7 Most Affordable Beach Towns In Texas

7 Most Affordable Beach Towns In Texas

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Want a beach spot in Texas that’s easy on the wallet? Whether you’re looking to visit or move, there are some affordable options.

We’ve listed the cheapest beach towns in Texas, perfect for your next home or getaway!

Surfside Beach

On the Gulf coast of Texas in Brazoria County, Surfside Beach offers gorgeous white sand beaches and gentle surf, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing, and more.

Surfside Beach is a popular spot for surfing, with consistent waves rolling in from the Gulf. If you want to hit the waves, rent a surfboard or take lessons from one of the local surf shops. When you need a break from the sun and surf, stroll along the Surfside Beach Pier or check out the local shops and restaurants along Bluewater Highway.

Housing costs in Surfside Beach are very budget-friendly. The average home value is around $367,000, and rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $800 monthly. Compared to other beach towns, Surfside Beach real estate is very affordable.

In addition to swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and beachcombing, Surfside Beach offers opportunities for kayaking, bird watching, and fishing along the coast and in Surfside Beach Wetlands Park. You can also visit the Surfside Beach Pier, which extends 1,000 feet into the Gulf of Mexico, for scenic views and picturesque sunsets.

Matagorda

With miles of uncrowded beaches, world-class fishing, and low living costs, Matagorda, Texas beach town is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

Matagorda has around 58 miles of beach to explore, with 23 miles open for driving right onto the sand. You’ll find soft white sand, gentle surf, and abundant seashells along the shore. The beaches are rarely crowded, so you can easily find a secluded spot to relax in the sun or go beachcombing.

Whether you enjoy fishing, bird watching, kayaking, or beach combing, there are plenty of recreational activities in Matagorda’s natural surroundings. Matagorda Island Wildlife Management Area comprises over 56,000 acres of barrier islands and marshes teeming with wildlife.

Cast a line at Matagorda Harbor or along the beachfront for trout, redfish, flounder, and more. You can rent kayaks or boats to explore the Colorado River and Matagorda Bay.

A single adult’s total cost of living in Matagorda is just over $45,000 a year. Housing costs are affordable, with the median home value around $301,701. Groceries, healthcare, and transportation are all lower than the national average. Your money will go further in this beach town, allowing you to enjoy an extended stay.

South Padre Island

South Padre Island is a tropical paradise that won’t break the bank. The island’s Housing and living expenses are lower than the state and national averages. You can live an affordable beach lifestyle here without sacrificing quality of life.

South Padre Island has mild winters and hot, humid summers. The average high temperature in January is 66 F, while July highs average 91 F. The warm, wet climate means you can enjoy the beach year-round. Outdoor activities like swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing, boating, and fishing are popular ways to spend your free time on the island.

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment on South Padre Island averages around $750 per month. You can find small houses to rent for under $1,000 or buy a condo for under $300,000. Lower housing costs mean your budget stretches further here than in other beach towns.

The natural scenery and slower pace of life on South Padre Island attract many retirees and seasonal residents. Tourism remains an important industry, but the island maintains a small-town vibe. Families appreciate the safe, kid-friendly atmosphere.

With miles of undeveloped shoreline, South Padre Island’s beaches have a peaceful, uncrowded feel. You can go beach camping right on the sand or stay at an affordable beachfront hotel. Seafood restaurants, beach bars, and annual events like Sandcastle Days and the Kite Festival provide entertainment options for residents and visitors alike.

Rockport

Rockport is a small beach town nestled on Texas’s Gulf Coast. It’s especially recognized for its exceptional fishing and birdwatching experiences.

Living in Rockport is notably affordable, with the cost of living falling 7% below the national average. If you’re considering moving there, a one-bedroom apartment typically goes for about $953 a month, and a single person would spend approximately $33,616 annually on essentials like housing, food, and transportation.

But what really captures hearts in Rockport? Well, there’s a generous stretch of sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, which are ideal for swimming, sunbathing, or even building sandcastles. Fishing enthusiasts will appreciate the abundant sea trout and red drum in the area, and there’s no shortage of fishing charters and bait shops.

