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Summer Beaches In The Winter

on January 23, 2011

Ahh, the beach! Lazing the day away in the sun and sand. Beach towns in the northern part of the US are primarily summertime destinations. And the sun-seekers flock to them as evidenced by the car and pedestrian congestion. Fast forward to the winter months and those same beaches are all but deserted. But, the towns that serve those beaches have a lot to offer all year round. For many reasons it can be even better to visit them in the cold weather months. Take it from a local…

The Traffic

Try to get to any popular beach destination (think Cape Cod or the Maine Coast) on a summer weekend and you might just give up your beach day altogether. The traffic snarls, tempers flare and by the time you get to where you’re going (probably 2 hours later than you planned) you’re ready to call it quits! Ditto when it comes time to depart. Head there in the winter months, however, and you’ll encounter smooth sailing. Parking is a piece of cake too.

The Shopping

You know all those cute shops that every beach town has? The ones so crowded during the summer that you can barely get into them, let alone shop to your heart’s content? Well, with few exceptions, they are still open during the winter and the shop owners are grateful for your business during the lean months. A calm environment combined with friendly service make for a very pleasant shopping experience during the off-season. And you’ll probably stumble across more sales too!

The Discounts

In addition to the discounts you’ll inevitably garner for accommodations, there are deals to be had for almost everything else too in the off-season. While some restaurants may close for some or all of the winter, those that stay open tend to be the tried and true ones that the local residents frequent. In order to lure people to their establishment, they might offer 2 for 1 discounts or other great deals. When you get into town, check out the local paper…many restaurants will advertise there. The paper might also clue you in to special happenings that you won’t want to miss.

The Local Scene

As the summer crowds descend on a small beach town, the vibe grows more and more frantic and can sometimes be unfriendly. The opposite is true during the winter months. The year round residents are decidedly more friendly when not being descended on by the masses and have more time to interact with visitors. They will definitely appreciate your business and in return may even share information with you. Now is the time to ask about their favorite restaurant, or the best place to go for a hike or run. *There is always a great breakfast joint that has a line out the door or a restaurant that you can never get into during the summer. You’ll have an easier time getting in during the wintertime.

The Beach

If you’re the type of beach-goer who appreciates the natural beauty of the environment then wintertime on the coast may be even more inviting than summer. On a sunny day with no wind it can feel downright warm on the sand. Fido won’t be welcome at the shore during the summer months, but he’ll be able to frolic freely once the crowds are gone. If you’re a shell or beach glass collector, the competition for the good stuff will be much less too. *See tip number 4 for how to find out at which beaches you’re most likely to score.




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