Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

The 10 Best Beach Towns to Retire in the U.S. | Retirement

Key Takeaways:

  • Florida offers many great beach towns for retirement, with options to suit various budgets.
  • Beyond Florida, coastal cities such as Portland, Maine, provide cooler temperatures and distinct seasons.
  • When considering coastal retirement, factors like housing affordability, health care and amenities play a key role.
  • Whether you crave a vibrant city by the beach or a quiet laid-back community, there’s a coastal retirement town to satisfy most preferences.

Many people dream about retiring by the beach. But a remote beach area isn’t always the right fit for retirees, who also need access to amenities and services, such as quality health care and transportation options.

When you think of retirement locales, Florida is probably the first state to come to mind – and for good reason. With its ample coastline, there’s no shortage of great beach towns to choose from, and the cost of living is low.

Still, Florida isn’t the only state hosting great beach cities for retirees.

U.S. News reached out to real estate experts and combed the cities highlighted in U.S. News’ 2024 Best Places to Retire rankings to find the best beach towns for retirees. Cities are listed in alphabetical order.

Daytona Beach, Florida

If you’re looking for a cheap place to retire near the beach, consider Daytona Beach. The median home price is $375,917, and the median rent is $1,181 per month. The city is a popular retirement spot, and 25% of the population is 65 or older. But this is not a sleepy seaside community. The headquarters for NASCAR is home to several large motor sports events each year.

Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville boasts 22 miles of white-sand beaches along the Atlantic coast. Movie nights and musical events are frequently hosted at the Seawalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach during the spring and summer months. The Jacksonville Beach Pier provides opportunities for deep-water fishing and strolling nearly a quarter mile past the shore. And the less-crowded Neptune Beach often attracts surfers.

This northern Florida city near the Georgia state line is bisected by the St. Johns River, which provides additional opportunities for boating and fishing. The median home price is $391,804, the median monthly rent is $1,175 and about 16% of the population is 65 or older.

Melbourne, Florida

Melbourne is an affordable beach town for retirement. The median home price is $217,400, and the median monthly rent is $1,185. In Melbourne, about 24% of the residents are 65 or older. The Indian River Lagoon separates the mainland from a barrier island, which is a popular spot to catch glimpses of passing dolphins and sea turtles.

You can visit the beach where Juan Ponce de León first landed in North America in 1513 near Melbourne Beach or observe sea turtles at the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, which stretches 20.5 miles between Melbourne Beach and Wabasso Beach. Residents of Melbourne enjoy a beach retirement along the Atlantic Ocean at reasonable prices.

Naples, Florida

Naples is more expensive than many other parts of Florida and is known as a tropical playground for the powerful and wealthy. The median home price is $823,196, and the median monthly rent is $1,440. But many people find the high quality of life in Naples to be worth the cost.

In Naples, 32% of its population is aged 65 or older. Located along the Gulf of Mexico, the Naples and Marco Island area is an ideal spot to enjoy golf, sunshine and white-sand beaches.

Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola scores high marks for desirability, with many people age 45 and older expressing an interest in moving to the area. Located on Pensacola Bay near the Gulf of Mexico, this popular beach retirement spot is an ideal place to enjoy Perdido Key, Pensacola Beach and the Gulf Islands National Seashore. You’ll find that about 17% of the population is 65 or older, the median cost of a home is $316,695 and renters pay a median of $1,105 monthly.

Portland, Maine

If you’re interested in retiring near the ocean without the humidity of a tropical destination, consider Portland. Maine’s most populous city has four distinct seasons with warm summers and cold, snowy winters.

Portland has a wide variety of restaurants, and foodies will enjoy sampling diverse and innovative cuisines, local produce and fresh seafood. The median home price is $501,164, and renters pay a median of $1,180 monthly. This college town is also home to the University of Southern Maine, but about 20% of the population is 65 or older.

Port St. Lucie, Florida

Located about halfway between Miami and Orlando, Port St. Lucie is more laid back and affordable than these larger cities.

“Port St. Lucie has seen a huge influx of retirees over the last five years, and every major homebuilder is busy developing communities to satisfy the demand – particularly among the 55-plus community,” said Misha Ezratti, the president of Florida homebuilding company GL Homes, in an email.

Port St. Lucie scored high on the desirability metric, and many people age 45 and older are interested in retiring in the area, according to a U.S. News survey. About 26% of the population is age 65 or older. The median home price is $429,104, and the median monthly rent is $1,256.

“Among the city’s chief assets as a beach town for retirement are its home prices, proximity to pristine Atlantic Ocean beaches, access to top-notch hospitals and accessibility to major markets,” Ezratti said.

Sarasota, Florida

“Florida has many beach towns that are excellent for retirement. Sarasota, in particular, has become a popular one. It has a population of 55,000, so it’s not as packed as the bigger cities in Florida like Miami or Orlando,” said Seamus Nally, the chief executive officer of TurboTenant, in an email.

Sarasota’s picturesque beaches, including Lido Key and Siesta Key, draw many visitors and retirees to the area. The unusual quartz sand at Siesta Beach stays cool even on sunny days. But that’s not all it has to offer.

“There are tons of things to do, ranging from lounging on the beach to spending hours at various art museums and fantastic restaurants. And since it’s become a more popular retirement destination, it’s a great place to connect with other retirees,” Nally said.

Tampa, Florida

Located along the Gulf Coast and Tampa Bay, Tampa promises powdery sand and swaying palms along with the skyscrapers and high-rises of a major metro area. The combination can work well for retirees looking for an affordable place to retire near the beach without giving up the amenities and services of city living.

Tampa’s entertainment options include a port for cruise ships, theme parks and professional sports teams. The median home price is $427,241, and the median rent is $1,230 monthly. About 20% of Tampa’s population is 65 or older.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach boasts 38 miles of coastline, with no shortage of clean, accessible and pet-friendly beaches. The local community enjoys outdoor activities such as kayaking, water skiing and horseback riding. It may be a great fit for you if you want a mild coastal climate but also want to experience all four seasons.

The median home price in the area is $317,466, the median monthly rent is $1,227. In Virginia Beach, about 15% of the community is 65 or older. The area is also home to shopping and cultural centers, including the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.

Sarah Goldberg
Sarah Goldberg

Sarah is a seasoned financial market expert with a decade of experience. She's known for her analytical skills, attention to detail, and ability to communicate complex financial concepts. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance, is a licensed financial advisor, and enjoys reading and traveling in her free time.

Articles: 821