“We’re getting in the car and we’re heading south until we find sun!” is a desperate cry uttered by many North American parents who can no longer keep their kids pent up inside during the cold and dreary days of winter.
With much of North America’s population living in the ports and along the rivers on the north eastern corner of the continent, for many families from Quebec City to Philadelphia, the drive to the sun can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Luckily, America’s eastern seaboard offers beaches at temperatures that are freezing to the locals, but absolutely balmy to tourists.
North and South Carolina
When you talk about heading to sit on the beach in the Carolinas, the conversation will almost always head around to the legendary Myrtle Beach. This long stretch of sand has provided snow weary northerners with an easy to reach winter getaway for generations. Myrtle Beach has become synonymous with beach and golf vacations for March Break, its Atlantic climate warm enough to take the edge off of the deep freeze back home.</p>
Myrtle Beach is not the only beach vacation destination the Carolinas have to offer. Visiting North Carolina, you will want to take in beach resorts such as Holden and Wilmington Beaches, as well as the barrier islands known as the Outer Banks. The beaches in North Carolina boast some of the highest sand dunes in the United States.
If you aren’t interested in the tourist hype of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, you may want to set up residence at one of the resorts in the Lowcountry and Resort Islands region, which includes the world renowned Hilton’s Head. You may also want to combine your beach holiday with a little history in the historic capital of Charleston.
Georgia is often the forgotten state along the American south east coast, but it too offers many beautiful beaches and resorts to escape winter drudgery. Because Georgia’s beaches are no where near as famous as their counterparts in the Carolinas to the north or Florida in the south, they will also be a lot less busy, even in high season. Beach stops in Georgia should include St. Simons and Jekyll Islands, each has public beaches with all the amenities of change rooms and lifeguards, with Down-South resorts on their doorstep.</p>
A peninsula jutting to the continental USA’s most southern point in Key West, Florida has a wealth of beaches to choose from. Whether it’s the sophisticated urban setting of Miami and Fort Lauderdale on the Atlantic coast, the more sedate stylings of St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay on the Gulf coast or the right of passage Spring Break in Daytona, Florida has something for everyone. No family beach vacation to Florida would be complete, however, without a visit to the happiest place on earth: Disney World in Orlando.
Although the northeast is not a winter getaway beach destination, once the sun turns to hot in July and August, New England has its own beaches worthy of being considered for your sun and sand holiday. You will find the high rollers strutting their stuff on the boardwalk overlooking the beach in Atlantic City and teenagers thrilling at the amusements on Coney Island. For a more tranquil summer vacation, why not try Martha’s Vineyard?
From top to bottom, America’s eastern seaboard provides beaches for all tastes, where you end up just depends on the water’s temperature.