I am not a beach person. I am super pale and burn easily (and I have a family history of skin cancer). I find sitting on a crowded beach to be kind of dull. I can’t hear for a week if I spend 10 minutes in the ocean. It just really isn’t my thing. However, I definitely got my beach time growing up. We had access to a family house on Long Beach Island, New Jersey (passed down through generations) and we occasionally vacationed to less populated beaches in Florida (like Cayo Costa State Park!). My husband is absolutely a beach person (I guess opposites attract?). His family spent their summer vacations at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He was also a Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (where he spent all of his free time surfing).
I believe my daughter needs to be exposed to as many different people/places/things as possible. That includes the beach…I think the ocean is a sight that needs to be seen! In her first year, Boo went camping and hiking. She saw mountains and waterfalls. She visited Disney World and Busch Gardens Williamsburg. She watched street performers on cobblestone streets and saw manatees frolicking in hot springs. She rode in a canoe and on a ferry. The beach was definitely missing from her list of experiences, but somehow it just never worked out.
And then came Christmas Vacation. As a teacher I had a full 2 weeks off, but my retail worker husband was right in the midst of his busy season (he works for Walmart). By some miracle, Husband realized (at about 2 in the afternoon) that he had the next couple days off. I leapt on this rare opportunity and by 4:00, I had booked us into a dog friendly, beachfront hotel in Virginia Beach. We packed at lightning speed and by 2:00am, we were standing on our oceanside balcony listening to the waves. Amazing!
Ok, now for the perks of vacationing at the beach in the winter:
- No crowds! On the beach, in the restaurants, on the boardwalk, on the roads…glorious!
- Awesome hotel deals! We paid $67 a night (plus dog fees) for this room, which rents for $350 a night in high season. (Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront)
- Dogs are allowed on the beach! So, normally the dog would have spent a few days in boarding for this trip, but remember how last minute it was? Plus, it was so much fun to have the whole family on the trip!
- Did I mention, no crowds??
Now, the weather gods were in our favor for this one – Virginia does not typically see 70 degree weather in December – but, like I said before, I’m not really a beach-sitting kind of person! So, 40 degree weather at the beach would suit me just fine! Whatever it takes to have a crowd-free vacation!
Many smaller beach communities really shut down in the winter (restaurants, attractions, etc.). This can be quite nice, too. However, Virginia Beach is a working community that just happens to be on the beach, so there was plenty to do! We recommend Perked Up! Coffee Cafe and the Virginia Aquarium! Although I am still not a beach person, I would absolutely go back (out of season)!
Are you a winter beach bum? What are your favorite winter beaches?