Recently, WalletHub compared 191 US cities in order to see which were the most desirable to live in, and, needless to say, the results were surprising. With everything happening in the world, living in a beach town is one more way to enjoy the summer without going far - which was the basis for this statistical comparison. WalletHub compared everything from the cost of living to the quality of beach water, making sure to leave no stone unturned when it came to the top 145 beach cities and towns in the US that are the best.


While a vacation to a serene lakeside beach is what many are dreaming of right now, those who live in these towns already have it made. When it comes to some of the least-crowded locations for a vacation, these towns were the premiere destination for locals - at least until the travel bans are lifted.

Santa Monica, CA

Santa Monica is a well-loved destination for many who love the beach and for those who live there, many couldn't imagine living anywhere else. It's not the number one beach destination in the US (in fact, number one isn't even in California or on the west coast!), but it's understandably in the top five.

Santa Monica is not far from LA which makes it a desirable place to live as well as vacation since LAX is only eight miles away. Downtown LA is only another 13 miles, making it fairly easy to expand travel plans or find something fun to do without paying the price of living in the city. Santa Monica also consists of eight neighborhoods, each offering unique avenues for shopping, dining, nightlife, and, of course, outdoor recreation.

Newport Beach, CA

With ten neighborhoods in Newport Beach, this Southern California gem is number four on the list of the greatest beach towns. Its stunning beach vistas are only part of its charm, the rest lies in the sheer number of things there are to do here. The Newport Beach website is even offering virtual tours of everything visitors can experience there in order to hold them over until travel bans are lifted.

Home to the largest recreational harbor on the west coast, living in Newport Beach is definitely brag-worthy. Those who live there rarely run into boredom simply because a weekend can consist of any number of things, from boating to swimming and surfing or aquatic sports. This modern destination is full of boutique, high-end shopping with quiet residential areas for those who appreciate the lazy, beachside lifestyle.

Boca Raton, FL

Shifting over the east coast, it's also not surprising that Florida takes up a significant residence on this list. While much of Florida is under a careful quarantine watch right now, just the photos of how easygoing and beautiful Boca Raton is will be enough to have anyone booking a trip as soon as travel is safe again.

It's the second-largest of the Palm Beaches and home to just as much history as it is oceanfront views. With over 1,600 feet of recreational space, there's no shortage of beachfront nature to take in here. Its Mediterranean Revivalist architecture makes it a desirable city to live in as well as to vacation at.

Lahaina, HI

Lahaina is a historic whaling village and is part of the National Register of Historic Places. To add a level of poeticism to an already dreamy town, Herman Melville, author of arguably one of the greatest novels of our time, Moby Dick, drew inspiration from his time spent taking leave from sailing in this village.

Lahaina's tropical beauty is undeniable, but there's so much more to love about this historic town - including Front Street, which was named one of the Top Ten Greatest Streets by the American Planning Association.

Related: 10 Beach Towns To Visit In The Fall & Winter

Naples, FL

Number one on WalletHub's list is Naples, Florida. With its easy access to the Gulf of Mexico and affordability for those seeking to vacation, it's truly one of a kind. Also home to high-end shopping as well as a cultural community, Naples has an up and coming art scene as well.

Both Third Street South and Fifth Avenue South are notable parts of the historic downtown and the main attraction for both tourists and locals.

Next: 10 Best Tourist Towns In The US To Visit During The Off-Season