there: thanks to it its excellent location, residents can enjoy the benefit of having 14 state parks, numerous world-class wineries, museums, farmer’s markets, and every conceivable outdoor activity … Empress Hotel is a mid-range boutique hotel that is just a 10-minute walk to the beach and is home to an Italian restaurant. With its massive beautiful coastlines, laid back lifestyle, and cool, forgiving climate, people dream of living in California. Cliff House Inn is a mid-range property offering … Located in Orange County, halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, Laguna Beach is seven miles of coves and beaches that lay claim to tide pools, boardwalks, and bluffs. The best places to live in the Sunshine State span the beaches, coasts, farmland and tourism centers. La Jolla Shores Beach . Saloons and antique shops are aplenty! The property features free WiFi and a seasonal swimming pool. Located on the northern Mendocino coast, Fort Bragg, California has lived many lives. Flights: Momondo is the first place we check when searching for cheap flights. Below are the top 10 best Orange County suburbs to live in. Wonderful beaches, hiking, and golfing, too. It’s such a unique place! Harbor House Inn is just two blocks from the waterfront and is a great budget stay in Morro. After all, beachside communities often represent a relaxed and luxurious way of life. If you want to live cheaply in California, you won't be living on the coast, but that doesn't mean you will be that far from it. However overall i love the city. Newport Beach in Orange County ranked third, while Carlsbad and Encinitas, both in San Diego County, ranked fourth and eighth, respectively. For a great mid-range option, check out Laguna Brisas Hotel. The area was named after the Chumash word for tar, “Pismu”, which was gathered in a nearby canyon. To find out, Stacker consulted 2019 data from WalletHub that compares U.S. beach towns. You can browse hotel reviews and find the guaranteed best price on hotels for all budgets. El Colibri Hotel & Spa is a central mid-range property that is walking distance to Moonstone Beach and offers a full-service spa and wine bar. A lot of people choose to have a beach house (secondary house) in Oxnard. That said, a decent amount of California is still relatively undiscovered and is still affordable, so retirees who don’t have all the money in the world can have everything they want and then some in their twilight years. Accommodation: Booking.com offers savings on hotels, apartments, and villas in 80,000 destinations worldwide. Spending your days with your toes in the sand may sound like the perfect way to spend your retirement. Read more: The Best Photography Locations in California. Lahaina, Hawaii, and Newport Beach, California, rounded out the top three at second and third, respectively. So great, that it's way overpopulated. Nicknamed “the jewel” of San Diego, La Jolla is everything from luxury hotels and upscale shopping to casual beach vibes and gorgeous scenery. Check out the best cities to live in Florida. It’s just a 10-minute walk from the town center and has an outdoor saltwater pool for use. Home to the Balboa Peninsula, Newport Harbor, and two piers, Newport Beach is a town that prides itself on its diversity of restaurants and top-rated schools. Solana Beach, just 30 minutes north of downtown San Diego (and pictured above), is an idyllic place to live and raise a family, boasting picture-perfect weather, 1.7 miles of coastline, and the Cedros Design District, which features an intriguing mix of unique shops, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants just a short walk from the beach. The town is full of Americana, and makes you feel like you’ve stepped into the Wild West, but with a beach setting. Bodega Bay Inn is a mid-budget property less than a 5-minute walk to Bodega Bay and offers free WiFi. Sacramento takes first place on our list of the best places to live in California in 2020. The Oceanfront Inn is a mid-range property offering a private beach area. 7 cheapest places to live in California (that are actually cool) If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest place to live in California, you won’t find it on this list. But with a median household income of $66,485 and median home value at $428,600, that’s not too bad by California standards. We use and trust World Nomads, which we’ve used for the past 8 years. Also known as “the Gibraltar of the Pacific”, Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County is home to an extinct volcanic peak (that juts out 567 feet above the ocean), over six miles of sandy beaches, and an eclectic array of photogenic shops and restaurants. Seabird Lodge is a trusted budget option that offers an indoor pool. Residents who like golf can play 18 holes at the oceanfront Monarch Beach Golf Links , designed by golf architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. Santa Monica in Los Angeles County ranked ninth. The Inn features an 18-hole mini golf course, arcade, and it’s just 1 mile away from Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. 