No matter where you live or where you’re planning to move, there’s a neighborhood for you. If you’re in the market for a new home and are looking for waterfront properties in particular, you may find yourself discouraged by steep prices, overcrowding, and constant development. Here are a few options and alternatives to popular waterfront areas that will make you feel right at home.

Bandon, Oregon

This town’s residents insist that they feel like they’re on vacation every day of the year — that’s how beautiful and picturesque Bandon, Oregon is. Looking at a photo of the the seaside location, you may mistake it for a quaint Scottish town, but Bandon is indeed in the United States. Prices of homes vary, especially if you’re looking at houses on the shore, but will still likely cost less than if you were searching in a more popular area, like Portland (which is just over 4 hours away by car). Bandon boasts clean beaches and the freshest cranberries around, which have been growing there since 1885. If you’re an outdoorsy type, this may be where you’ll find your next home: thanks to the variations of the landscape, there are many activities for you to indulge in, such as fishing, hiking, golfing, or hanging out on the beach.

Folly Beach, South Carolina

This idyllic beach town has it all: a vibrant nightlife, peaceful vibe, and eclectic community makes it a prime destination for ocean-lovers — but it hasn’t yet reached the same amount of attention as Myrtle Beach. However, Folly Beach is just a short drive away from Charleston, which often makes it the beach of choice for city-dwellers. If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for good, but still have access to all the amenities and services a city can offer, Folly Beach may be the place for you. Bonus tip: if look closely enough, you may be able to catch the sight of dolphins frolicking in the waves in the daytime and the Milky Way at night.

Gowanus, Brooklyn (New York)

Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood doesn’t have a stellar reputation: the canal is known for being smelly and polluted. In recent years, it was undesirable to live area around the Gowanus canal for those reasons. But because of its proximity to upper-class neighborhoods like Boerum Hill and Carroll Gardens, the neighborhood is changing for the better. There is a renewed effort in waterfront redevelopment, which has spurred new initiatives to improve the quality of the water in the Canal. Nevertheless, because of this redevelopment and its proximity to Manhattan, Gowanus is becoming a great place to purchase a new home. Most of the properties may already be going for millions on the market, but you have the cash to spare, investing in a condo or multi-family building may yield many times more than what you paid. It’s already becoming a great alternative to nearby DUMBO or Brooklyn Heights.

Caseville, Michigan

With a population of around 749 people, Caseville, Michigan is an ideal place for folks who long for a quiet life on the waterfront. The beach town is located just two and a half hours from Detroit, and, despite its size, offers a variety of pastimes for folks looking for a bit of an adventure. Along with beach activities, there is ample opportunity to fish. The nearby forests provide lush greenery for those who want to wander around inland. As for the real estate, $400,000 will likely get you a decently-sized, multi-bedroom abode right on the water.

Sandpoint, Idaho

Sandpoint, Idaho may be the perfect place for those who love picturesque vistas: the city is nestled between Lake Pend Oreille (a lake that’s 43 miles long) and the nearby Selkirk and Cabinet mountain ranges. It’s astounding beauty isn’t the only attraction: outdoorsy types of all kinds would appreciate all that the city has to offer. With bike and hiking trails in the mountains and arts and cultural events happening year-round, there’s a little something for everyone. It’s a town with a city feel, and if you’re looking for property here, you’re in luck. While many of the houses are listed for millions, there are still some residences that are for sale for much, much less.  

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Located in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas, Eureka isn’t just great for waterfront living, but for history buffs as well: it’s known as a Victorian resort village thanks to the well-preserved Victorian manors and houses. Views of Beaver Lake provide a serene atmosphere, and listings in the area rarely go for over a $1 million.

Georgetown, Texas

Locals would describe Georgetown, Texas as a charming town known for having ‘The Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas.’ Located just 30 minutes north of downtown Austin, the town may be the best of both worlds: you can get the small-town feel without being too far from a city. If you’re partial to waterfront living, there are several options: find a place by the San Gabriel River, which flows through the town, or find a quiet corner by Lake Georgetown. Luckily, you may be able to find a good-sized home in Georgetown for less than $400,000.

Los Osos, California

Located between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Los Osos is a beach-lover’s paradise. The blue waters, sunshine, and peaceful residential community make it a haven for those looking to get away from it all. It’s perfect for vacationers looking for an escape, but also ideal for homeowners who want to relocate to a generally quiet beach-front neighborhood. It reportedly ranked the lowest of all California housing markets on the beach, with a median home value of $418,403. That’s quite the steal! While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the local wineries.

River North Art District, Denver, Colorado

Affectionately dubbed “RiNo,” the trendy River North Art District in Denver, Colorado has become a haven for culture aficionados and the young and bold. The neighborhood has its roots in the city’s old, historic warehouses and factories, and has retained a punk-rock industrial vibe. Of course, those factories are now bars, breweries, art galleries, and food halls to name a few, but there are a few waterfront properties that may pique the interest of young, up-and-coming professionals. While these are mostly condos, this developing area is attracting more and more homeowners every day.

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