15 Beach Houses From The Past With Retro Seaside Energy

Whether the water is calling you from the West Coast or East, lake or ocean, there's nothing quite as alluring as a waterfront beach house. Being just steps from the water, late-night bonfires in the sand, and indoor-outdoor living are all major selling points. With many people having greater flexibility at work, buying second houses is now becoming more popular, per Bloomberg, so you may have found yourself browsing real estate listings or even just looking into long-term beachside rentals.

While the ultra-contemporary beach houses of Malibu certainly have their appeal, sometimes you can't beat the classics with retro styling. Picture plenty of shiplap, bay windows, scallop shingled roofs, and some flair unique to the area. Check out our guide for plenty of inspo for your dream vacation home, next big family trip, or just some summer daydreaming fuel. These 15 darling beach houses are a total blast from the past.

1. Southern charm beach house

With a gorgeous porch and blue-on-blue details, this Australian beach house looks like it could be plucked straight from the pages of a Nicholas Sparks novel. 

2. Serene in Santa Monica

This Santa Monica beachfront property has all of the charm and whimsy — decked out from head to toe in shades of lilac and watermelon pink, this is a dreamy spot for any stay. 

3. Blue in the Bay Area

Perfectly pairing American craftsman sensibilities with more contemporary clean lines in the roofing make this San Fransisco abode a standout. 

4. Classic Cape Cod

The classic Cape Cod cottage is characterized by its boxy silhouette, steep roofs, and shingled siding — all meant to endure the four seasons in style. The climbing ivy gives this classic, all-American charm. 

5. Nearly heaven in Navarre Beach

If you're looking for more of a Margaritaville-inspired beach stay, Navarre Beach in Florida may have just the thing. This beach house has gorgeous color blocking of salmon pink and arctic blue, with rectangular, mid-century-styled windows and doors. 

6. Beach cottage in Rockport, MA

Less uniform than the Cape Cod architecture, this beach house still offers classic New England style. The stilted deck is perfect for a glass of wine in the evening or a cup of coffee in the morning, and charming multi-level roofs keep things interesting. 

7. Sweet bungalow in Charleston

South Carolina's Charleston is an amazing location for a beachfront property, given its historic downtown and proximity to sandy beaches. This charming white bungalow is the perfect place to retire after a day at the beach. 

8. Coastal New Hampshire style

This New Hampshire beach house perfectly blends colonial and craftsman designs, featuring shingles, columns, a fenceless porch, and an arched balcony. All topped off with a creamy yellow paint that stands out beautifully against the deep blue ocean. 

9. Fabulous in Fort Bragg

Lovely stone feature walls and horizontal siding in a pale shade of blue make this craftsman North Carolina beach house a gorgeous spot. Plus, peep the equally adorable dog house in the bottom right corner. 

10. Must-have mid-century charm

For a more artsy beach house, check out this mid-century shack. The Bauhaus-inspired bank of windows and bright color-blocking panels are stunning, eye-catching features. 

11. Michigan lake views

If you are more inclined to the Midwest lake scene than coastal beaches, check out this stunning three-story lakeside home. The rounded tiered decks give panoramic views of the lakes, and sage green shingles against crisp white columns are serene touches. 

12. Stilted house goals

Stilted beach houses are common against Southeast shorelines, which help prevent major damage due to rising tides and flooding. This darling stilted home gets the benefits of even better water views, thanks to its height. 

13. Whimsical Wisconsin lake house

The pastel purple shades of this lakefront barn house may be reminiscent of Venice Beach bungalows, but don't be fooled — this home is filled with Midwestern charm, resting alongside Lake Du Bay. 

14. Saintly St. Augustine

St. Augustine, Florida, is characterized by its stunning Spanish colonial style and gorgeous beaches. This home perfectly exemplifies the unique, awe-inspiring architecture that keeps visitors coming to St. Augustine from across the country. 

15. Verdant in Valparaiso, Florida

Beach houses aren't always all shiplap and shingles. Take, for example, this beautiful stucco home in Florida. Minty green against white square detailing are inspiring color choices that still read as playful and neutral.