Second homes make up about a third of the town's residential property. It is a tourist destination, with visitors attracted by its Blue Flag shingle beach and fisherman huts, where fresh fish are sold daily, by Aldeburgh Yacht Club, and by its cultural attractions. Two family-run fish and chip shops are cited as being among the best in the country.
Aldeburgh is the bottom-right settlement depicted in this 1588 map
Alde Burgh means "old fort" although this structure, along with much of the Tudor town, has now been lost to the sea. In the 16th century, Aldeburgh was a leading port, and had a flourishing ship-building industry. The flagship of the Virginia Company, the Sea Venture is believed to have been built here in 1608. Aldeburgh's importance as a port declined as the River Alde silted up and larger ships could no longer berth. It survived mainly as a fishing village until the 19th century, when it also became a seaside resort. Much of its distinctive and whimsical architecture derives from that period. The river is now home to a yacht club and a sailing club.