1. I live at the bottom of the hill where rent is cheap as far as California goes, but still pricey. California is the second most expensive state to live in.With median home prices around $547,900 and notoriously high costs of living throughout the state, you might be discouraged from moving to the Golden State. Ask the Experts. The best bargains are found on the southern Oregon Coast, in cities like Coos Bay, Gold Beach and Brookings. If you can live near the beach fine, but most can't afford it and getting to the beach on a nice day if you live inland can be a nightmare. She has been traveling around the world with her partner, Scott, since 2006. Especially with that stunning harbor view. Plan the seaside trip of your dreams (on the cheap!) The hotel serves a daily continental breakfast and features a hot tub. Housing is certainly not cheap (expect to part with around $671,800 for a good-sized family house) but the list of attractions more than makes up for the high cost of living. The 25 Best Small Town Main Streets in the U.S. 30+ Small Towns You Should Visit This Summer. Great article. But following this dream can set you back a pretty penny. Santa Cruz where I lived for 20 years is the quintessential California beach town with lots of surfers and great spots, but is no longer affordable as it has been invaded by Silicon Valley techies. Located at the tip of the Tiburon Peninsula reaching into the San Francisco Bay, Tiburon ranks as the 5th best place to live in California. Still expensive, but cheaper than its neighbors. CALIFORNIA – Beach living is a dream for many, but living on the coast or near a lake can be costly. Orange country (or the OC) is way calmer, not a big party scene at all, however there are plenty of nice beaches. This Andalusian-style motel features an indoor hot tub and a daily wine reception. Palm Coast is the quintessential Florida city, boasting beaches, golf courses and nearby access to estuaries and marshland. ), pay a visit to the Carmel Mission, and catch some live music at Sunset Center. For more info please read my Policy Page, 12 Best Small Beach Towns in California (And Where to Stay), « How To Get Paid To Travel The World – Insider Tips & Tricks, 20 Travel Photography Tips You NEED TO KNOW ». Read more: 15 Best Things to Do in San Diego, California. To select our Best Places to Live, Coastal Living editors assembled a panel of experts who could speak to the variety of elements that combine to define a great place to live on the coast: the quality of the destination; the coastal lifestyle; the urban and community design; and, for international locations, elements of expat life, including ease of transition and real estate ownership. I have a short 15 minute commute to work in La Jolla or the beach at Torrey Pines. Here are the best beaches. Quality Inn & Suites Capitola is a budget motel just 10 minutes from the beach. Bodega Bay Lodge is a 4-star hotel with beautiful views of Doran Regional Park and the ocean. Oxnard is also considered as one of the cheapest places to live in California near the beach. The calendar feature shows the cheapest days to fly in your preferred month of travel. Loma Linda. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. National rankings are in parenthesis: Times Square will be nearly empty for this year's ball drop, but millions will likely tune in online. The Best Places to Retire in California Spend your retirement years enjoying Pacific Ocean sunsets and ancient forests, if you can cope with the exorbitant housing costs. As a repeat city on our 100 Best Places to Live, it’s hard to believe Ventura wouldn’t break the budget. Whether it’s Northern California or Southern California, AreaVibes can help you find the best places to live in California. Required fields are marked *, As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Morro Bay has all the elements that make a beach town spectacular, but what makes it even more so is that it tends to be much more affordable than many of the surrounding towns. Meanwhile, on the San Luis Pier, Fishermen haul in their daily catch – giving you the freshest seafood experience in the local restaurants. I’m also a member of other affiliate programs. Traverse City, Michigan, topped the list of best lake towns. Emerald Dolphin Inn & Mini Golf is a great mid-range stay in Fort Bragg. Naples, Florida, landed at the top of the list of best ocean towns. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find plenty of choice and inspiration on our round-up of the 20 very best places to live in Southern California in 2019. Christy Woodrow is a travel photographer and professional blogger based in San Diego. More than three dozen cities in California made the rankings, with four ranking among the top 10 ocean towns. September, July and June are the most pleasant months in Long Beach, while January and December are the least comfortable months. Having lived in California for all of my life, I’ve had the pleasure to travel up and down this magnificent coast, visiting many of these cute towns along the way. It is absolutely stunning and beautiful! The Shoal Hotel La Jolla Beach is a budget stay that features an outdoor pool and is only an 8-minute walk from Windansea Beach. In fact, many of the wealthiest cities in the U.S. are in California. Of course, while there are many activities to do, rest and relaxation should also be on the menu for things to do in Shelter Cove. The town itself is incredibly picturesque with idyllic beaches and colorful buildings and is full of eclectic boutiques and restaurants. The site gathered experts from a wide range of fields, including economics, urban planning, and environmental studies, to develop a methodology for the ranking. Sacramento is arguably among the best places to live in California. Dolphin Inn Cayucos is a great budget hotel less than a mile away from Cayucos State Beach. Avila Village Inn is an adults-only mid-range property that offers free bike use, an outdoor swimming pool, and a gym. Inn of the Lost Coast is another mid-range stay located right on the beachfront and offers a hot tub and karaoke nights. Bodega Bay tends to be rather quiet and is the perfect place to go if you want to unplug and relax. Experts at the personal finance website compared 192 cities across 62 key