Affordable Coastal Living: Top 9 Cheap California Beach Towns You Must Visit


California is a sought-after destination for many, and it’s understandable why. This vast state is home to many beach towns offering unique experiences. If one is looking for an affordable option to live near the sea, it may be surprising to discover that some California towns fit various budgets. From charming coastal towns with vibrantly coloured homes to quiet hideaways with stunning ocean views, California has many options. These towns offer access to beautiful beaches and have a rich history, a vibrant cultural scene, and a unique community feel.

Some of California’s most affordable beach towns include Ventura, with its coastal charm and affordability, and others like Pacifica and Oxnard, which offer a laid-back atmosphere and options for outdoor activities. These towns allow residents to enjoy the California lifestyle without sacrificing their budget. Exploring the pretty towns in California provides a chance to immerse in coastal life, enjoy sunny weather, and relax on golden beaches. Whether seeking a place to settle down or just wanting a memorable vacation, these California coastal towns offer an authentic and charming experience.

In short, California beach towns offer a perfect combination of coastal beauty, a welcoming atmosphere, and exceptional culinary experiences. Whether looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an adventure-filled getaway in the great outdoors, these towns provide unforgettable moments on the beautiful California coast. Get ready to discover the magic of these beautiful California towns!

The Cheapest Beach Towns in California

California’s coastal towns offer unique charm and an enviable quality of life. While many of them are known for their high cost of living, there are affordable options that allow one to enjoy the beauty and relaxed lifestyle of the coast without breaking the bank. California has some hidden gems worth exploring if you are seeking cheap coastal towns. These places provide proximity to the ocean, a pleasant climate, and the chance to immerse in the culture and laid-back vibe of the coast, all at a more affordable price.

Plus, even for those preferring to stay away from the beach, there are also interesting options in California’s beach towns. These locations offer their own charm and appeal, with a mix of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and a welcoming community. Discovering cheap coastal towns to live in California is a great way to make the dream of a quiet life by the sea come true without compromising the budget. Explore these options and find the perfect place to suit needs and desires. Coastal living in California may be more affordable than imagined!

1. Ventura

Beaches always remain very close to many people’s hearts, and Ventura is no exception. Located close to Carpinteria and Oxnard, just a few minutes drive from the north of Malibu, Ventura cannot be considered the cheapest beach town in California, but it is relatively affordable compared to other towns in the state. Ventura has a lot to offer, and one will be amazed by its natural view and warmth. Ventura is close to the active port and is the best place for the adventurous soul. Fishing opportunities abound, and grey whales can be spotted off the coast. For surfing, Surfers Point Beach is highly recommended.

Ventura provides excellent healthcare and educational opportunities with more than 200 hospitals and numerous schools. Many job opportunities are available, along with fancy restaurants like Mrs. Olson’s Coffee Hut and many more. The Ventura Botanical Garden offers a chance to witness the art of the universe and its beautiful ocean views.

Cost of Living in Ventura The average cost of living in Ventura is around $2,283, with the monthly cost for a single person around $1,007.36 without paying rent. Renting a large 2-bedroom apartment can cost around $2,190.

Tourist Attractions in Ventura

  • Ventura Harbour Village
  • Channel Islands National Park
  • Ventura Pier
  • Mission San Buenaventura
  • Mandalay Beach and San Buenaventura State Beach

2. San Pedro

San Pedro, a small coastal town south of Los Angeles, offers affordable coastal living. While some may argue about its safety reputation, San Pedro in the 21st century is much more attractive and a cheaper beach town in California. The government has improved the infrastructure, making it one of the best places for investors. The town is busy with young professionals, featuring mixed-ambiance restaurants, waterfront communities, and fine dining options.

As part of Los Angeles, San Pedro has higher prices than some parts of California, but good medical facilities and educational institutions are available. It is one of the cheapest cities to live in Northern California, allowing residents to enjoy the culture of Los Angeles.

Cost of Living in San Pedro The average cost of living in San Pedro is around $1,439. Basic expenses like electricity, water, and heating for an 85-square-meter apartment cost around $137.60 monthly. The fishing industry dominates the town, making various fish dishes a local speciality.

Tourist Attractions in San Pedro

  • Port of Los Angeles
  • Korean Friendship Bell
  • MacArthur Military Museum
  • Point Fermin Park
  • Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
  • Sunken City and Maritime Museum of Los Angeles

3. Eureka

Eureka Beach near Arcata Bay is an affordable option for those wanting to spend their days in lush greenery among redwoods and old Victorian architecture. This beach town in Northern California offers remote ocean scenery and is the cheapest oceanfront property in the area. The vibrant cityscape is marked by colorful street art, and the thriving marijuana and cannabis industries contribute to its affordability. Eureka’s artsy vibe is complemented by opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and beach relaxation.

Medical facilities and educational institutions are affordable, and the crime rate is low, ensuring a safe environment for all.

