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Great Beach towns
Old 06-01-2017, 07:55 AM   #1
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Great Beach towns

I love the beach, lived all my life on the East coast within an hour of the "shore" or "beach" (depending on where you're from).

Anyhoo, for as long as I can remember I wanted to retire during the cold months to a beach town. Now that I'm semi-retired I realize that I know NOTHING! time to start researching.

What are some great beach towns you've been too.

I know that's a wide open questions so I'll add a bit of what i'd like.

1) must be at least warm in the winter. I love Cape May NJ but February it's just as cold as in Philly.

2) Don't want super cosmopolitan. I've been to Miami, while I had a good time I don't want to live there.

3) somewhat affordable. I've only been to California once (to visit brother stationed in San Diego), while it was gorgeous, a lot of the stories from people here scare me with the housing cost.

4) don't need beachfront property. I am in no way rich. 5 million for a beach house, sooo not gonna happen.

some of the places that have been suggested.
1) Tybee Island GA
2) Naples Florida
3) Virginia Beach VA
4) Myrtle beach SC
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:05 AM   #2
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Central Myrtle Beach is rather built up. Cherry Grove SC is rather less so.
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:06 AM   #3
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Murrell's Inlet, SC looks like a nice spot, but I was hoping to get to Florida so to avoid paying income tax. One of my to do list items is to find a Florida coast spot that is like Murrell's Inlet...kind of sleepy and to far from a metropolis so I wouldn't need to compete with the workaday types. I'm familiar with Zephyrhills, not a beach spot, but sleepy and cheaper than a beach spot.
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:06 AM   #4
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The beach communities along the Gulf Coast are very popular--from Alabama east. Some of the off beach communities are decent places to live.

However you've really got to get south of Tampa to be assured of warm winter weather.

From Sarasota south is the preferable part of Florida. And the Ft. Pierce area on the east coast is less expensive and less congested than communities south of there.
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:14 AM   #5
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I'm also familiar with Ft Pierce, Pt St Lucie, Stuart, etc. Those are family locations for me and pretty close to the action, hehe! I'm not sure I need a tee shirt level winter, so northern Florida would work. Hadn't really considered the panhandle, but that might be an option.
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:45 AM   #6
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I can't really recommend Myrtle Beach SC. It has gotten way overbuilt, and the tourists swell the population beyond the infrastructure's capacity almost every week of the year. Even Murrell's Inlet is booming.

Those small beachy towns around Stuart and Jensen Beach have an appealing old-time Florida feel. Here, take a look....

Jensen Beach Webcam
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Old 06-01-2017, 09:09 AM   #7
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Central Myrtle Beach is rather built up. Cherry Grove SC is rather less so.
I used to take my family to Cherry Grove every year. It was quiet, quaint, and beautiful. Could take a golf cart to Boulineaux's grocery and it was a stroll. I'm not sure what ordinance's changed but they now have high rise condo's all up and down the coast. Last time we were there we couldn't even drive down the road there were so many people crossing the street in front of us.
I absolutely loved the place. Even considered retiring there. Now I won't even vacation there anymore. It's a shame too. I love playing Tidewater GC and what Cherry Grove used to be.

My favorite spot now is New Smyrna Beach in Florida. Been going there often recently. Only problem with it is, just like everything else. It's about 90 minutes or so from Orlando. So all the Orlando money is buying condo's in NSB for weekend getaways and driving the pricing way up. NSB is a quiet little surf town that is perfect for my needs. Hope to move there before it gets priced out of my market.
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Old 06-01-2017, 09:12 AM   #8
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The beach communities along the Gulf Coast are very popular--from Alabama east. Some of the off beach communities are decent places to live.

However you've really got to get south of Tampa to be assured of warm winter weather.

From Sarasota south is the preferable part of Florida. And the Ft. Pierce area on the east coast is less expensive and less congested than communities south of there.
It doesn't have to be 70 deg plus. maybe the better word is "milder". for example I was researching Tybee and the average feb low is 39 deg. average march low is 46. Beats the heck out of 10 degrees.

Thks.
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Old 06-01-2017, 09:20 AM   #9
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Gulf Shores, Alabama. "Small Town, Big Beach" Very affordable and family friendly.
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Old 06-01-2017, 09:30 AM   #10
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Horses for courses and all that, but St. Simons Island beats Tybee, IMO.
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Old 06-01-2017, 10:48 AM   #11
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Virginia Beach is going to be too chilly for you...we spent a mid-Jan to mid-Feb there several years ago. Everyday was at a least sweatshirt or heavier, Not one shirtsleeve day.
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:23 AM   #12
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Sorry that California scares you. We live in Ventura County 15 minutes from the Ocean in a +55 MHP. A new manufactured home costs about 200K, with some older models for less. The space rent is also reasonable.
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:19 PM   #13
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Sorry that California scares you. We live in Ventura County 15 minutes from the Ocean in a +55 MHP. A new manufactured home costs about 200K, with some older models for less. The space rent is also reasonable.
Thanks Souschef, lol actually wasn't until I started hanging out here that I got panicky. Everyone says how expensive it is to live in California
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:24 PM   #14
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Wilmington NC?
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:24 PM   #15
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I would consider the keys from Bradenton south. If sweater weather is fine, then Madeira Beach north of John's Pass.
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:35 PM   #16
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What about renting? I come from the land of snow birding (NYC). If your finances allow instead of buying ,rent. My old work buddy married money , his 3rd wife had property everywhere including Boca Raton. They rented out for the winter months to a retired dentist. the guy renewed the rental every year till he died. It was a water front condo building. Fully furnished linen included. 2 beds 2 baths, i think the rent was 3200 a month as of 3 years ago.
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:59 PM   #17
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Just bought in Nokomis, Florida. Close enough to Sarasota if you want culture/action but very laid back. Winters are fantastic. Nice community beachs. Prices are still reasonable. JMHO
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:02 PM   #18
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California Girl here.

My favorites in Southern CA are Laguna Beach, San Clemente and Northern CA, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. Keep in mind, Northern CA is colder than Southern CA. And they have a later summer than we do down south
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:14 PM   #19
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Horses for courses and all that, but St. Simons Island beats Tybee, IMO.
+1 We have vacationed on SSI two winters in a row. Jekyll is nice too. Brunswick isn't particularly nice but it has most all of the big box stores you'd ever need.

If you are looking for consistently nice weather in the winter, I would go an hour and a half further south and go to any of the towns on Amelia Island (Fernandina Beach, American Beach) Love driving on the beach there...
Of course, if you want warm water, the Atlantic isn't it...
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Old 06-01-2017, 02:22 PM   #20
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I suggest you take a look at the Florida Gulf Coast between Panama City and Pensacola.

Nice sugar sand beaches and range of housing types and prices. The weather is a little cooler in the winter than I prefer, but there were only a few weeks where I had to wear both pants and closed shoes.

Gets busy in the summer like most resort areas, but the infrastructure and dining to support the tourists is there to enjoy after they leave.
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