Unique Beach Towns to Visit in the Off Season
School is in full swing and your summer beach vacation is becoming a distant memory. Fall is here and most people are focused on the array of colorful leaves, sweater weather and football. However, with the beginning of fall comes the gift of “off season travel” in summer’s favorite place, the beach! Tourists have gone home and the less crowded, quaint (not to mention less expensive) beach towns can now be a family’s dream come true. Here are our choices for unique beach towns to visit during the off season.
Beaches of Lincoln City, Oregon
Natural, rugged Oregon is home to some of the country’s most scenic beaches. The prettiest stretch of beach inside Lincoln City limits is the 1.5 miles between Roads End State Recreation Area and Cascade Head, offering a quieter family-friendly beach-walking experience than other areas. Kids will enjoy making sand castles and finding treasures in the magical tide pools. Windy days often bring windsurfers to the waves here.
The cliff, across the Siletz River from Cascade Head, possesses the mysterious rock structure known as Wizard Rock, which can be seen at anytime but high tide. And at a low tide, you can go around Wizard Rock and find a rarely touched section of beach, filled with small caves and unique rock forms to climb.
On the southern border of Lincoln City, Siletz Bay offers all sorts of fun and is home to a variety of wildlife including seals and bald eagles. Crabbing and clamming are local family favorite activities. It is the ideal spot to end the day with a bonfire built from all the driftwood collected there.
Beaches of Oceanside, California
Though summer is gone, San Diego is still warm and sunny and Legoland is not the only family friendly activity to enjoy year round! Oceanside is 3.5 miles of clean, soft, white sandy beaches allowing one to enjoy a variety of fun family activities. Families can enjoy a day at the beach in the sun and cooler evenings around the fire pits making s’mores!
Oceanside is an ideal place for families that enjoy action packed activities including surfing, kayaking, boating, fishing, bike-riding and more. Run or rollerblade along the pedestrian-friendly Strand, take a walk on Oceanside Pier and enjoy the fresh air, food and friendly vendors at the Farmer’s Market and Sunset Market on Thursdays.
Beaches of 30A, Florida
Locally, fall is considered the best season to visit 30A, a scenic stretch of pristine beaches between Destin and Panama City Beach. These cozy little South Walton beach communities are perfect for families because of the “neighborhood feel.” Colorful houses and bike paths line the beaches and roads and each area is pleasingly pedestrian friendly.
October, they say is actually the best month to be there. The crowds are gone, the weather is amazing and the Gulf is still warm enough from the summer heat for swimming. However, the sweltering heat and thick humidity subside and the sand doesn’t burn tiny toes. At this time of year, sunsets over the Gulf are truly a 30A treasure, offering spectacular painted skies almost every evening.
Well into November and December, families can enjoy this area. Dozens of South Walton restaurants offer special and delicious holiday dinners for those visiting at Thanksgiving. 30A comes alive in the holiday season with beautiful decorations and thousands of lights. It’s easy to get in the holiday spirit here, and it’s a magical place to spend Christmas with loved ones.
Beaches of Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina is more than just one of the country's most beloved cities, it's also home to five unique beach towns, each with its own distinctive character and flavor. With the temperatures still lingering in the 70’s in the fall, families can enjoy the warm, sunny days and cooler evenings. Each Charleston beach varies in size and vibe but all of them invite families to enjoy the slow paced, Carolina-style way of life. The kids can run wild on the beaches, free of crowds and tourists.
Isle of Palms Beach is proud to be a family beach with a balanced blend of full-time residents and visitors who come to enjoy golf and sun and sand.
Folly Beach is an eclectic, laid back beach just 15 minutes from Charleston where visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of the Carolina coast.
Kiawah Island is a 10,000 barrier island off the coast with 10 miles of scenic beaches.
Seabrook Island offers a slower pace of life in this tranquil community where you can enjoy horseback riding and a deep water marina.
Historical Sullivan’s Island is a seaside village that sits at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor.
Beaches of Treasure Coast, Florida
A stretch of sand along Florida’s east coast is known as the historical Treasure Coast and the communities of Stuart, Jensen Beach and Hobe Sound. Don’t forget to bring your buckets as Treasure Coast is home to gorgeous shells and sandcastle building!
Stuart is a family favorite beach, known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World,” and well known for its historic and pedestrian friendly downtown where the Stuart Green Market and Live Music event is held every Sunday.
Jensen Beach was once known as the “Pineapple Capital of the World” and still holds an annual pineapple fest. Families enjoy boating, sailing and fishing and the kids love learning about the area’s endangered sea turtles that are attracted there during nesting seasons.
Nature loving families can head to Hobe Sound, located between Stuart and Jupiter. Hobe Sound is home to some of the most beautiful nature spots in the state and visitors enjoy the unspoiled parks and pristine beaches. Blowing Rocks Preserve is an excellent place to view the limestone-studded beach, a snorkeler’s dream come true.
So, even though summer is just a memory, there is still plenty to see and do at the beach! Fall is the perfect opportunity to enjoy these seaside communities with less crowds and a slower pace. Clanventure has several vacation rentals in these beach towns for families, specifically with amenties for the families with small children. You'll find homes with baby gear, safety features and tons of fun for the kiddos! Start your search for kid-friendly vacation rentals here.