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3 Jan 2022
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Things to Do

When you think of the beach, you can almost feel the sun warming your skin as you dig your toes into sugar white sands, indulging in an exclusive all-natural foot massage. You also think of summer or springtime, but actually winter is one of the best times to visit the beach because there’s still a ton to do without the company of all of those people who have yet to discover that winter, water, and white sands go together like little umbrellas and pretty cocktails.

Visit the Beach for a Day of Chill & Play

Just as the beaches make most people think of summer, winter also inspires thoughts of freezing temperatures, icy slush, and snow-covered cars. For those of us at the beach, however, our winter is basically Michigan’s summer. Temperatures dwell in the 60s and 70s making for a delightful atmosphere.

Because the oceans are always churning and respond to global trends rather than local ones, the water in winter actually feels quite warm (it’s nature’s heated pool). (This is why the water feels deliciously cool in the heat of summer, too.)

Thus, when it’s winter, the beach is a perfect to-do. There aren’t the usual crowds. The sunrises and sunsets are equally (if not more) stunning. You can calmly enjoy a book or a stroll or a yoga practice without interruption. If you have kids, it’s a great time to really relax while your kids frolic in the waves because you don’t have to constantly stop relaxing to make sure you can spot them amidst the crowd.

In the evening, you can hire a company to build a beach bonfire for you. It does get a little chilly at night and making memories around a controlled flame against the glorious ocean backdrop is one of everyone’s favorite things to do in winter at the beach.

Explore on a Bike Ride

No matter where you are on the beach, there are lots of places to cruise around on your bike…never mind that it doesn’t even have to be your bike. Bike rentals are prominent as cycling is a favorite local past time. The 30A area is particularly popular for biking; you can readily hop from one community to the other on two wheels. Cruise over to the beach or swing by the Grayton State Park. Take a camera and snap some photos of the iconic coastal dune lakes. If you’re in Sandestin, lazily tour the golf course or ride over for a visit to the Villages of Baytowne Wharf.

Biking is also a great way to pop over to the beach for a little one-on-one time in the sun and sand. Two wheels always trump four at the beach…no matter what time of year it is.

Wine & Dine al Fresco

Full disclosure…the best time to sit outside for a meal at the beach is during winter. Why? Because the weather is perfect for being outdoors…it’s usually not too hot nor too cold, which makes it the perfect time of year to sit outside and enjoy any meal.

There’s also a lot of great live music around Sandestin and 30A that you’ll want to enjoy. Roll up in your golf cart or on your bike and kick back and enjoy live music as the sun sets over the Emerald Coast.

Play a Round of Golf

Some of Florida’s best golf courses are located in the Destin and along 30A. We know it may have been mentioned a time or two or twenty already, but the weather in winter is perfect for outdoor activities…golf being king among them. The biggest challenge will be picking the right course (or just keeping it limited to one…or two).

Hike the State Park

While the beach is a great thing to do in winter, it’s not the only thing. The South Walton Beach area boasts several state parks perfect for exploring and relaxing. In case you weren’t already aware, they are:

  • Gulf Islands National Seashore

  • Henderson Beach State Park

  • Grayton Beach State Park

  • Point Washington State Forest

  • Topsail Hill State Park

  • Eden Gardens State Park

  • Camp Helen State Park

Each area is unique and offers different opportunities for exploring or just enjoying the natural scenery.

Go Paddle Boarding or Kayaking

After you explore the area by land, give it a go by sea! One great thing to do in winter at the beach is to get on the water in the form of stand-up paddle boarding (also known as SUP boarding or more locally as YOLO boarding) and / or kayaking. As with biking, YOLO boards and bikes are available to rent. You can coast around the iconic coastal dune lakes or go ocean-side.

Ocean kayaks and paddle boards can help you navigate the waves. Going in the early morning also helps make a majestic ocean kayak or paddle board tour more navigable (especially if you’re new to the sport).

Really, if you’ve never done YOLO boarding or kayaking before, it’s worth a try. Remember that the water is warm even in winter, so no worries if you fall in or get a little wet (most don’t get wet at all, but it’s worth mentioning). The perspective from exploring this beautiful area by water is not to be missed, though. Kayaking and paddle boarding are definitely things to do in winter at the beach.

Go Fishing (or Beach Cruising)

While you’re of course welcome to BYOB (bring your own boat), you don’t have to. During the winter, there are plenty of opportunities to go fishing in the South Walton Beach area. Fishing excursions are fun experiences that actually get you out onto the water. They’re also a fun and unique to-do for people who aren’t necessarily experts.

Additionally, going fishing during your winter trip to the beach will really help you learn how to fit in like a local. Who better to give you tips on how to go-see-do than a local fisherman?

If you’re curious to know what other things there are to do in winter at the beach, give us a call! We at My Vacation Haven make this the place we love to call home for a reason. Contact us and let us help you plan your trip including where to stay!

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