Cost of Living in Eureka The average cost of living in Eureka is $1,502, with the monthly cost for a single person around $1,017.93 without rent.

Tourist Attractions in Eureka

  • Redwood Highway
  • Carson Mansion
  • Sequoia Park Garden
  • Sequoia Park Zoo and Humboldt Bay

4. Grover Beach

Grover Beach, located between Oceano and Pismo Beach, offers affordable coastal living with a natural ambiance that captivates visitors. The warm weather and amazing beach views make it a picturesque location. This small beach community has a population of around 13,484 and provides various outdoor activities like surfing, horseback riding, swimming, and hiking.

The scenic beach boardwalk, dunes, and Monarch Butterfly Grove are standout features. The crime rate is below 25%, making it one of the safest beach towns in California.

Cost of Living in Grover Beach Basic expenses for an 85 square meter apartment, including electricity, garbage, and water, cost around $202.36 per month.

Nearby Places of Interest

  • Monarch Grove Winery
  • The Locked Inn
  • Ron’s and Pismo State Beach Golf Course

5. Long Beach

Long Beach, one of the largest beaches in downtown Los Angeles, offers affordable coastal living. Just 20 minutes away from San Pedro Beach, Long Beach is known for its active LGBTQ community and diverse culture. Although some areas are expensive, properties near the beach are affordable. Long Beach offers a faster pace of life, beautiful beaches, famous restaurants, and vibrant businesses.

Cost of Living in Long Beach With a population of around 462,257, the average cost of living is $2,214. The cost for a single person is around $919.18 per month without rent.

Long Beach Sightseeing Tour

  • Downtown Waterfront
  • Aquarium of the Pacific
  • Queen Mary
  • Naples and Catalina Island

6. Oceanside

Oceanside is the cheapest beach town to live in Southern California, offering quality time for visitors and residents alike. While it had a bad reputation in the past, Oceanside is now a hub for food lovers and adventure surfers. The town hosts the SuperGirl Surf Pro and houses the California Surf Museum.

Cost of Living in Oceanside The average cost of living is $2,508, with utility costs around $143.05 per month. A one-bedroom apartment near downtown costs about $1,893.89.

Excursions to Oceanside

  • Oceanside Museum of Art
  • Oceanside Pier
  • Harbor Beach
  • California Surf Museum
  • Charlies Dessert Bar and Oceanside Sunset Market

7. Imperial Beach

Imperial Beach is just 15 minutes from San Diego and 10 minutes from the Mexican border. Located on the Tijuana Estuary, it offers affordable coastal homes and an entertaining atmosphere. It is a residential community with budget-friendly prices and small, gentle waves ideal for family outings. Surfing is allowed on the north side, and hiking enthusiasts can enjoy the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge.

Cost of Living in Imperial Beach The average cost of living is around $1,782.

Imperial Beach Tourism

  • Imperial Beach Pier
  • Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • Bayshore Bikeway
  • Veterans Park and Kristy Murphy’s Siren Surf Adventures

8. Oceano

Oceano Beach, next to Grover Beach and Pismo Beach, is another affordable coastal town in California. Known for its beautiful dunes, Oceano offers a mix of old and new culture. While it offers fewer amenities, it has many good places to hang out with friends and family.

Cost of Living in Oceano: Housing and transportation costs are slightly higher than the national average.

Tourist Attractions in Oceano

  • Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area
  • Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville
  • Pismo State Beach
  • Pacific Dunes Ranch Riding Stables

9. Arcata

Located in Humboldt County, Arcata Beach is known for its lagoon and a population of around 17,775. It offers a pleasant view and easy lifestyle, for all inhabitants. It is an affordable coastal life in California and is famous for its hippie vibe. You will also be happy to know that Arcata residents have a strong sense of environmental awareness among them.

You will be mesmerized as you witness the dramatic confluence of a river and ocean that makes Arcata one of the most beautiful places in California. You can head towards the Redwoods National and State Park and then visit the local restaurants and plazas. Everything here is inexpensive, affordable, and you will never regret moving to California.

Everything is available in Arcata at an affordable price , be it medical facilities, schools, colleges, and other needs. Humboldt State University is famous among the youth of California; Arcata is a small beach town in California to register as it welcomes different people and cultures. The crime rate in the village is much lower than other cities or towns in California or Los Angeles.

Cost of living in Arcata:Compared to the national average, energy costs and food costs are +28.3% and +10.7% higher, respectively.

Tourist Attractions in Arcata

  • Arcata Community Forest.
  • Arcata Plaza Farmers Market.
  • Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Clam Beach County Park.
  • Humboldt Crabs Baseball.

These 9 places are the cheapest beach towns in California that have pristine beaches and a splendid coastline. If you want to make your dream come true despite your financial situation then finding a house in these places is fantastic and charming. Living in California has its advantages and disadvantages but to have unlimited fun and fill your life with the exciting experience of surf and sun within your budget, these places are perfect.