East Coast Beach Towns Worthy of Vacation Homes

east coast beach

A vacation home is a commitment as much as an investment. When there are so many places in the world to visit, would you really want to keep returning to the same place again and again?

If that place is one of the following East Coast beach towns, the answer is: You betcha. Though East Coast beaches often don’t have the same world-renowned reputation as beaches in California, Florida or Hawaii, anyone who has visited the beaches in New Jersey, Virginia and the Carolinas knows how fun and relaxing they can be. For a low-key beach retreat, you should consider buying property in the following East Coast towns:

Virginia Beach

It should hardly be surprising that one of the most popular beach towns on the East Coast is a smart spot for real estate investment. Large and diverse, Virginia Beach offers something for everyone, from bustling beaches and boardwalks to city-wide art festivals to incredible museums to surfing, fishing, kayaking and more. Virginia Beach is an excellent place for a vacation home because it offers new opportunities with every visit. Plus, a mortgage on a Virginia Beach property could pay for itself if you rent out your home to other travelers when you aren’t using it.

Ocean City

Often abbreviated to OCMD, Ocean City, Maryland is another quintessential East Coast vacation spot. With over 10 miles of beaches and a beautiful boardwalk with astonishing views, this town is undeniably attractive — but what typically keeps visitors coming back is the delectable food culture, which is unlike anything you are likely to find in other East Coast beach towns. If you buy property in OCMD, you are going to spend your summers doused in orange crush cocktails, surrounded by Old Bay fries and indulging in as much seafood as your heart desires.

Chincoteague Islands

The Chincoteague Islands — which consist of Chincoteague and Assateague — do not offer the recognizable hallmarks of East Coast beach getaways. You won’t find busy boardwalks or crammed parking lots; in fact, many visitors are hard-pressed to find an available hotel room. While other beachy East Coast towns do everything they can to cater to seasonal tourists, Chincoteague strives to stay as natural as possible, offering only a few beaches and hiking and biking trails. Much of the real estate on the islands is at a premium, to save enough space for the wild ponies, so you might want to start looking for a Chincoteague vacation home now if you are interested.

Cape May

When you think of East Coast beach towns, you think of Cape May — even if you have never been there before. Cape May bills itself as the oldest resort town in the United States, and its colorful Victorian beach homes are excellent evidence in support. The historic promenade offers all the old-school summer thrills, like bikes and boutiques, and the beaches are often home to summertime events, like parades and picnics. Owning vacation property in Cape May gives you the chance to step back to a simpler time and truly relax during your summer breaks.

Hilton Head

Easily among the most scenic spots on the entire East Coast, Hilton Head is a barrier island off the coast of South Carolina. One of the more luxurious beach destinations on this list, Hilton Head is spotted with deluxe resorts, golf courses, exclusive beach clubs, high-end shopping and other plush amenities. Accordingly, real estate prices on Hilton Head are steep, so you might only consider purchasing a vacation home here if you are certain you can afford this lifestyle. However, if you do have the extra cash to spend, you are guaranteed a well-appointed retreat during the spring and summer months.

Pawley’s Island

Another island off South Carolina’s coast, Pawley’s Island is much, much smaller than Hilton Head. In fact, the year-round population of the island hovers around just 100, and in most places, the land is just wide enough for one house — which means if you can find a vacation home to buy, you are getting gorgeous beach views out of every window in your home. Like other beach retreats, Pawley’s Island offers shopping, golfing, hiking and dining in addition to lounging on the warm sand just out your back door.