So, you’ve decided on an escape to the coast? Great choice. Beachfront vacation rentals are some seriously enticing places to get the R&R flowing or start a new adventure. From pristine white sands to wild bays for surfers, all sorts of enticements await. What's more, they can be truly unforgettable pads to settle in for a week or two, with wave-washed gardens and stunning shores just a stone's throw away.

Popular East Coast spots for coastal vacation rentals

There's no denying the wonder of the East Coast. Running from the color-changing forests of Maine to the come-laze-on-me sands of the Sunshine State, it's home to barrier islands with wild horses, undulating dune fields, and oodles of enticing resorts with vacation rentals that are just a few short steps from the ocean.

Myrtle Beach for family beachfront vacations

Ah, Myrtle Beach – perhaps the most famous ocean escape in the Carolinas. A whopping 60 miles of glowing shoreline stretches out from the town, so there's certainly plenty of space to fit in all those family-sized mansions and condominiums. The vintage delights of the Family Kingdom theme park and the stingrays of Ripley's Aquarium are just some of the draws that await here.

Wild adventures in Assateague Island

Escape the buzz of the resort towns and the city by choosing the remote reaches of Assateague Island for your next beachfront vacation. It's a glorious swathe of undulating dunes and pine forests, all crisscrossed by rare seabirds and wild horses. The town of Chincoteague is the gateway to it all, where charming coastal vacation rentals share the streets with oyster shacks, but some more secluded rentals also fringe the Atlantic nearer the Assateague Island National Seashore reserve.

Long Island for refined escapes

In the stomping ground of “The Great Gatsby” and the home of the Hamptons, it should hardly come as a surprise that there are plenty of high-class luxury escapes by the Atlantic. So, get ready for handsome Victorian mansions and centuries-old manors with big gardens, all within striking distance of sandy Fire Island and the lighthouses of Montauk.

Other US destinations for awesome beachfront vacations

Of course, the East Coast isn't the only part of the USA with alluring seas and sparkling sands. You can head west to the fabled land of California over the Sierra Nevada. Or, you can delve deep into the South for alabaster-white stretches on the Gulf of Mexico. Check out some of the hot tips for such alternatives below.

A surf-washed stay in Oceanside

Roughly midway between San Diego and Huntington on the fringes of LA, Oceanside is everything its name implies. Go in search of a Pacific-view condo or little surf shack here and before you know it you could be riding waves with local pros, strutting down timber boardwalks, or spotting rare seabirds over beautiful Batiquitos Lagoon.

Panama City Beach – Florida's other side

The famous Sunshine State isn't all on the East Coast of the US, you know. There are also 100s of miles that run in an arc along the Gulf of Mexico, which is precisely where you'll discover the energetic resort town of Panama City Beach. There are countless coastal vacation rentals to choose from there, strung out all along the white-glinting main beach and beyond. Many even come with shared pools and good links to local water sports outfitters, where you can set up dolphin spotting or scuba trips.

Destin for nature and fun rolled into one

Destin is another jewel of the Florida Panhandle that's got something for everyone. Families can settle in their very own condo that sleeps up to six or more. Couples can bag private flats with balconies overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Then comes the fun – think the sizzling sands of Henderson Beach State Park, and all the cabaret and circus shows of Destin Harbor Boardwalk come evening.

Getting cheap beachfront rentals

Looking for a breath of salt air for less? There should be savings galore if you follow the tips below. They can help you pinpoint cheap beachfront rentals by dodging peak seasons and looking to more off-radar corners of the coast.

Don't go with the crowd

When school's out for summer or the winter chills are forcing snowbirds away from the northern states, rates in beachfront vacation rentals all over the south of the country, the Caribbean, Latin America, and beyond can swell considerably. The trick is to wait for late January or hold on until fall for the best deals, when the crowds return to the Rat Race and you can have the pick of the best-priced pads to yourself.

Choose beachfront vacation rentals further afield

In many of America's most popular resort destinations, the cost of beachfront vacation rentals can creep skyward as you head towards the main boulevard, the buzzy dining precincts, or the most famous stretch of sand. Take Panama City Beach as an example. The rentals along Thomas Drive to the west of the main attractions and Front Beach Road are often a fraction of the price of their counterparts nearer the pier.

Use the web to compare coastal vacation rentals

These days, there's really no substitute for online when it comes to unearthing the cheapest of cheap beachfront rentals. Websites will let you easily pinpoint the most wallet-friendly homes with views of the ocean, all while comparing features and checking availability off the cuff.