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If you want to retire to the beach, to a warm, sunny, tropical beach, but don’t want to spend your entire savings in one fell swoop, consider the Texas Gulf Coast. It’s not top of mind for those of us who have never visited or lived in the South, but when you combine affordability with natural beauty, it’s surprising it’s not up there with Florida as a top retirement destination.

All coastal living comes with the risk of hurricanes and flooding. But if you’re willing to deal with potential weather hazards and are smart about where you buy or rent, there are some lovely gem towns along the Texas coast.

The coastal area stretches 350 miles, from South Padre Island around to Beaumont and the Louisiana border. There are peninsulas and islands and cities and towns, not to mention a wealth of natural beauty and an amazing array of birds and wildlife.

Beach Life in Texas

Texas is the only state in the US that has an Open Beaches Act. While beaches can be privately owned, they have to have public easement so that everyone has unrestricted access and use of the beaches.

If you’re attracted to the seashore, you probably love to eat seafood, and the Gulf has some of the world’s best shrimp and oysters. Fishing, boating, bird watching, kayaking, and all of the perks that come along with living on the water, plus year-round warmth, make living along the Texas coast attractive.

Housing prices are well below the national average, as well as the cost of food, transportation and health care. Utility prices are higher by a bit, but overall, it’s cheaper to live here than most other places in the US. And if you need it, Houston, which is only about an hour away, has some of the best medical care in the world.

The five Best Beach Towns in Texas

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