Did you ever imagine affordable coastal living in Florida is possible? Florida’s beautiful beaches aren’t just reserved for the wealthy. Waking up to the sound of waves breaking on the shore, watching seagulls, feeling a gentle cool breeze along your skin, and strolling along the shoreline are all dreams for many.
Beach towns in Florida are expensive but here are cheaper beach alternative that offers budget-friendly attractions, standard quality of living and low-cost outdoor adventures.
These cheapest beach towns in Florida offer endless idyllic days that help you in relishing the charms of life and make you feel rejuvenated. Living life close to the sea has amazing health benefits for your mind, body, and soul. You can also check out some amazing places in Central Florida, they’re quite affordable.
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So grab your sunscreen and flip-flops and get ready for a wallet-friendly beach vacation. Let’s dive into the most affordable Florida beach towns to live and explore.
Table of Contents
1. Siesta Key
- Population: 5,573
- Crime rate: 6.40 (per 1,000 residents)
- Median home value: $970,739
- Perfect for: Families with young children
Siesta Key is one of the best cities to live in Florida. Across the bridge from Sarasota Florida lies Siesta Key on the southwest coast of Florida which is half an hour south of St Petersburg and Tampa. The unique geography of Siesta Key offers you to access the best amenities of Bradenton, the Tampa Bay area, and Sarasota.
However, the unique powdery white quartz sand on Siesta Beach is one of the main and well-known attraction spots. You can build an epic sandcastle!
Siesta Key is an affordable beach town in Florida, where you can live a quality life at an inexpensive price and enjoy the “island lifestyle”. The city has a strong cultural scene and art and there is no chance you will ever get bored!
Siesta Key is a top growing Florida city that attracts IT companies and provides job opportunities to a lot of youth. The healthcare scene is also upgraded with the setting up of Sarasota Memorial Hospital. There are more than 30 public schools in the area offering quality education to students.
Unbelievably affordable coastal living in Florida, Siesta Key is tempting with beautiful snorkeling spots with shallow water and limestone formations. This place is perfect to walk around, it is one of the most pedestrian-friendly places in Florida. You can witness local fishes, marine life, snapper, snook, and sometimes gentle manatee. Siesta Key is known as the shelling capital, you can find horse conches, crown shells, or banded tulips.
Places to visit: Siesta Key Beaches, Siesta Key Village, Crescent Beach, Point of Rocks, Turtle Beach, Siesta Key Breeze Trolley, Sunset Point, Siesta Key Drum Circle, Beer Can Island, Anna Maria Island, Historic Bridge Street Pier, historic Ringling Bros, and many more.
- Population: 47,168
- Crime rate: 6.05 (per 1,000 residents)
- Median home value: $276,000
- Perfect for: Young professionals and retirees
Along the Indian River Lagoon in Brevard County lies Titusville, a gateway to both nature and the space center. Titusville is also called “Space City, USA” because this is one of the centerpieces of Florida’s Space Coast which is a mile away from Kennedy Space Centre.
Titusville is the cheapest place to live on the Florida coast, famous for gorgeous beaches, memorable sunsets and rocket launching. With the perfect location, Titusville is connected by railroad from the small community Enterprise, and Daytona Beach. You can walk around the city and learn things from the American Space Museum and Walk of Fame.
Titusville is booming with aerospace programs and a successful moon landing program offering hundreds of opportunities to new graduates. Titusville got a nickname called “Miracle city”. From here you can assess Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Canaveral National Seashore, and local delicacy options.
Titusville, the cheapest beach town in Florida is gifted with an unspoiled natural landscape and 24 miles of protected coastline with gorgeous views. Playalinda Beach is one of the private, nude beaches that beckon explorers of all ages. You can go hiking in Atlantic Coastal Ridge which is a designated wildlife sanctuary.
Places to visit: Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, Valiant Air Command Warbirds Museum, Maxwell C. King Center, Veterans Memorial of Titusville, Titusville Art League, and many more. I would recommend you to visit “The Cape” along the shoreline and sit peacefully and watch rocket launching.
- Population: 85,064
- Crime rate: 37.69(per 1,000 residents)
- Median home value: $331,000
- Perfect for: Families, students, retirees
Melbourne is a hidden gem among the many beach towns in Florida, offering visitors a relaxed and affordable beach experience. The community is home to stunning white sand beaches that are ideal for surfing, swimming, and sunbathing.
During my research, I found that Melbourne has a strong sense of community and is home to several family-friendly events throughout the year, such as the annual Seafood Festival and the Art Festival. The downtown area is vibrant with unique shops, restaurants, and galleries.
Additionally, Melbourne is conveniently located near popular attractions such as the Kennedy Space Center and the Brevard Zoo. Brevard Zoo is one of the most well-known zoos in Florida. Overall, Melbourne is a great option for those seeking an affordable beach vacation without sacrificing on the quality of their experience.
