Best Coastal Cities to Retire

When golf and volunteer work are not enough, proper retirement relaxation can mean relocating.

Where better to flee the busy city than to a quaint city on the coast?

So, take a deep breath. Visualize those ocean waves, and start dreaming about what life would be like in any of these coastal cities perfect for kicking back when you’re done punching the clock.

Related: Best Places to Retire

6. Gulfport, MS

Gulfport, MS

The Mississippi Gulf Coast covers 62 miles of shoreline, and Gulfport sits right in the middle. The sand is sugar-fine, and the water is warm and calm. Feel like taking up fishing or kayaking during retirement?

Beyond the beach, the city offers up a quiet alternative to noisier coastal hot spots. If you’re headed for a day on a boat, Jones Park, the crown jewel of the city adjacent to the marina frequently hosts special outdoor events.

If eating your way through retirement sounds ideal, you can pull shrimp, crabs, oysters, and fish right out of the local waters, or leave it to a bevy of high-end restaurants and casual beach bars. When your belly is full, swing by the Island View Casino Resort or the smoke-free Beach View Casino to dip into your retirement savings.

5. Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach, SC

A picturesque beach town on the Atlantic, Myrtle Beach brings in large numbers of tourists, but as a local, and a retiree, you can enjoy the city’s amenities when the crowds have cleared out. These include long strings of beaches, top-flight golf courses, a beachfront boardwalk, and more.

As an idyllic residential community, locals make the most of the year-round warm weather with shopping, dining, and nightlife-ing. Fun fact: the city is also home to the first state park in South Carolina — Myrtle Beach State Park.

And don’t sleep on the golf!. The city has over 100 courses for those who hit the links, and more mini golf courses per square mile than any other city, for those who are windmill-curious.

4. Lincoln City, OR

Lincoln City, OR

Nestled on the central coast of Oregon, Lincoln City has a front-row seat to the Pacific Ocean. Divided into a series of historic districts, the city is perfect for retirees looking to live an active lifestyle in a quiet setting. Not only do you have the beach and coastline to explore, but you can hike to the top of Cascade Head or paddle around in the city’s lake.

For a truly unique experience, go on a treasure hunt along Lincoln City’s seven miles of sandy beach. Local artisans hand-blown glass floats and hide them throughout the day to keep a standing stock of over 3,000. You can only collect one per year, so happy hunting and make your choice count!

3. Sarasota, FL

Sarasota, FL

For those who really want to put in significant beach time during retirement, Sarasota is the place. There’s crystal clear water and big, sandy public beaches along local favorites Siesta and Lido Key.

Complimenting the sun-kissed atmosphere, Sarasota has a laid-back vibe full of friendly people. Check out The Ringling Museum of Art for some culture or buddy up to a neighbor or friend with a boat.

2. Portland, ME

Portland, ME

Encircling Casco Bay on the Atlantic Coast, Portland has long been a favorite of history buffs and architecture lovers alike. Full of Victorian-era homes and working fish wharves, the past is alive in Portland.

You get it all: ocean, rivers, mountains, as well as the peaceful charm of that makes it a huge draw for retirees. Portland’s coast is a combination of rugged beauty and beautiful beaches for both warm and not-so-warm weather. The city also boasts activities aplenty, including river rafting, bike tours, golf, and the serenity of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Western Promenade Park is full of shops and restaurants because you can’t talk Maine without talking lobster!

1. Cambria, CA

Cambria, CA

A hidden gem on California’s Pacific coast, Cambria is a seaside village midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Offering up a slower pace of life, Cambria gives you ocean views while also being within Monterey Pines.

Authenticity is the mantra of this little village, and you won’t find any chain businesses here. This means wineries, boutiques, and restaurants are locally inspired with true authentic charm.

For some outdoor peace take advantage of the many trails and scenic view spots accessible throughout the year or swing by Fiscalini Ranch with its rodeo grounds and animal preserve.

Ready to retire?

When the stars align and you’re ready to kick back, consider taking a different approach to listing your current home on the MLS. This better-known way to sell can cost you time and more money than you want to spend just to move your home

To skip the repairs, staging, and open houses partner with Sundae. We give you a cash offer while leaving your home as-is, with no fees, meaning a little extra in your pocket to put toward retirement.

We let you close and move in the time frame that works for you, and take a crucial step toward your coastal paradise. Contact us today to learn more.


Equifax-defined cohorts were used to determine which sellers were relocating due to retirement. These cities represent the top 12 where Sundae sellers within this demographic are frequently relocating.

We ranked each city based on the median house price and gathered key data points from the following sources:

Other data was collected through city-specific searches.

The information within the article is only here for illustrative purposes and does not necessarily reflect relevant data as of today. It in no way constitutes financial advice or is a guarantee of property costs.

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Kyle Spearin

Kyle is Sundae's Real Estate Editor. As both an investor and content marketing professional, Kyle combines his passion for real estate investing and educational background with his love of helping others. His experience with real estate tech companies, including contributing to BiggerPockets Pro, gives him insight into markets across the United States.