Special Report

America's Richest Beach Towns

Beach towns always seem like ideal places to live. Whether you like a relaxed atmosphere, water sports, partying on the shores, romantic boardwalks, or beachfront with plenty of restaurants, there’s a beach town out there for you. This combination of coastal views, range of activities, and easy going vibe can be irresistible. 

While there are affordable towns that provide this beach town lifestyle, many of them are quite rich. In these towns, residents’ income is far higher than it is nationwide, and poverty rates tend to be extremely low. (Not stuck on a beach? This is the best place to buy a vacation home.)

To determine America’s richest beach towns, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on beach length, income, and occupancy for towns, cities, villages, and census-designated places from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. Beach towns were ranked based on median household income.  

The towns on this list have an annual median household income of more than $125,000, nearly double the national median household income of $69,560 in 2019. Five towns have median annual household incomes above $200,000. Poverty rates are also extremely low – in most towns in the single digits. The national poverty rate was 10.5% in 2019.

The towns are also concentrated in only a few states, with New York home to 15, Florida 12, and California eight. Many of the towns are quite small, population wise, with 18 towns home to fewer than a thousand permanent residents and only four home to more than 10,000 residents.  Laguna Beach, California, is the largest, with 23,000 residents.

If you are dreaming of living in a beach town, don’t give up on that dream. While a house in Malibu, California, may set you back a million or two (or more), there are more affordable places. This is the best place in America to own a beach house.

Click here to see America’s richest beach towns
Click here to read our detailed methodology