toes in the sand
2 nearby Gulf Coast cities beckon among most affordable beachfront destinations in U.S.
Few things are as relaxing as waking up to the sound of waves crashing onto the beach, or watching the stunning views of the sunrise from the comfort of an oceanfront room.
If a trip down to the coast is in the air, there's good news for Texas travelers: Port Aransas and Galveston have some of the least expensive beachfront accommodations in the country, according to a new study by travel experts Upgraded Points.
The two popular coastal towns ranked No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, on a list of the 10 Beach Towns Where You'll Spend the Least on an Ocean View.
To come up with their lists of least and most expensive, researchers crunched the numbers to find the cost of beachfront vacations in 75 prominent coastal cities around the United States. They used data from Airbnb, Travel + Leisure, and Southern Living, and ranked the destinations from the most to least expensive.
For beach-goers looking for the ultimate deal on a ocean-view rental in Port Aransas, hotel prices are only $135 per night, while the average nightly rate for a beachfront Airbnb is $450, the study found. These three-digit price tags are significantly cheaper than the most expensive beach town on the list - Montauk, New York - whose average nightly beachfront Airbnb price comes out to a whopping $1,205.
In Galveston, researchers found, the average waterfront hotel rates are more expensive than Port Aransas' at $233 a night, but are still much cheaper than Montauk's average hotel rate of $639 a night. Oceanfront Airbnbs in Oleander City have an average nightly cost at about $355, which is $850 cheaper per night than Montauk.
"[W]ith the current state of inflation leaving more than half of Americans uncertain about affording a vacation this year, it’s essential to find affordable beach towns that offer an enjoyable getaway without breaking the bank," the report's author said.
The average cost of a weeklong stay in Port Aransas and Galveston are extremely similar: $2,048 and $2,058, respetively. In comparison to the national average accommodation cost, which rings up at about $3,353 for a week, vacationing in either Texas coastal town is about 40 percent more affordable.
The top 10 least expensive beach towns in the U.S. are:
- No. 1 – Cedar Key, Florida
- No. 2 – Ocean Springs, Mississippi
- No. 3 – Ocean Shores, Washington
- No. 4 – Port Aransas, Texas
- No. 5 – Galveston, Texas
- No. 6 – Ocean City, Maryland
- No. 7 – Pawleys Island, South Carolina
- No. 8 – San Juan Island, Washington
- No. 9 – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- No. 10 – Bar Harbor, Maine
Joining Montauk on the other end of the affordability spectrum with the most expensive accommodations across America's most popular beach towns are New York's South Hampton (No. 2) and East Hampton (No. 3). Average weeklong stays in either city will set vacationers back by $6,391 and $6,178, respectively. Rounding out the top five most expensive beach towns are Malibu, California (No. 4) and Folly Beach, South Carolina (No. 5).
The full report can be found on upgradedpoints.com.