The air filter company looked at weather, prices, air quality and more to find the best oceanfront areas to live in the country. The results? Cities in Texas, Florida and Alabama hold the top five spots, while Florida is home to 11 of the top 20.
“We know first-hand just how important having good air quality is, especially when it comes to being on the coast and during the summer seasons when humidity is high,” said Davis Mcdonald, a writer for Filter King, over email. “Your ideal beach house location needs to have clean, fresh air that will allow you to have a calm and relaxing getaway.”
Galveston, Texas, comes in as the number one location. While each of the list’s top three cities are on the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston sets itself apart with its great air quality, getting a perfect score. It is also the most reasonably priced out of the top three, with the average home costing about $264,000. The year-round temperature is roughly 77˚F, making walks in Galveston Island State Park, on the pier, fishing or kayaking perfect for almost any day. However, if the weather doesn’t permit a nice walk or some fun on the water, the Moody Gardens Pyramids are a great substitute. The multi-story museums, zoos and educational buildings—including a Rainforest, Aquarium and Discovery Pyramid—are all a great way to learn and have fun on a rainy day.
Orange Beach, Alabama, ranks No. 2: The town is well-known for its water-sports, offering everything from jet skiing and parasailing to scuba diving and kayaking. Its abundance of activities—from fishing to exploring the wharf and boardwalk area—help make up for the town’s worse air quality score (25 out of 100, where zero is best). As the second-best beach location in the U.S., home prices here are rapidly on the rise, with a 21% increase from last year: A new home in Orange Beach would cost about $382,000. However, if you want to try before you buy, the average per-night cost of an Airbnb here is $289.
Florida’s Panama City Beach is third on the list, thanks to its miles of white sand beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. A frequent vacation spot for many Southerners, ‘PCB’ is just under a five-hour drive from cities including Atlanta, Georgia, and Jacksonville, Florida. Although the air quality (21) isn’t the best for one of the top 10 locations, the rest of the resort town’s amenities, such as zoos, wineries and conservation parks make up for its low score, locking it in as the Florida’s best beach town. Currently a new home in PCB costs an average of $350,000, which is over a 7% increase from last year.
With 1,350 miles of coastline, it isn’t shocking the Sunshine State is home to over half of the top 20 spots on the list, including Miramar Beach, which ranks fourth thanks in part to its balmy weather—some of the warmest on the list. Alabama’s Gulf Shores round out the top five.
Some familiar locations fill up the rest of the top 20, including Lahaina, Hawaii, at seventh; Miami Beach, Florida, at No. 10; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at No. 12. Although warm weather is tough to beat, some chillier destinations like Ocean City, Maryland (No. 41), and Nantucket, Massachusetts (No. 71), also made the list—as perfectly cool stays, year-round.
See the full rankings here.