To determine the most livable beachside communities, WalletHub compared 192 cities across 62 key metrics. The data set ranges from housing costs to share of for-sale waterfront homes to quality of beach water.
Our study divides beach towns into two categories, those by the ocean and those by lakes.
Top 10 Best Ocean Beach Towns in America
Top 10 Best Lake Beach Towns in America
Traverse City, MI
Newport Beach, CA
Boca Raton, FL
Mercer Island, WA
North Myrtle Beach, SC
Santa Monica, CA
Eden Prairie, MN
Bay Village, OH
Best vs. Worst
Ocean Beach Cities:
Port Lavaca, Texas has the lowest median home price as a share of income, 1.78, which is 8.3 times lower than in Malibu, California, the city with the highest at 14.70.
Wailuku, Hawaii has the lowest median annual property taxes, 0.16 percent, which is 18.4 times lower than in Shirley, New York, the city with the highest at 2.95 percent.
Miami Beach, Coral Gables & Key Biscayne, Florida and Port Royal, South Carolina, all share the fewest disaster declarations (since 1953), 12, which is 5.8 times fewer than in Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Palos Verdes Estates and Malibu, California, the cities with the most at 69.
Rye, New York has the lowest property crimes per 1,000 residents, 4.56, which is 28.6 times lower than in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the city with the highest at 130.58.
Lake Beach Cities:
Alpena, Michigan, has the lowest median home price as a share of income, 2.03, which is 4.1 times lower than in South Lake Tahoe, California, the city with the highest at 8.28.
Morgan City, Louisiana, has the lowest median annual property taxes, 0.25 percent, which is 14.8 times lower than in Zion, Illinois, the city with the highest at 3.71 percent.
Traverse City and Alpena, Michigan, have the fewest disaster declarations (since 1953), three each, which is 18 times fewer than in Lake Elsinore, California, which has the most at 54.
Bay Village, Ohio, has the lowest property crimes per 1,000 residents, 3.05, which is 40.9 times lower than in Branson, Missouri, the city with the highest at 124.62.