5 Unbeatable Beach Bargains to Enjoy During the Off-season
Beach travel is typically considered a summer activity: the kids are out of school, the sun is shining, and travelers are looking to beat the heat with a swim. These retreats can be equally rewarding in the milder months, as beachside towns tend to be less crowded during these times, offering the opportunity for a quiet natural escape at impressively low off-season prices. Rather than braving the beach during peak season at resorts like Venice Beach — which hosts 16 million visitors annually, according to Travel + Leisure — why not treat yourself to a private seaside getaway without getting stuck in traffic and endless lines?
Take advantage of the reasonable prices at these 5 excellent beachside retreats during the off-season.
1. Nantucket, Massachusetts
Nantucket, a secluded island about 30 miles off Cape Cod, hits peak congestion after Memorial Day. According to the Massachusetts state government, the island’s modest population of 11,000 swells to more than 50,000 in the months of July and August. While it’s no tropical destination — even in the summer, average temperatures are generally in the mid-70s, reports the National Weather Service — the charm of this quaint New England town makes it a coveted travel spot at any time of year.
According to USA Today, popular hotels on the island can run visitors up to $595 a night during peak months. These prices are cut to about $195 in April and early May, slowly climbing until peak tourist months.
2. Pacifica, California
Lying about 15 south of San Francisco is lovely Pacifica. The temperatures are mild here year-round, generally falling between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, reports U.S. Climate Data. Try visiting in November, when harvest season for the California Dungeness crab reaches its peak. Outdoorsy types can enjoy a hike along magnificent Milagra Ridge, host to a diversity of wildlife such as foxes, deer, and bobcats, along with stunning views overlooking the Pacific Ocean, reports Coastal Living.
3. Virginia Beach, Virginia
Although chilly temperatures will keep you out of the water, Virginia Beach has plenty to offer for its land-faring visitors in the off-season. During this time, take advantage of events like Holiday Lights at the Beach, where brightly colored, nautical-themed holiday lights line 32 straight blocks on the boardwalk, making for a picturesque oceanside scene. Guests will also enjoy the serenity of a walk or hike through First Landing State Park. If you’re visiting from January to March, also try a whale-watching tour to glimpse the aquatic giants as they feed along the coastline, suggests Coastal Living.
4. Port Orford, Oregon
Temperatures here hover around the mid-50s year-round — winter weather is about 10 degrees cool than summer, reports Travel + Leisure — but there is an abundance of fun to be had in Oregon’s scenic seafront in the fall and winter months. Visit landmarks such as Cape Blanco, a beautiful lighthouse situated upon the westernmost point in the continental United States. Enjoy panoramic views of the state’s craggy coastline with a hike in beautiful Floras Lake State Park. Travel + Leisure says that snug coastal rooms can be found for as cheap as $95 in the fall and winter seasons.
5. The Hamptons, New York
Hailed as a beachside vacation spot of the stars, the Hamptons might seem beyond the price range of the typical thrifty traveler, but off-season vacations here are as rewarding as they are reasonable. Avoid long lines, parking perils, and overcrowded shops and restaurants by visiting in the winter. In the colder months, visitors can make the most of their visit with a walk along placid Cooper’s Beach, which offers incredible opportunities for stargazing. According to Travel + Leisure, hotel rooms that cost up to $489 per night in the summer will be yours for just $149 during the winter months.