I have a confession. I don’t like the beach near as much in the summer as I do in the winter.

Having spent some of my youth and young adult life in the panhandle of Florida, I always tended to avoid the crowds that thronged the beaches during summer. I preferred to visit the beach during the winter months, when the weather typically has highs of 50-70 degrees. Donning a jacket or light coat, I could roam the beaches with very few other people to mar the beauty of the beautiful white sands and turquoise blue water.

Even today, when I visit that area, I always choose the off season to catch some downtime for myself. I don’t want to fight the crowds or traffic, and visiting the historic sites in the area is much easier during this time of year.

Many people find, like myself, that the winter is the perfect time to have a beach getaway. Going up the East Coast, places like Myrtle Beach, North Carolina’s Outer Banks, and even Virginia Beach offer a surprising respite for winter vacations. Imagine roasting marshmallows by the shore, or gathering shells as the waves roll in.

In addition, a getaway to the shore is the perfect antidote to the holiday stressors. Armed with a few good books, perhaps a journal to write in, or just a cup of hot coffee or cocoa to sit with, you will find that quiet time at the beach can melt away the strain and pressures of everyday life, and help you get back to the peace and calm of your inner life.

Picture yourself and your perfect getaway to a winter beach retreat. It may just be your best vacation yet!

Photo from Destin Jewel