Living by the beach is the ultimate dream for many Americans. After all, beachside communities often represent a relaxed and luxurious way of life. But few realize their dream of living by the water, precisely because of the misconception that beach towns are relatively more expensive and generally less livable than landlocked cities.

Contrary to popular belief, however, many beach towns are suitable to everyday life — and easy on the wallet. So in order to determine the beach communities that are ideal for making one’s permanent home, WalletHub compared 192 cities across 62 key indicators of livability. We split our comparison into two categories, towns located by the ocean and by lakes. Our data set ranges from housing costs to share of for-sale waterfront homes to quality of beach water.

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