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 Dec 20 '15 at 18:32
  • 7
    simply seaside lifestyle ? – Graffito Dec 20 '15 at 19:02
  • 1
    Living at sea is of course Nautical – Ben Dec 20 '15 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 Dec 20 '15 at 20:32
  • 2
    @Ben- nautical is having to do with ships, sailors and navigation not living by the seaside. – Jim Dec 21 '15 at 3:15

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 Dec 21 '15 at 1:57
  • 3
    Coastal is both lakeside and seaside, as is also littoral. – Drew Dec 21 '15 at 3:08
  • 3
    @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 Dec 21 '15 at 17:20
  • 1
    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 Dec 22 '15 at 1:18
  • 3
    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. – Tim Pederick Dec 22 '15 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. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 20 '15 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 Dec 20 '15 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. – Steve Jessop Dec 21 '15 at 0:30
  • 1
    +1 I'm familiar with the word, but I wasn't until I became acquainted with LCS – Jim Dec 21 '15 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 Dec 21 '15 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 Dec 20 '15 at 20:35

simply seaside lifestyle.

Excerpt of Coast of Dreams by Kevin Starr:

enter image description here


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... – Tim Pederick Dec 22 '15 at 10:38

protected by Mitch May 9 at 2:42

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.