What do you call living by the beach?

Living in the countryside is a rural lifestyle.

Living in a city is an urban lifestyle.

Living by the sea is a * lifestyle?

  • 2
    Maritime living is a possibility, but it could include living AT sea. Some countries e.g. France talk of their maritime provinces. I suppose one could speak of the maritime counties of Britain, or the *maritime states of the USA i.e. those bordering the sea.
    – WS2
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 18:32
  • 7
    simply seaside lifestyle ?
    – Graffito
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 19:02
  • 1
    Living at sea is of course Nautical
    – Ben
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 20:10
  • 1
    Webster's Unabridged 1913 defines "paralian" (n.) as "one who lives by the sea", so maybe that's worth exploring for an adjectival variant? webster-dictionary.org/definition/Paralian
    – Yee-Lum
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 20:32
  • 2
    @Ben- nautical is having to do with ships, sailors and navigation not living by the seaside.
    – Jim
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 3:15

6 Answers 6


You might also consider coastal:

Defined by Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary

adj. pertaining to or bordering on a coast.

Here's a magazine dedicated to it:

Coastal Living

  • 3
    Coastal living applies also to living by a lake. Seaside living is unambiguous.
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 1:57
  • 3
    Coastal is both lakeside and seaside, as is also littoral.
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 3:08
  • 4
    @Drew I'd only consider describing a lakeside home as coastal if it was on a very large lake on par with a sea, especially as a "coast" is "the land along or near a sea or ocean", according to MW at least.
    – talrnu
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 17:20
  • 2
    In the UK, where lakes are relatively small, we say 'lake-side'. But I imagine that for the larger lakes of the world - Superior, Victoria, Baikal - using 'coastal' would be common. So, to describe 'living by the sea' unambiguously I'd say (like @Drew) 'seaside' or 'maritime'.
    – Dan
    Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 1:18
  • 4
    And in Australia, where the lakes are small but the sea-coast is very large, "coast" is almost exclusively for the sea (likewise "coastal"). To me, lakes have shores, not coasts. Like @Dan, I would say "lakeside" (no hyphen for me, though). But "seaside" is also common, and salespeople would say "beachside" if there's even a hint of beach on the stretch of coast in question. Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 10:30

The word you want is littoral:

Of or on a shore, especially a seashore: a littoral property; the littoral biogeographic zone.

UPDATE: I'd actually like express appreciation to the down-voters and to @MadHackers counter-answer for calling me out on this. It seems I don't even follow my own advice. I had thought littoral was a more common word than others do- certainly not in everyday conversation, but more in news reports and some TV documentaries. Then again, the shows I watch and the magazines I read are not exactly mainstream.

  • This is extremely rare when coupled with 'house' etc in British English at least. it occurs most frequently in specialised registers. Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 19:36
  • 4
    This seems to be a case of technically correct but infrequently used in regular talk. When we see a magazine called "Littoral Living"...
    – Yee-Lum
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 20:34
  • I'd expect "littoral" to refer to the house actually being on the beach, whereas I suspect the questioner has a wider strip of land in mind when talking about people living "by the sea". That magazine is for a pretty niche market regardless whether or not it's the word people would actually use where it's applicable. Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 0:30
  • 1
    +1 I'm familiar with the word, but I wasn't until I became acquainted with LCS
    – Jim
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 18:42

If you're comparing it to rural, it will still be called either rural, suburban or urban, depending on the area.

A sparsely populated seaside location far from a city center, will be considered rural. An oceanfront condo in a large port city will be urban.

I live near the beach, but also within walking distance of a rapid transit station. It's essentially suburban.

  • 1
    Indeed! A very good point.
    – Dan
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 3:09

Or possibly maritime -

Of a place: bordering the sea. Of a person: living near or by the sea. (OED)

  • 14
    I think "maritime" brings to mind the sea itself and so "maritime living" might more likely be living on a ship than living by the sea. Just my feeling, though.
    – Yee-Lum
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 20:35

simply seaside lifestyle.

Excerpt of Coast of Dreams by Kevin Starr:

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If you're using Australian English, and the person has deliberately moved from a large urban city to a less populated coastal area, you may call them a seachanger, named after the TV series SeaChange which involved this scenario.

If they moved from a large urban city to a non-coastal area, you can call them a "treechanger" instead.

  • I don't know whether SeaChange is the source of the term, though it certainly popularised it. I don't think the title of the show would've made sense if "a sea-change" wasn't already a comprehensible phrase. (Your Wikipedia link identifies Shakespeare as the source of the term, though I doubt his Ariel was singing about moving to a coastal town.) Of course, now that it is popular, we have the appalling "tree-change" for moving out to the bush... Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 10:38

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