Places to visit:
Melbourne, Florida has a variety of attractions to offer including the Brevard Zoo, Historic Downtown Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, Andretti Thrill Park, the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts, Foosaner Art Museum, and Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands. Visitors of all ages can find enjoyment at these attractions.
4. Daytona Beach
- Population: 70,167
- Crime rate: 9.99 (per 1,000 residents)
- Median home value: $330,000
- Perfect for: Car enthusiasts, retirees, career professionals
Daytona Beach is 1 hour away from St. Augustine and 30 minutes away from West Volusia. Daytona Beach is one of the cheapest beach towns to visit in Florida to enjoy the white sand beaches for relaxing and playing. Interestingly, fishing and racing fast car is very popular quieter pastimes among the residents.
South Daytona, Daytona Beach Shores, Indigo lakes, and Ortona Homes are preferred by retired people in Florida. The city is packed with professional drivers and IT and crew professionals. High-end boutiques and expansive mall outlets are making it perfect for career professionals.
NASCAR has its headquarters offering a large number of job opportunities to the youth. Other companies like Brown & Brown offer jobs to commerce students, Embrey-Riddle Aeronautical University offers jobs to teachers, and International Speedway Corporation offers jobs to automotive engineers and mechanics and many more. Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona is famous for offering quality education to students.
You can be part of plenty of outdoor activities like taking part in golf courses, dolphin watching along the Halifax River, visiting museums and art galleries or visiting the Deland Memorial Hospital Museum, or hiking to Buncombe hill interpretive trail, Manatee Island Loop and many more.
Places to visit: Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, Dunlawton Sugar Mill Garden, Daytona Lagoon and many more.
Note: Daytona Beach is also one of the gay beaches in Florida.
5. Fort Pierce
- Population: 46,604
- Crime rate: 5.37 (per 1,000 residents)
- Median home value: $317,000
- Perfect for: Retirees and middle-aged people
Fort Pierce is located in St. Lucie County along the Treasure Coast of the east coast of Florida. The “Sunrise City” is approximately 29 square miles, diverse with heritage, culture and contemporary activities to perform. Fort Pierce is the most affordable place to live in Florida near the beach, offering gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University near Fort Pierce offers quality marine education to students. The Manatee Observation and Education Center offers environmental education and wildlife observation centers. There is the presence of several state parks, including Fort Pierce Inlet State Park, and many where you can relax and spend time.
Fort Pierce is famous for offering world-class fishing, Farmers Market, and other ample things to do in peace. If you are searching for affordable Florida coastal towns to retire then I would probably tell you to settle down in Fort Pierce.
The tranquil streets with a peaceful welcoming quiet environment and proximity to open spaces and nature is the dream of many. Fort Pierce is a great vacation spot in Florida in February.
Places to visit: A. E. Backus Gallery and Museum, Sailfish Brewing Company, Jack Island Preserve State Park, George LeStrange Preserve, Sweetwater Hammock Preserve, Jetty Park, and many more.
6. Clearwater Beach
- Population: 118,812
- Crime: 3.94 (per 1,000 residents)
- Median home value: $330,684
- Perfect for: Retirees, career professionals, and kids
Clearwater Beach is a small city in Tampa-St. Petersburg with emerald waters and powdery sands. Clearwater Beach is a stunning casual beach town abuzz with good restaurants, good vibes and good opportunities. In 2021, Travel + Leisure’s released a list stating Clearwater Beach as one of the “14 best beaches in Florida”.
You can never regret moving to Florida because of what spot you will choose, you will always have ample opportunities to be near natural pristine beaches, playgrounds, technology sectors, good educational sector and many shopping centers. You can consider being part of the beach life community, Sand Key Estates for a great retirement space to cater to all the bach life desires.
Clearwater offers highly-ranked workplaces culture like Marketopia, Baycare Health System, Vology, Honeywell Aerospace and many more. There’s a certain charm and plenty of opportunities to be a part of the business that has grown within the city. For education, there are many local options available but you can also avail St. Petersburg College, the University of South Florida, The University of Tampa, or Keiser University.
However, I cannot deny that here you can step onto the sun-kissed sands of Florida’s best party beaches, where the ocean’s melody intertwines with the electrifying tunes of top DJs.
Del Oro Groves, Northwood Estates, Charter Oaks, Eagle Estates, Morningside Meadows, and many more are the popular neighborhoods in Clearwater. Clearwater is an affordable place to live in Florida with plenty of entertainment options and family-friendly museums.
Places to visit: Sunsets at Pier 60 beach, Clearwater Beach, Caladesi Island, Fort De Soto Park, Pass-a-Grille Beach, Moccasin Lake Nature Park, Bilheimer Capital Theatre and many more.
