Winter Beach Trips Offer Worthwhile Experiences


Joshua Yang, Forum Editor

Why take a winter beach trip? At first thought, “winter” and “beach” seem like an unlikely pair, yet there’s ample reason to consider packing up for a day on the coastline in the middle of February. Crowds will be nearly non-existent, offering an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the unmarked scenery. Additionally, wintertime offers a chance for great surfing; on the West Coast, the best waves come between October and April. And, of course, the normal perks of a beach trip are still there: the feeling of relaxation, the waves and the ill-fated attempts at sand castle construction. In that spirit, here are some tips for the quintessential winter beach trip.

First, it’s important to pick out a suitable location. Hawaii or beaches in the Southern hemisphere are guaranteed to have the perfect climate for swimming, sunbathing or other warm-weather activities, but flights aren’t exactly cheap, and if packing suitcases just for a beach trip isn’t for you, you might want to look for something closer to home. If that’s the case, it’s smart to head down south— Laguna Beach in Southern California is known for being an acclaimed off-season beach, to the point where it has even advertised itself as a holiday destination. Other beaches in the area include Venice Beach and Pacific Beach. The beaches in NorCal will be cold and windy this time of year, but they’re still worth a try. Land’s End in San Francisco offers beaches dotted along a short hiking trail, and classic, larger beaches such as Ocean Beach are open 24/7.

Now that you’ve found your perfect destination, it’s time to think about the beach- wear. Whether you intend to swim, surf or simply admire the ocean view from the warmth of your idling car, it’s important to dress in layers. Winter, especially along the coastline, brings rapid temperature changes, and winter beachgoers need to be ready. Sweaters, jackets or windbreakers can help with high-speed winds, but a bathing suit can maximize your time spent sunbathing and enjoying the warm weather spell when it comes.

Last but not least, keep basic cautions in mind. Even if it’s winter, the sun still can do damage to your skin, so keep sunscreen handy. Bring sunglasses as well, since the sun can reflect off waves and wet sand into your eyes.

Maybe the idea of such a trip has never popped into your mind, but as you’re standing barefoot, watching the horizon and listening to the waves rolling over the wet sand, know that you won’t regret a single thing.