Have oceans of fun at these beach condos

9 affordable summertime retreats

Your dream of owning a second home along some sunny distant shore might be more within your reach than you thought.

Yes, there are affordable summer beach condos out there. And we found 9 to prove the point.

We shopped for homes in busy resort towns like Hilton Head, S.C., and more laid-back locales like Gearhart, Ore., along the Pacific Coast. The point is, there's something here for everyone — the beach bum, the golf enthusiast, the person in search of historical charm.

All of these condos have two bedrooms — many have two bathrooms as well — and are on the market for $183,000 to $250,000. These are not only great summer vacation spots for you and your family but also potential investment properties, offering rental income while you're not there.

We'll start with the cheapest option first, a 95-year-old retreat just outside Boston.

Winthrop, Massachusetts

Address: 53 Trident Ave., Apt. 303
Price: $183,900
Square feet: 664
Price per square foot: $277
HOA fees: $390

Winthrop is one of the oldest communities in the country, so the neighborhood that houses this two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo offers plenty of charm. And so does the condo. You'll find an open concept living and dining area with lots of light and high ceilings. There's a bay window in the dining area. And you can see the Atlantic Ocean from both bedrooms. Hardwood floors run throughout the home. The kitchen is one of the nicest in our lineup, offering all stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. There's also an in-unit laundry area. One of the nicest things about this condo is that there's already a tenant in place, offering immediate rental income. After the lease is up, you can rent it out on Vacation Rentals By Owner and visit during the summer. Winthrop Beach is just a half block to the east. This beach has few amenities but is popular with the locals and has on-duty lifeguards during the summer. Boston is 20 minutes away by public transportation.

See more photos of this Massachusetts condo.

Constance Kickham: Coldwell Banker; 617-905-7959

Hatteras, North Carolina

Address: 56358 NC Highway 12
Price: $189,500
Square feet: 900
Price per square foot: $211
HOA fees: $225 per month

You can't get much farther away from it all than with this Outer Banks condo, which sits nicely on a narrow stretch of land between Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Located just minutes from the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum — dedicated to preserving the history of North Carolina shipwrecks — this two-bedroom, two-bathroom beauty offers great views of the sound from a private rear deck and easy access to the ocean, which is directly across NC 12. The kitchen has new wood cabinets, and there's upgraded tile flooring in the hallway, kitchen, dining area and bathrooms. To reach the second floor, use the retro-cool blue metal spiral staircase. Pamlico Sound is the ultimate water sports playground, offering windsurfing, kiteboarding, kayaking, paddleboarding and even parasailing. And you'll get there quickly via the complex's community dock.

See more photos of this North Carolina condo.

Carla Reynolds: NC 12 Realty; 252-996-0403

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Address: 1157 W. Beach Blvd., #201
Price: $189,900
Square feet:700
Price per square foot: $271
HOA fees: $375 per month

Forget about just being close to the beach — this two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo hangs right over it. And a 1.7-mile walk down the beach will get you to the annual Hangout Music Fest, a three-day annual concert featuring more than 70 bands. That makes it a great rental during festival season. In terms of price per square foot, this condo is right down the middle when compared with other units on our list. It boasts a direct view of the Gulf of Mexico, and the unit has recently been upgraded to make it rental-ready, according to the listing agent. The kitchen has standard white appliances, solid-surface counter tops and wood cabinets. There are tile floors throughout the home, and there's a nice tile stand-up shower in the bathroom. You'll also get a covered parking area. The complex has a swimming pool and is surrounded by white sand. The best feature: You can sit out on your balcony and sip a cocktail while still technically being on the beach.

See more photos of this Alabama condo.

Asa Goode: The Gulf Dream Team; 251-233-4549

Jekyll Island, Georgia

Address: 1175 N. Beachview Drive, #185
Price: $231,000
Square feet: 988
Price per square foot: $234
HOA fees: $721 per month

If you want the perks of island life without the cost of a flight, this condo might be for you. This furnished two-story home is located on Jekyll Island, a seven-mile-long barrier island about 75 miles north of Jacksonville, Fla. This unit — with two bedrooms and one-and-a-half bathrooms —  backs up to the beach, with a private beach entrance for complex residents. You can see the ocean from your living room and back porch. The kitchen features a nicely upgraded granite counter top and white standard appliances. The master bedroom has its own private porch. And unlike some of the other condos on our list, this one is surrounded by trees. If you're looking for some outdoor activities, Jekyll Island State Park is less than a 10-minute drive away, where you'll find bike rentals, paths and the Summer Waves Waterpark. The monthly HOA dues are the most expensive on our list, but they include just about everything: cable TV, electricity, grounds keeping, trash, water, sewer, telephone and flood insurance.

See more photos of this Georgia condo.