- Population: 53,678
- Crime rate: 6.17 (per 1,000 residents)
- Median home value: $233,357
- Perfect for: retires and career professionals
Along the Gulf of Mexico – the Gulf Islands National Seashore, Pensacola is an inexpensive beach town in Florida Panhandle to live in. Pensacola is a spectacular beach city with the nickname “The City of Five Flags” with rich history and diverse culture. US News analyzed Pensacola as the best place to live in terms of the job market, education, and quality of life.
The biggest employment opportunity offered by Pensacola is in the tourism, entertainment, hospitality industry, and retail trade. The Naval Air Station Pensacola brings military personnel, veterans, and their families to the town offering a lot of job opportunities. For education, Pensacola State College offers 100 programs making it one of the favorite places for the learners.
Pensacola Beach is a popular attraction spot attracting tourists all over the world. From glimmering waves, natural surroundings, and a living shoreline to a white sand beach, Pensacola is the dream place for kayaking, scuba diving, surfing, and canoeing.
Pensacola, a small beach town in Florida is accessible from New Orleans, Mississippi, Gulfport, Mobile, Alabama, and many southern cities. It is a great place for backpackers who love to travel on a budget. You can explore the city beyond water bodies by visiting public parks, hiking, camping trails, ecological restoration, and protected wildlife areas.
Places to visit: National Naval Aviation Museum, the Pensacola Lighthouse, the Pensacola Museum of History, Maritime Museum, Fort Pickens, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Project GreenShores, and many more.
Read Also: 11 Best Beach Towns In Texas You Can’t Miss
8. Fort Walton Beach
- Population: 20,904
- Crime rate: 24.67 (per 1,000 residents)
- Median home value: $365,500
- Perfect for: Retires and career professionals
Fort Walton Beach is a beautiful beach town located on Florida’s Emerald Coast. It is known for its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and laid-back atmosphere. What makes Fort Walton Beach stand out as one of the cheapest beach towns in Florida is the affordable accommodation and dining options available.
Visitors can find reasonably priced hotels, vacation rentals, and campgrounds. It is one of the most affordable warm places to visit in the US in winter. The town also has a variety of restaurants that offer affordable seafood and other cuisine. One of the best things about Fort Walton Beach is the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful beaches and stunning sunsets for free. The town also includes a number of parks and nature paths that provide free opportunities to experience the area’s natural splendor.
Another way to save money is to take advantage of the many free events and festivals that take place throughout the year, including the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival and the Okaloosa Island Fireworks. In general, Fort Walton Beach is a great option for people seeking for a cheap beach vacation with lots of opportunities for adventure and relaxation.
9. Vero Beach
- Population: 18,406
- Crime rate: 2.08 (per 1,000 residents)
- Median home value: $349,691
- Perfect for: Retirees, and middle age
Vero Beach is one of the safest beach towns in Florida nested between the Atlantic and the Indian River. This hidden gem in Florida had 26 miles of gorgeous public beaches. Round Island Park is one of the famous public beaches to spot manatees in Indian River County. You would love to soak up in the sun and enjoy the beautiful beach life!
The tourism and citrus industry is the main sector that keeps the economy of Vero Beach affluent. Piper Aircraft located here offers good employment opportunities to the people. There are a lot of shopping centers, art galleries, and stores to keep you busy while strolling around.
Places to visit: Humiston Park, South Beach, Sea Grape Trail, Jaycee Park, Maher Building, Driftwood Inn, Ambersand Beach, McKee Botanical Garden, Turtle Trail, and many more.
Seaside living doesn’t mean bankruptcy. Now that you are well aware of the cheapest beach towns in Florida, it is time to plan and decide in which place you want to reside. These inexpensive beach cities in Florida offer a standard quality of living with good job opportunities, quality education, and an amazing ambiance.
These cities are continuously growing in terms of diversity, education, job opportunities, and standard of living. These beach towns have modest houses at reasonable prices and picture-square environments for you to settle down. If you are planning to move to Florida, check out our ultimate Florida packing list and also know about the pros and cons of living in the Sunshine State.
Learn More About Florida:
- Escape the Cold: Uncover Florida’s Coziest Beaches for Winter Sun in December
- 16Beautiful Lakes in Florida
- 12 Best Shelling Beaches in Florida
FAQs: Cheapest Beach Towns in Florida
1. Which is better Key West or the Florida Keys?
A: Both Key West and the Florida Keys are perfect for summer vacations and outdoor activities. But, Key West is better than Florida Keys in terms of bumping nightlife, shimmering sunset views, great food, and historic buildings like Hemingway’s Home. Learn more about the pros and cons of living in the Florida Keys.
2. Which coastal town in Florida has the lowest cost of living?
A: Florida’s alluring Space Coast, Melbourne Beach is the best affordable destination in Florida. Other least expensive coastal towns in Florida are Sebastian, Palm Bay, Port Orange, Fort Pierce, and Daytona Beach.
3. What coastal area of Florida has the cheapest rent?
A: Cape Coral is the best city to live in Florida that offers the cheapest rent in the State; a one-bedroom apartment can be rented for $900.