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5 CA Beach, Lakeside Towns Rank Among Best In U.S.

Patch logo Patch 6/21/2021 Kat Schuster
a large body of water with a city in the background: Newport Beach ranked no. 4 out of the top 10 beach towns in the U.S. The city is also home to Crystal Cove, arguably one of the best beaches, possibly anywhere, to hike down to and catch the sunset. © Getty Images Newport Beach ranked no. 4 out of the top 10 beach towns in the U.S. The city is also home to Crystal Cove, arguably one of the best beaches, possibly anywhere, to hike down to and catch the sunset.

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — For many, having the roar of the ocean within earshot or a waterfront within walking distance sounds like a far-off fantasy. But a recent report from Wallethub argues that it might be more attainable than it sounds.

Last week, Wallethub ranked 2021's best oceanside and lakeside towns in the U.S. based on several factors ranging from housing costs to quality of beach water.

Three Golden State beach towns made the top ten list for the top 10 ocean beach towns in the nation, and two California lakeside towns landed on the top 10 lake beach towns in the U.S.

"Sadly, some people don’t pursue their dream of living by the water, precisely because of the misconception that beach towns are relatively more expensive and generally less livable than landlocked cities," Wallethub analysts said. "Contrary to popular belief, however, many beach towns are suitable to everyday life — and easy on the wallet."

The financial advice website compared 191 cities across 62 indicators of livability such as the lowest median annual property taxes, the highest percentage of for-sale waterfront homes, highest water temperatures, lowest violent crime rates and more.

In California, three towns — Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Santa Monica — made the top 10 list of best ocean beach towns. As for lakeside locations, Folsom, and Southlake Tahoe made the top 10 list of best lake beach towns.

Laguna Beach ranked no. 2 out of the best oceanside towns. The quaint Orange County beach town isn't exactly the most affordable place to live but its breathtaking views, crystalline waters, annual festivals and eclectic art scene make it one of the most desirable places to live.

Newport Beach came in at no. 4 and is known for its nightlife, harbor and bustling nightlife. The city is also home to Crystal Cove, arguably one of the best beaches, possibly anywhere, to hike down to and catch the sunset.

Santa Monica, known for its glamor and deeply rooted history with Hollywood stars and musicians, ranked no. 10. The beach has 3.5 miles of soft sand and is within walking distance to restaurants, shops and hotels. In the middle of the main beach is the iconic Santa Monica pier, which has an amusement park, an aquarium and a variety of eateries.

See the full list here: 2021's Best Beach Towns to Live in

Top 10 Ocean Beach Towns

1. Naples, FL

2. Laguna Beach, CA

3. Lahaina, HI

4. Newport Beach, CA

5. North Myrtle Beach, SC

6. Sarasota, FL

7. Kailua, HI

8. Boca Raton, FL

9. Destin, FL

10. Santa Monica, CA

Top 10 Lake Beach Towns

1. Traverse City, MI

2. Folsom, CA

3. Redmond, WA

4. Mercer Island, WA

5. Cornelius, NC

6. Davidson, NC

7. Kirkland, WA

8. South Lake Tahoe, CA

9. Highland Park, IL

10. Brookfield, WI

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