Skip Adamson: Parker-Kaufman-Jekyll; 912-635-2512

Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Address: 17 Tunis Ave., #5
Price: $235,000
Square feet: 570
Price per square foot: $412
HOA fees: $255 per month

If you've always wanted to own a family condo on the Maine coast, this one will be tough to pass up. While it's the second-smallest on our list, and one of the more expensive per square foot, it packs some punch in the location department. It's less than a two-minute walk to the water and just a mile from downtown Old Orchard Beach, which has attractions like Palace Playland, the only beachfront amusement park in New England. Plus, summer events abound, like the Annual Beach Olympics in August. It has two bedrooms and one bathroom and is located in the Meadowview Condominiums building. The condo has an open floor plan, with the living room opening up into the kitchen. In the kitchen, you'll find standard white appliances, solid-surface counter tops, wood cabinets and tile floors. There's carpet in the living room. And there are updated monitor heaters, which are fueled with kerosene, for the cold Maine winters.

See more photos of this Maine condo.

Christina Cloutier Connell: Prudential Prime Properties; 207-423-7292

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Address: 23 S. Forest Beach Drive. Apt. 154
Price: $239,900
Square feet: 518
Price per square foot: $463
HOA fees: $350 per month

The smallest condo on our list is also the most expensive per square foot. But it's right along Hilton Head Island Beach —  just walk over the condo community's private walkway and you're on the sand. This condo has two bedrooms, both with ocean views, and two bathrooms. The kitchen has tile floors, solid-surface counter tops and white standard appliances. There's a sliding glass door that leads out to a private first-floor porch. And there's also a pool with plenty of space around it to sunbathe. For some nightlife during the summer, you're only about 10 minutes away from Shelter Cove Harbour, where HarbourFest occurs June through August. And, of course, you are literally surrounded by golfing options, with more than two dozen courses on the island. Since this condo is fully furnished, it's rental-ready, with the potential to bring in rental income right away.

See more photos of this South Carolina condo.

Les Jones: Charter One Realty; 843-384-4956

Flagler Beach, Florida

Address: 1601 N. Central Ave., Unit 101
Price: $245,000
Square feet: 1,215
Price per square foot: $202
HOA fees: $500 per month

Located 20 miles to the north of the spring break mecca Daytona Beach, the much more languid Flagler Beach has been called a great small town and a fantastic place to live in retirement. The condo itself offers much that can be described as generous. Generous balcony views of the Atlantic Ocean, located to the east across A1A, and the beach. Generous views from a second balcony of Silver Lake, which connects to the Intracoastal Waterway to the west. Generous amenities, including two underground parking spaces, a common outdoor kitchen with grills, a lap pool and a putting green. This first-floor end unit includes two bedrooms and two bathrooms. You'll like the, yes, generous space in the combined living and dining room and the wide-planked hardwood floors. There's a pass-through into the dining room from the kitchen, which makes serving meals a snap. The centerpiece of the galley-style kitchen is a stainless steel, French door refrigerator. And there's plenty of countertop area for food prep. All windows include hurricane shutters.

See more photos of this Florida condo.

Melanie A. Provencher: The Selby Group; 386-931-8173

Gearhart, Oregon

Address: Pacific View Condo #482
Price: $249,000
Square feet: 1,080
Price per square foot: $231
HOA fees: $409 per month

If you enjoy ocean views and a daily round of golf, this two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo located about 80 miles northwest of Portland might be for you. Imagine gazing out at the Pacific Ocean while enjoying a bowl of cereal at this unit's breakfast bar. You'll get the same spectacular views from the living room and balcony of this second-floor unit. Then head across the street to the 122-year-old Gearhart Golf Links, one of the oldest courses west of the Mississippi River. Daily greens fees at this 18-hole public golf course are as low as $35 during the summer months, when the average high temperature is about 65 degrees. Regular golfers can also buy a membership. Condo amenities include covered parking, an elevator and an indoor pool. Del Rey Beach State Recreation Site is just a walk away, where you'll find whale-watching during migrating months, scenic bikeways and, of course, the beach.

See more photos of this Oregon condo.

Melissa Eddy: Windermere Real Estate; 503-440-3258

Destin, Florida

Address: 510 Gulf Shore Drive, Unit 618
Price: $249,000
Square feet: 950
Price per square foot: $262
HOA fees: $487 per month

This two-bedroom, two-bathroom getaway about 50 miles east of Pensacola is the second of two condos on our list located on the white sand beaches of the Gulf Coast. Speaking of beaches, this seven-story complex backs up to a private beach, just steps away from the emerald green Gulf of Mexico. The unit comes fully furnished, with living-in-paradise touches throughout. From the living room and balcony, you'll be able to look out on the water. The kitchen has a nice breakfast bar, standard white appliances and solid-surface counter tops. Updates to the unit include ceramic tile and new appliances. You'll also find tennis courts and a pool. About three miles from the condo, you'll hit the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, with restaurants, water activities and charter fishing boats, a common sight in the city dubbed "the world's luckiest fishing village."

See more photos of this Florida condo.

 Matt Osgood: ResortQuest Real Estate; 850-687-7551

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