I’ve always thought that nothing was as calming as the repetitive, yet restful sound of waves crashing against the shore. The smell and taste of salt in the air and the warming comfort of sunshine on your face can always drop your anxiety level by a notch or two.
These may be the reason why the New England seashore is a favorite summer destination for so many.
Beach lovers are willing to fight the summer traffic of the Sagamore Bridge, the Hampton Beach toll booths, or the bumper to bumper traffic of Ogunquit Center every summer just to spend a few relaxing hours in the sun.
Another part of the summer beach ritual is to enjoy a fresh seafood dinner at your favorite restaurant or browse the quaint seaside shops of your favorite beach area.
Summer vacation is still a long way away, but the winter weather is no reason to stay away from the beautiful New England coast.
Sure you may not want to run and jump head first into the ocean waters in early March, but New England beach towns still have more to offer than just a refreshing dip in the ocean.
There are many things to enjoy at the beach in wintertime that you may overlook during the busy summer season.
There is little to no traffic at this time of year. It is easy to take a slow coastal drive without angry honks from hurried tourists or enjoy a stroll on the beach without stepping over blankets, beach toys and chairs.
You may be thinking it is just too cold to enjoy any outdoor beach activities at this time of year, but don’t let the thought of winter weather stop you.
Just remember the old saying, “There are no bad weather days, just bad clothing decisions.”
When planning your winter trip to the beach don’t dress for fashion. Wear plenty of warm layers, including gloves, hats and scarves and wear warm, waterproof shoes or boots.
You could even choose to enjoy the beauty of the seashore from the warmth and comfort of your car.
Pack a winter “picnic” lunch of soup or chowder, fresh bread and cheese.
You are pretty much guaranteed to get a great parking spot with a view, without the crowds or the cost. Parking at the beach is free in the winter off season.
Winter is the perfect time for photo buffs to get great shots of Mother Nature’s best work. The stoic beauty of the ocean can be captured in its undisturbed state of winter.
Snow, ice and raging storms add shades of beauty to the landscape and the quiet of a winter’s day can be sensed in the images you take.
Winter also makes for a more opportune time to view birds and other marine life that may be a bit shy and hard to view when the crowds of summer are about.
There is nothing man’s best friend likes more than a run on the beach. However, most public beaches do not allow dogs during the summer months. Now is the perfect opportunity for Fido to run and play on the empty beach, and the good news is that he already has a fur coat to keep him warm!
If you can’t imagine going to the beach without your swimsuit, then plan an overnight trip.
Many hotels and inns are open during the winter and feature indoor pools or hot tubs to enjoy. Because of a large vacancy rate, most offer room rates at a discount during the off season.
Your favorite clam shack may be closed for the winter, but many restaurants in oceanside vacation communities stay open year round and offer specials and discounts to lure off season customers. It will also be a pleasant change to enjoy your favorite seafood dish without waiting two hours for a table.
The same goes for local shops. Many stay open year round and will offer last year’s merchandise at huge savings to make room for next season’s merchandise. You may want to check store hours, as they may be limited in the off season.
We have been spoiled this winter, as New England winters go, with the average temperature running higher than normal. Why not take advantage of the relatively warm winter we are experiencing by spending a relaxing day or weekend at your favorite beach.
Enjoy the peace and tranquility New England’s coast has to offer while you can, because before you know it there will be a two mile back up at the Sagamore Bridge....