Birdwatchers, on the other hand, can spot over 300 species along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. As you wander the town, you’ll discover charming shops, art galleries, and restaurants dotting the harbor. For those who love water sports, Copano and Aransas Bays offer options like kayaking and jet skiing.

Port Arthur

Located in Jefferson County, Port Arthur borders Louisiana and offers access to Sabine Lake and the Gulf of Mexico. The cost of living here is 10% below the national average, with rent for a one-bedroom apartment averaging just $844 monthly. Overall, living expenses for a single adult, including housing, food, transportation, and healthcare, come to around $31,300 annually.

This historic city was once a center of oil production and refining. Today, its economy has diversified into healthcare, education, and tourism. The downtown area has buildings from the late 1800s and early 1900s that have been beautifully preserved. You can take a self-guided walking tour to explore landmarks like the First United Methodist Church, the Hotel Sabine fireplace, and the old City Hall.

Outdoor recreation revolves around the water, including boating, fishing, swimming, and bird watching. Sabine Lake, in particular, is a hotspot for catching speckled trout, redfish, flounder, and black drum. Pack your tackle box and bait your line for casual angling from the shore or boat. For swimming and sunbathing, head to Pleasure Island, a man-made island with lovely beaches along its northern shore.

Culture vultures will enjoy the Museum of the Gulf Coast, with exhibits on the region’s history, wildlife, and petroleum industry. There’s also a historic theater downtown that hosts musical performances and other live shows. Don’t miss the Shrimporee, held each June. It’s a popular seafood and music festival celebrating Port Arthur’s shrimping heritage.

Galveston

Galveston’s cost of living is 10% lower than the national average. The median price of a home in Galveston is $359,317, below both the Texas and national median prices.

Galveston offers excellent amenities, including festivals, live concerts, and pet-friendly areas. Galveston Island has some of Texas’s best attractions, including Moody Gardens, Schlitterbahn Waterpark, and the historic downtown Strand District. You’ll never run out of things to do in this charming coastal town.

With 32 miles of beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston has no shortage of spots to dig your toes in the sand. Some popular beaches are Stewart Beach, East Beach, Seawall Beach, and the historic Galveston Seawall.

No matter which beach you choose, the soft sand and gentle surf provide the perfect setting for a relaxing getaway. Whether you want to go shelling, swimming, sunbathing, or sandcastle building, Galveston’s beaches offer fun for everyone.

Galveston is also an extremely pet-friendly town, with many hotels, restaurants, and attractions welcoming four-legged friends. Leashed dogs are permitted on all Galveston beaches, and many businesses have water bowls and treats for furry patrons. No need to leave your faithful companion behind when you visit this charming island escape.

Port Aransas

Port Aransas is a small coastal town on Mustang Island that has over 18 miles of beach and an average monthly one-bedroom rent of just over $1,000.

As locals call it, Port A is a nature lover’s paradise. You can go fishing and boating in the Gulf of Mexico or Corpus Christi Bay, spot dolphins and migrating birds at the Port Aransas Nature Preserve, or tee off at the Palmilla Beach Golf Club. Beachcombing, sunbathing, and sandcastles are popular pastimes along the wide, sandy shore.

A single adult’s total cost of living in Port Aransas is $34,287 per year, well below the national average. Housing, food, and transportation are all very affordable. You can get fresh local seafood, Tex-Mex fare, or casual diner grub without paying resort prices. Many businesses offer discounts or specials, especially in the off-season.

Port Aransas has a permanent population of just 2,904, so it retains a peaceful small-town vibe even during the busy summer. The picturesque harbor has locally owned shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Historic landmarks like the Tarpon Inn and Lydia Ann Lighthouse add character. And since there are no mega-resorts, traffic and crowds are minimal.

What is the Most Affordable Beach Town in Texas?

As you can see, there are a lot of Texas beach towns that are affordable. But if you’re looking to save some cash and still have a blast, Galveston stands out.

Its living costs are about 10% cheaper than most places in the U.S., and you can find a home there without burning a hole in your pocket.

Now, don’t get me wrong, all these beach towns are pretty awesome in their own right. But dollar for dollar, Galveston has a sweet mix of affordability and beach vibes.

More From Dollar Sanity:

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