Discover 18 amazing towns similar to Dunedin, Florida that offer plenty of parks and recreation centers, picturesque beach views, and serene places to retire or raise a family.
Dunedin is a small city on the West Coast of Florida that is known for its pristine beaches and gorgeous natural flora and fauna. With a low crime rate and high quality of life, Dunedin is a popular destination for vacationers, retirees, and young families.
The city has a population of over 36,000 residents, making it the fifth-largest city in Pinellas County. The median household income in Dunedin is just over $50,000 and the main industries are healthcare and social assistance, retail trade, and scientific and technical services.
Dunedin features plenty of parks and recreation centers, as well as sandy beaches which attract tourists looking to escape the crowds of nearby Tampa and Saint Petersburg. The cost of living in Dunedin is 3% lower than the national average, making it a moderately affordable city. So, it’s the perfect place for residents in search of a peaceful escape from busier parts of Florida.
But there are peaceful, coastal cities all over the US that are similar to Dunedin, Florida. Here is a look at a few locations you may consider if you’re in search of a quiet place to retire or raise a family.
Venice is a quiet city on Florida’s Gulf Coast, located about an hour and a half south of Dunedin. The mid-sized city is also known for its laidback pace of life, sandy beaches, and public parks.
Venice also features a quaint downtown area full of gorgeous Italian architecture and landscaped streets. The cost of living in Venice is a bit higher than in Dunedin and there are some very wealthy areas in the city. But it offers a peaceful seaside atmosphere that is perfect for residents of all ages.
Cape Coral, Fl
Cape Coral is a city in Southwest Florida that is known for its scenic beauty and peaceful ambiance. It features more than 400 miles of canals and a native manatee population that can be seen down at Sirenia Vista Park.
Just like Dunedin, the economy of Cape Coral is primarily centered around healthcare services and retail. Plus, it’s a family-friendly residential community with a variety of beaches, recreational opportunities, and nature preserves. But Cape Coral is also a much larger city than Dunedin, with a population of just under 200,000. So, it’s the perfect community for those in search of a scenic atmosphere with a bit more hustle and bustle.
Mount Dora, Fl
Mount Dora is a city in Central Florida that was named by USA Today as Florida’s number one town to retire. It features quaint antique shops, gorgeous architecture, and a relaxed ambiance. Situated along Lake Dora and Lake Eustis, residents have ample opportunity for boating, fishing, swimming, and more. Plus, Route 441 provides an easy drive into Orlando for more entertainment options.
The cost of living in Mount Doral is roughly equivalent to living in Dunedin. Plus, it’s known as the “festival city” and hosts monthly community events. But unlike Dunedin, Mount Doral is landlocked and it’s over an hour’s drive to the beach. The nearby lakes provide the opportunity for aquatic activities, but it may not be the best for those who love the ocean.
Chincoteague is a small town and island off the Eastern Coast of Virginia. The town is the gateway to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, which features gorgeous beaches and wild ponies that are native to the island. The town is also known for its world-famous oyster beds and clam sholes.
With a mild climate, low cost of living, and plenty of attractions for residents and tourists alike, Chincoteague is a quiet seaside town much like Dunedin. However, it’s much smaller and located on an actual island, which may be isolating to some. But Virginia State Route-75 provides easy access to the mainland for weekend excursions.
Wilmington is a port city along the Atlantic Coast of North Carolina. It’s known as the gateway to the Cape Fear Coast with easy access to nearby beaches and naval exhibits, including the Battleship North Carolina. The downtown area also features a riverwalk with restaurants, art galleries, and shopping. Plus, the area is known for its antebellum architecture and attracts a wide variety of residents including college students, young professionals, and families.
Wilmington is a quiet coastal town much like Dunedin that features a robust economy, calm pace of life, and affordable living. But it’s a larger city than Dunedin with a population of over 120,000 and features an economy centered around industries like medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and nuclear fuel. So, Willington is great for those in search of a seaside city with southern charm and a bit more to do than Dunedin.
St. Mary’s, GA
St. Mary’s is a coastal city in Camden County, GA, located along the Florida – Georgia border. Situated along the Saint Mary’s River, minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, the city is in a prime location 38 miles north of Jacksonville and 110 miles south of Savannah, GA.
Much like Dunedin, St. Mary’s is a peaceful seaside town with a relaxed pace of life and low cost of living. It offers ample opportunity for boating and fishing and features several public parks and other attractions. But it’s a bit smaller than Dunedin and is known as mainly a retirement community removed from the big city.
St. Augustine, Fl
St. Augustine is a small city on the northeastern coast of Florida. It’s well known for its gorgeous Spanish architecture, including the Castillo de San Marcos, a 17th-century fortress along the St. Augustine Inlet. The city also offers 42 miles of beaches, tons of recreation, and a historic downtown full of shops and restaurants.
St. Augustine is a bit smaller than Dunedin but also features more culture and history. Plus, the climate is a bit more varied and often gets a bit chilly in the wintertime. But it’s still an affordable area that has a lot to offer young professionals and retirees.
Fairhope is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, located along the shoreline of Mobile Bay. Consistently ranked one of the best places to live in Alabama, Fairhope offers friendly neighbors, delicious restaurants, and a low crime rate.
Its location along the Mobile Bay offers some gorgeous waterfront properties and sandy beaches. Plus, it’s a quick drive into Mobile for more urban conveniences. Just like Dunedin, Fairhope is a great destination for retirees and families. But being in Alabama, Fairhope has a distinct Southern charm that is slightly different than the culture of Dunedin.
