Living close to a beach is a dream of many, a bucket list entry, and there are many options when this dream comes to fruition for some lucky humans. Should your choice lie somewhere along the East Coast of America, here are some of the best beach towns to live in.
The best American east coast beach towns to live in are the following:
- Daytona Beach, Florida
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Cape May, New Jersey
- Pelican Beach, Destin
These beach towns provide the resident and visitors a perfectly balanced beach experience.
Choosing which beach town is best to live in on the East Coast can be a difficult one. There are lots of great beaches along the way, and your choice will normally be influenced by one of human activity or lack thereof. The following beach towns are full of life, offering fun itineraries for residents and visitors alike.
The Best American East Coast Towns To Live In
There’s an abundance of awesome beach towns along America’s east coast. Enough of them to fill many a page. The ones listed below cater for the annual visitor, providing lots of entertainment, fun water activities to partake in, excellent cuisine, outdoor activities, shopping destinations, and natural beauty.
The town residents get to experience all of the action and awesome tourist-inclined entertainment, on top of the bonus of living at the beach all year round. Making one of the beach towns listed below your permanent dwelling will not bankrupt you, except for Pelican Beach.
If you love all kinds of racing, mixed with 23 miles of world-famous beachfront, where you can park your car on the solid beach sand, then Daytona Beach is for you. College kids love to visit during spring break and form part of the millions of visitors that visit Daytona beach each year.
Annual events play a big part in Daytonians ‘ lives and attract locals and visitors alike:
- Daytona Beach Bike Week
- Halifax Art Festival
- Bandshell Summer Concert Series
- Daytona Turkey Run
“The Festival Capital of Florida” – offers something to the non-motorsport enthusiasts as well, in the form of 60+ music, art, and pop-culture festivals. Here you get to experience live music, comedy, and theatre shows, all-the-while learning about local traditions while enjoying local foods.
Click here to browse through upcoming beach festivals, art exhibitions, carnivals, and Broadway Musicals and see where you fit in.
Daytona International Speedway has recently undergone a $400 million facelift, truly cementing its place as the pinnacle of racing centers. Anybody that loves cars will find the All Access or VIP Speedway Track Tour experience a thrill, which includes a stop at:
These tours will take you through the history of racing through all its different eras, where you will get to view:
- Earnhardt Memorabilia
- Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Blue Bird III
- Thousands Of Vintage Items
Adjacent to the “World Center of Racing” is a new neighbor, One Daytona. This new center is focused on providing a unique shopping experience that includes the following:
- Specialty Shops
- Unique Dining Experience
- Live Entertainment
While waiting for the thrill-a-minute Daytona 500 to kick off the NASCAR season, you can feed your lust for racing by booking your very own NASCAR Racing Experience. You get to climb into a NASCAR racing car with a professional racing instructor, choose between 3 or 6 laps, and experience how it feels to fly.
Many other racing events are held at Daytona International Speedway, like the Rolex 24 and the Coke Zero 400, and other events like the Monster Supercross Championship. Click here to see upcoming racing events.
Outdoor adventures are one of the draw cards to move to the beach, and Daytona offers the following activities to its residents and visitors:
- Daytona Beach Zipline Adventure
- Daytona Speedboat Adventure
- Daytona Lagoon Premier Water Park
- Ponce Inlet Watersports
Myrtle Beach – “The Beach” – home to over 60 miles of pristine shoreline, magical Atlantic Ocean sunsets, and fourteen different beach communities. The 60-mile beachfront are loving referred to as the “Grandstand” and include the following beaches:
- Cherry Grove
- North Myrtle
- Atlantic Beach
- Surfside Beach
- Garden City Beach
- Litchfield Beach
I think it’s pretty safe to make the following declaration; you will never run out of beach space when living in the beautiful Myrtle Beach area.
The Myrtle Beach SkyWheel, located on the famous 1.2-mile boardwalk, is an observation wheel that takes you 200 feet in the air. From your own private and heated gondola, you can view the beachfront, skyline, and horizon from a spectacular angle, making for beautiful pictures.
Along the Grandstand, you will find your retail escape at the following relaxing malls that have what you want:
- Barefoot Landing on the Waterway: Unique shops, boutiques, retailers, and over 20 restaurants and eateries.
- The Market Common: Over 30 shops and boutiques, movie theaters, bowling, and a day spa.
- Broadway At The Beach: Various nightlife options, restaurants, and a host of entertainment options like – Ripley’s Aquarium, Hollywood Wax Museum, Helicopter Adventure, Legends in Concert, Myrtle Waves Water Park.
For the sports lover, visit the John T. Rhodes Myrtle Beach Sports Center to watch various teams compete in:
- Dance & Cheer Nationals
If golf is more your thing, the numerous golf courses found in Myrtle Beach will ensure you never get bored playing at the same venue. World-famous golfers Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Greg Norman helped design a few of Myrtle Beach’s 80+ courses.
For the resident or visitor who loves to fish, there are a lot of fishing charters to choose from:
- Chilly Water Fishing
- Myrtle Beach Sports Fishing
- Fish On Charters
- Tide Chaser
- Reel Fly Girlz Fishing Charter
Any angler with a bucket list of fish to catch, these charters will give you the best chance of completing your list.
Living by the beach is a blessing, and so are the fun activities you can participate in when at the shore. Here are some of the watersports that you can partake in when living in Myrtle Beach:
- Jet Ski
- Scuba Diving
- Boat Rentals
- Banana Boat Rides
- Paddle Boarding
Then there are also the annual events in Myrtle Beach each year, such as arts and crafts expo, Myrtle Beach Marathon, food festivals, tribute shows, and much more. There’s never a dull moment in Myrtle.