indicators of livability, from housing costs to share of for-sale homes to quality of beach water. The waves at Carpinteria are small, so while it’s not great for catching a wave, they are great for splashing around in. Folsom, California, and Cornelius, North Carolina, rounded out the top three at second and third, respectively. Sacramento takes first place on our list of the best places to live in California in 2020. It searches hundreds of sites for the best fare and includes both standard and budget airlines. La Jolla is one of the most popular beach destinations in the world and is a must on any trip to San Diego. But there are ways to get the best of both worlds! Price estimates were calculated on … Read 9 Reviews California is the second most expensive state to live in.With median home prices around $547,900 and notoriously high costs of living throughout the state, you might be discouraged from moving to the Golden State. Contrary to popular belief, however, many beach towns … The cheapest Places to Live Near San Francisco. With your kayak, definitely make a point to head to the historic Point San Luis Lighthouse! With over 800 miles of beautiful coastline, California has its fair share of quintessential sun-soaked beach towns. Within and surrounding the town, you’ll find fresh seafood eateries, spas, and wineries, as well as great hiking, fishing, and whale-watching spots. #1 Best Places to Live in California Current Resident: Ocean park is a safe neighborhood that caters to anyone and everyone, including families and students. Here are the 12 best beach towns in The Golden State! If you’re seeking the top spot on the Best Places to Live Near the Beach list, look no further than Melbourne. Sandyland Reef Inn is a budget-friendly stay less than a ten-minute drive from Carpinteria State Beach. To be clear, the price of admission to these cities is steep -- with median home prices above $500,00 and median incomes over $100,000 -- but the reward is worth it. June, October and September are the most pleasant months in Newport Beach, while January and February are the least comfortable months. Living by the beach is the ultimate dream for many Americans. Here are top beach towns for retirees from U.S. News & World Report. California is actually the third most expensive place to live … 20. In the summer, the beach welcomes concerts of all sizes, farmers markets, wine tastings, and so much more. Because of the calm conditions, renting a kayak or paddleboard for an afternoon is super easy to do. Good question. Capitola is one of the oldest resort towns in California and is situated in Santa Cruz County on the coast of Monterey Bay. Oxnard is also considered as one of the cheapest places to live in California near the beach. Well according to the most recent FBI data, Imperial is the safest place to live in California if you care about low rates of property crime, low rates of violent crime, and a high quality of life. According to the Census data we crunched, Coalinga ranks as the cheapest place to live in California. Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. Whether you're looking for a family-friendly campsite, a romantic spot on the coast, or a waterfront campground your dog will love too, you'll find the best range of must-see California camping sites here. This is no different now. Travel Insurance: We never travel without a travel insurance policy because it’s not worth the risk! I lived there for a while but couldn't take the traffic, crowded beaches, and the smog. Tiburon's poverty level of 2.6% is the 3rd lowest in the state, and the 2.8% unemployment rate is the 11th lowest. Its location on Amelia … 2. That's why WalletHub looked at affordability, as well as weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life to determine the best beach and lakeside communities for living in the country. Solana Beach, just 30 minutes north of downtown San Diego (and pictured above), is an idyllic place to live and raise a family, boasting picture-perfect weather, 1.7 miles of coastline, and the Cedros Design District, which features an intriguing mix of unique shops, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants just a short walk from the beach. The town itself is known as being an art haven, with plenty of galleries and boutiques to check out. But California is a very diverse state, depending on where you live the quality of life is way different. 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A while but could best places to live in california near the beach take the traffic, crowded beaches, golf courses and nearby access to and... And colorful buildings and is a travel photographer and professional blogger based San... These places are incredibly photogenic too, so be sure to bring your camera California goes but. The Vagabond ’ s Northern California or Southern California, rounded out the top of the best beach in! Near a lake can be jam-packed at times lake towns more information on how we rank, the. Southern California has lived many lives ’ s Northern California or Southern California Coast, Bragg... Is close to the Carmel Mission, and quality of life best places to live in california near the beach water... This hotel is right down the street from the town itself is known as being an haven... Read the best places to go for Thanksgiving in America coastlines, laid back lifestyle, and diving at. Required fields are marked *, as an Amazon Associate i earn qualifying., so be sure to bring your camera best places to live in california near the beach in California, city! Jolla Shores is near the beach and provides modern rooms with an old-charm feel Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens resort in...