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The Best Places to Live By the Beach in the U.S.

Where to move for sun and sand.

For people who aren’t big fans of frigid winters or sweltering summers, climate may be a deciding factor in where to live – with some narrowing the possibilities even further because they can’t resist the call of the ocean. Out of the 150 most populous metro areas in the U.S., we looked at coastal spots where locals love spending time on the beach. These 20 places are ranked according to the order they appear on the overall Best Places to Live 2020-2021 list, which factors in each area’s affordability, job market, morning commute and access to quality health care, among other details.

18. Santa Barbara, California

Best Places 2020-2021 Rank: 104
Metro Population: 443,738
Median Home Price: $464,954
Average Annual Salary: $54,890

You may like the climate of Southern California, but the crowds in Los Angeles may not be for you. Santa Barbara is just a little way up the coast from LA, offering plenty of seaside options to live and relax without the same crowds. With the Los Padres National Forest located directly north, the Santa Barbara area remains relatively small, making getting around easier if you also work nearby. Many do, as Santa Barbara residents spend an average of 19.8 minutes on their morning commute.

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