If you’re looking for a friendly community of people displaying southern charm who works hard, playing even harder, you will find them in this mid-Atlantic community. From the busy Virginia Beach to the tranquil shores of Sandbridge, how you decide to relax at the beach is up to you.
Fishing is big in Virginia Beach, as the fish supply is boosted by the food-rich Chesapeake Bay, ensuring an abundance of fish yearly. You have three options when aiming to catch the perfect catch:
- Pier Fishing (Four Piers)
- Own Boat
- Knot Wish’n Custom Charters
- Grading Scales Sportfishing
- Prowling Fishing Charter
Virginia Beach Boardwalk has been voted in the top 10 Boardwalks many a time. The boardwalk is the heart of the city and always buzzing with activity.
Dining in one of the many eating establishments that line the walk, you get to relax and take in the scenic view that is the Atlantic Ocean. Or take your bike, trike, or skates when making your way to museums and other historic sites or your favorite beach spots.
Virginia Beach offers tons of fun to children and adults alike; some of these extramural activities include:
- Ocean Breeze Waterpark
- Motor World
- Nightmare House on Atlantic Avenue
- Pinoys Bowling
- King of the Ring
- Lynnhaven Dive Center
- Virginia Zoo
- Virginia Aquarium
- Virginia Beach Jet Skiing & Parasailing
- IFLY Indoor Skydiving
- Virginia Beach Sand Soccer Tournament
- Virginia Living Museum
When looking for a night out, hit Peabody’s Night Club. If you are looking for a laugh instead, then Funny Bone Comedy Club and Restaurant will tickle that laughing bone with local acts as well as international comedy acts.
Looking for beer and music festivals? No problem, Neptunes Park has you covered! In August, the well-received Virginia Beach Funk Fest Beach Party gives the party people something to look forward to. Click here to see other festivals happening in Virginia.
Last but definitely not least, there are many spa facilities for the ladies to restore their health and wellness. Virginia Beach is one of the best places to stay on the East Coast throughout the year – catering to everyone’s unique needs.
“Welcome To America’s Original Seaside Resort.”
Cape May is a coastal town with everything you would expect from a beach town; pristine beaches, magical sunsets, a promenade, and all the bells and whistles when it comes to amenities.
Throw in friendly-townsfolk, architectural diversity, and a history that is rich in color, and you have a place where you can plant some deep roots of your own. Cape May’s beach runs for approximately 2.5-miles parallel to Beach Avenue.
What will life look like in Cape May? Well, if you are a beer lover, then you are in good hands as there are several awesome breweries, distilleries, and wineries to choose from:
- Cape May Brewing Company
- 7-Mile Brewery
- Slack Tide Brewing Company
- Nauti Spirits Distillery
- Tasting And Tours
- Cape May Winery
- Willow Creek Winery
- Jessie Creek Winery
No need to go thirsty in Cape May. Cape May Point State Park (244-acre) has well-known landmarks, including the Cape May Lighthouse, and here you can enjoy birding, spending time in nature while enjoying picnics, taking photos, and exploring the forest habitat.
When you want to go on an adventure on the water, the following activities should keep you busy:
- Fishing Charters
- High-Speed Jet Boat Rides
- Dolphin Watching
- Kayak and Paddleboarding
- Watercraft Rentals
- Water Theme Parks
Cape May also caters for solid adventure activities away from the sea, the following being prime examples of family time well spent:
Leisure time is also a prominent aspect of life when setting up camp in Cape May. Indulging in the following will add to the overall experience of living in a beach town:
Cape May also hosts various events during the year, with the best one for families being movies on the beach where you bring a chair, blankets, and your favorite snacks and enjoy a movie with your family.
Best Beach Retirement Town To Live In On The East Coast
When I think of my retirement, it’s always set in a house close to the beach that jumps into my mind’s eye. A quaint little beach village filled with like-minded peers, with just enough entertainment, sightseeing, and delicious eateries to keep ourselves busy with while not attracting millions of visitors each year.
Retiring in a setting that provides big samples of serenity and beauty simultaneously, perfect for children and grandchildren to come to visit, and still have an awesome holiday, is priceless.
The following beach town would be perfect for retiring in if the opportunity presented itself:
Retiring in Pelican Bay, a luxury community situated in Naples, is on the bucket list of many retirees. Surrounded by over 80 parks and various leisure resorts, Pelican Beach is a magical place where you get to swim in the Gulf of Mexico.
The population of Pelican Beach totals just over 6,000 residents, with 13% of the population aged between 55-64 years and a further 83% being 65+ years of age. If your finances allow you to choose where you can retire, then Pelican Beach is the one that screams for attention.
Pelican Beach activities will keep you and your visiting family busy during their holiday and your retirement life:
- Bluewater Bay Golf Club
- Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club
- Indian Bayou Golf & Country Club
- Kelly Plantation Golf Club
- Bluewater Bay Tennis Club
- Kokomo Snorkeling Adventures
- Dockside Watersports
- Southern Star Dolphin Cruise
- Sunquest Cruises
- Sea Blaster Dolphin Tours
- Timberview Helicopters
- Gator Beach
- Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge
- City Market
- HarborWalk Village
Managing to secure a condo in one of the high-end resorts is the goal, as this will grant you access to numerous beneficial amenities. When going to the beautiful white-sand beaches, a beach service crew will ensure that you have a beach chair and shade available.
Living at the beach is magical. Connecting to nature can only be good for your spirit and, ultimately, your health. The above beach towns are very much family orientated but allow for a serene living experience for the single dweller.
Whichever beach town you plan on moving to, you will get a beach; moving to any of the above East Coast beaches, you will get so much more!