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Santa Monica And Other California Beach Towns Rank Among Best In The Nation

Beach-goers relax on a sandy beach under colorful umbrellas.
People are seen gathering on the beach north of Newport Beach Pier.
(Michael Heiman
Getty Images)
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We’ve known it for years, but now we’ve got data to prove it.

Southern California beaches are among the best in the country. Wallethub released a new study for the best beach towns to live in in 2021. The towns are divided into two categories — those located by the ocean and those near a lake. Thirty of California’s beaches made the list, some even beating out beaches in Hawaii.

Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Santa Monica all ranked in the top 10 for best towns to live by the ocean. Many of California’s lake towns also ranked in the top 10, including Folsom and South Lake Tahoe.

These rankings took six key factors into consideration: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life.