Growing up and still living in a coastal community, I’ve been exposed to beach houses all of my life. Even when I went to college, which was located in Western Michigan which, spectacular lake beach houses (on Lake Michigan – see Lake Michigan image below).
While I’ve never lived in a home situated on the beach, like many people, I love the idea of having a house on the beach – whether my main residence or a vacation home (or both).
In college my roommate’s family owned a 5 acre property on Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan waterfront is some of the finest in the world with endless sandy beaches and in some areas huge sand-dunes flowing to the water. My roommate’s family’s home was perched high up above the lake with a series of steps to their private sandy beach. I had the good fortune of spending many weeks and weekends at that home. We lounged in the rich sand, swam for hours and enjoyed evening fires in the fire pit on the beach. Everything from the home to the landscaping was relaxing and inspiring.
I grew up with a friend whose family owned a condo in a beach-front condo community on the Island of Maui in Hawaii (yeah, I’ve been fortunate to have many good friends, some of whom had vacation homes in the finest places in the World). To a 14 year old kid, it was hard to beat 3 weeks steps away from an incredible boogie boarding beach.
These days my beach home living experiences is limited to vacation rentals; although our home is a block from the beach which is the next best thing (and fairly luxurious in and of itself). I hope to always live in coastal communities because there’s something freeing about being close to a large body of water. With a little luck and some hard work my family and I may be able to get a home directly on the water.
There are as many beach home designs and architectural styles as there are beaches throughout the world. This post features 36 distinct beach house styles from all over the world. Enjoy our gallery.
Tiny Beach House Cottage on Cape Cod
Tiny Beach House Cottage with wood shingle expterior on Cape Cod
Day bed reading nook looking out on sandy beach in tiny beach house on Cape Cod.
Midcentury Style Beach House on the Pacific Ocean (1 acre)
This stunning midcentury house sits on one acre on the Pacific ocean just north of San Diego, CA. The home was renovated in the midcentury style which you can clearly see in the living room above. The home includes 4 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms and over 6,300 sq. ft. on one acre.
You can enjoy the view on extensive deck as well as a courtyard-style swimming pool.
Here’s another fabulous East Coast beach house with wood shingle exterior (clearly I love wood shingle exteriors). This house offers extensive views of the sandy beach and is steps away from it. It’s also very nicely decorated and designed on the inside.
As stated above, I love Lake Michigan. You get the expanse of the ocean, but it’s fresh water. Accordingly, I had to include a stunning Lake Michigan beach house. This one featured above is second-to-none both inside and out. IT enjoys 115′ beach frontage. More importantly, it’s low-bluff which isn’t all that common along the shores of Lake Michigan. Most beachfront houses along Lake Michigan are high up on a bluff.
White beach mansion on Star Island, Florida. Star Island is renowned for being a beach enclave for the super rich. The Island, situated just outside Miami, Florida is chock full of spectacular waterfront mansions like this one. Source: meunierd / Shutterstock.com
White beach mansion with red roof and wrap-around deck and patio. This is an example of a luxurious beach mansion with columns and an ornate exterior design.
Grey shingle style beach house with lookout tower and white framed windows. This style is common throughout the East Coast of the United States (although this example is a particularly nice shingle style home).
Cliff-side Waterfront beach villa in Italy. Although not situated on the beach, it is waterfront and is an excellent example of the waterfront villas that pepper the Italian coast.
Wood beach house in Thailand with tropical trees scattered throughout the yard and elevated covered deck.
Multi-colored bright beach house with palm trees.
2-story beach house with columns and full-width decks.
Thatch roof house on the beach in the Maldives. Simple design and small compared to other featured homes in this gallery; however, the beach is second-to-none (for which the Maldives is famous).
Classic A-frame home on a sandy beach with palm trees.
Beach homes are the perfect getaway or vacation home! When you’re not there, you can even generate extra revenue by renting out your property!
Private island with brick beach house. Private islands provide for the ultimate in privacy.
Large 2-story beach house on sand dune with full-width sun deck and floor-to-ceiling windows. This is a common home design found on the East Coast USA as well as the waterfront of the Great Lakes, USA.
Barn-style beach house with attached lookout tower.
Simple barn-style grey beach house with picket fence.
Massive beach villa in Dubai. Dubai is a playground for the rich and as the wealthy flock to the United Arab Emirates, more and more spectacular waterfront villas are built.
3-story beach house with an eclectic design.
White villa on beach with large swimming pool.
4 Malibu beach homes. Malibu has long been a beach community for the rich and famous. With limited space, the homes are long and narrow. The beachfront homes are built directly on the sand.
Beach mansion in Hawaii.
French chateau on the beach in Biarritz.
Vancouver beach mansion on rocky beach. Vancouver is home to many beach homes in a huge array of styles. This home is unusual in that it’s on a wide lot; whereas most Vancouver waterfront properties are narrow similar to Malibu, California.
Waterfront mansion in Cape Cod, Massachusetts USA.
Rosecliff mansion in Newport, Rhode Island USA. Few beach mansions match the oppulance of the the “cottages” built in Newport during the Gilded Age. Source: Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com