Beach towns in the winter are a magical thing. And I'm not talking about, say, Miami (although 80°F and sunny does sound pretty good right now). No, what I'm talking about are summer beach towns — the ones that swell to bursting come Memorial Day, but for the rest of the year are just regular little villages that happen to be in close proximity to sand and sea.
To me, these beach towns are even better in the winter. Here are five reasons why.
1. They are more relaxed.
Every year after Labor Day, with the predictable waning of the population that happens like clockwork, there is an almost audible exhalation in tiny villages lining beaches everywhere. Do locals appreciate the business of summer tourists? I am sure. But are they relieved when the throngs dwindle and they can get back to normal life? I suspect so, based on the warmth of the people who live in these towns year-round. I have experienced it time and again.
2. Snow + sand = magic.
Snow is magical. Sand is magical. Put the two together and you have a very special kind of magic. If you happen to be at a beach town when it snows or just after a big storm, you are very lucky indeed. (See how much my dog, Charlie, loves it? You will, too.)
3. There's nothing to do.
I mean this in the very best way possible. Of course, yes, you can find some activity — a cute antique shop to peruse for old cast iron pans, or a winery that's open for a midday tasting — but it is okay to do nothing! It is the point to do nothing and you do not have to feel guilty that you didn't get up early to nab the prime real estate at the overcrowded beach.
4. There are fires and warming drinks.
Yes, there are fires and warming drinks other places. Yes, you could ski before sitting in front of the fire with a hot toddy. But beach towns in the winter offer all the perks of après ski, without the pressure to actually ski. (See previous point.)
5. They are more affordable.
Winter is the off season for beach towns. It is not even the shoulder season; it is the way-off season. If you go to a beach town in the winter, not only will you not have to deal with crowds and wondering if your favorite hotel has availability (it does!), but it will also be significantly gentler on your wallet.
Do you have a favorite winter beach destination? Share with us in the comments!