Gulfport is a city located along the Gulf Coast in Southern Mississippi. With a population of just over 72,000, Gulfport is the second-largest city in Mississippi. It’s known for its white sandy beaches, golfing, shopping and casinos. It’s also home to a large naval base called the Naval Construction Battalion Center, which is the city’s largest employer.
Gulfport is known as a popular destination for retirees and features low taxes, affordable healthcare, and plenty of recreation. But it has a much more urban feel than Dunedin and residents tend to be a bit on the younger side in Gulfport.
Baytown is a coastal city situated on the northern shore of Galveston Bay. It offers a peaceful escape from nearby cities such as Houston and Galveston with great schools, a low crime rate, and ample opportunity for recreation.
The economy of Baytown is mostly centered around petroleum and petrochemical processing, which is different than Dunedin. Plus, the city is located around the bay, not the ocean. So there aren’t quite as many beaches and tourist attractions. But it’s still a quiet town on the water that offers a great place to retire or raise a family.
Carpentaria is a small coastal city outside of Santa Barbara, CA. Ir has a small-town feel with an amazing selection of restaurants, beaches, and hiking trails. It’s often referred to as the “World’s Safest Beach” and is known to be a good place for retirees, young professionals, and families.
The cost of living in Carpinteria is a bit higher than in Dunedin and has a distinct West Coast culture that is home to more surfers than golfers and fishermen. But, it’s still a peaceful coastal town with easy access to amenities, much like Dunedin.
Monterrey is a picturesque city on the central coast of California. Known for being the home of famous writers and actors like John Steinbeck or Clint Eastwood, Monterrey is a gorgeous city with a rich history. It features a cool, Mediterranean climate, sandy beaches, and plenty of cultural attractions, including Cannery Row and the Monterrey Jazz Festival.
The cost of living in Monterrey is considerably higher than it is in Dunedin, which is most impacted by the housing. Plus, its local culture is more centered around the arts than nature and recreation. But if you can afford the housing prices, Monterrey is a gorgeous community with a lot to offer.
Eureka is a city in Northern California located between Portland and San Francisco. The city is located in Humboldt County in the Redwood Empire region of California, which is known for its massive redwood trees. The city also features a pleasant maritime climate with rainy winters and dry summers.
Much like Dunedin, the economy of Eureka is largely centered around healthcare and retail trade. It’s roughly the same size as well and features plenty of sandy beaches and local parks. But it has a slightly different climate and culture than South Florida and is also slightly more expensive.
Rehoboth Beach, DE
Rehoboth Beach is a city on the Atlantic Coast of Delaware that is within the state’s rapidly growing Cape Region. The city has proclaimed itself “The Nation’s Summer Capital” and many residences are used as vacation homes (including one owned by President Joe Biden).
Rehoboth Beach is a popular retirement destination, similar to Dunedin, and both feature low taxes and affordable living. Fishing, shopping, and golf are also favorite pastimes of residents in both places. But Rehoboth Beach has a different climate with moderately humid summers and cool winters. Plus, the population on Rehoboth Beach tends to be a bit older.
Ocean City, NJ
Ocean City is a seaside city in Cape May, New Jersey. Once declared “America’s happiest seaside town”, Ocean City offers sandy beaches, a two-mile boardwalk, and plenty of shops, restaurants, golf courses, parks, and more. Plus, approximately 40% of the land area is dedicated to parkland and recreational purposes with multiple playgrounds, volleyball courts, shuffleboard, a hockey rink, sports fields, and tennis courts.
Ocean City has similar recreational attractions as Dunedin, which also makes it a popular place to retire. But it also tends to attract more tourists in the summer months. Plus, the cost of living tends to be higher and the local economy is mainly based on tourism.
Westerly is a beachfront community on the southwestern shore of Washington County, RI. The city is also bordered by the Pawcatuck River, as well as several large salt ponds, making it surrounded on all sides by water. It’s known as a popular tourist destination with several beaches, including Watch Hill Beach, Weekapaug Beach, and Misquamicut Beach.
Westerly is a quiet seaside town that is known for fishing, boating, and golf. Plus, it features a low crime rate, great restaurants, and an abundance of amenities, making it great for retirees and young families. But, it’s also a bit more expensive than Dunedin and features a distinct New England charm that residents will either love or hate.
Portsmouth is a port city on the Piscataqua River on the East Coast of New Hampshire. It’s a historic city that was once home to Pease Air Force Base. Today, it is a popular tourist destination with award-winning restaurants, pristine beaches, and cultural attractions.
Portsmouth has a maritime atmosphere with an abundance of gorgeous riverside gardens and boat docks. It also features a robust economy centered around healthcare, finance, and pharmaceuticals. But it has a colder climate than a city like Dunedin and isn’t directly on the ocean (although it’s close to it).
Kennebunkport is a small coastal town in Southern Maine. Formerly a fishing and shipbuilding village, Kennebunkport is a popular seaside tourist destination known for its quaint souvenir shops, art galleries, and seafood restaurants. It’s also known for being the vacation residence of many famous politicians and celebrities, including the Bush Family, who own an estate in the town.
Kennebunkport is a quaint fishing village with plenty to do for residents of all ages. It’s been consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in Maine with low crime and great public schools. But, it’s more known as a summer destination than a city like Dunedin and may not be best for those looking to escape the cold winters of the northeast. Plus, it’s a much smaller town and features more of a rural New England charm that may not be for everyone.