real estate

10 houses for sale in the happiest American beach towns

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1. Stuart, Florida
Stuart, Florida |

1. Stuart, Florida

List price: $1.05 million

This open-air contemporary beauty perfectly reflects the laid-back, flip-flop lifestyle of Florida's Treasure Coast.

The 3-bedroom, 3-bath, 3,326-square-foot home built in 1959 features an updated, open-concept kitchen, office loft, spacious family room and a 200-foot dock for those glorious waterfront sunsets on the St. Lucie River.

While the stunning cathedral ceilings, split floor plan, screened-in pool and dramatic master suite with a custom curved-frame picture window set this classic apart from the crowd, listing agent Stephen Ngo of Premier Realty Group says it's the property's 120-foot water frontage that really steals the show.

"Summer sunsets here bleed reds and oranges," he says. "You could close your eyes and still feel the energy of the water and salt air."

What makes Stuart special?

Because Stuart is a low-growth/no-growth, environmentally minded community, it's not likely to allow Miami-style high-rise condos to block its glorious beachfront views. That's helping keep the average home price at $295,000, according to

Newcomers should know that the natural St. Lucie beachfront more closely resembles northern waterways such as Chesapeake Bay and New England than Miami Beach. "If you love those wide waterfront views, this is going to feel like home to you," Ngo says.


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