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8 Oct 2021
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While summer is the best time for tanning and splashing through the surf (no argument here), fall is truly the prime season to visit the beach. Fall at the beach is comfortable and nostalgic. You have the majesty of a sparkling emerald coastline and a blanket of sugar white sand paired with the comfort of a warm drink and a cozy blanket. Put another way…it’s a scented candle commercial, and you’re the star. Follow this 2021 guide to fall at the beach to enjoy a star-quality visit to your favorite place this fall.

Cozy Up with a Book & a Blanket

One of the best things about the beach during the fall is that it’s quieter. There are fewer people. You might sit oceanside and see a few people strolling and holding hands, but the proliferation of colorful umbrellas and squealing children and flying sand are conspicuously absent. This allows you to sit, distraction free, and read a book. If it’s chilly, wrap up in a cozy blanket while you sip warm cider. It might be cliché, but this level of relaxation is what makes you “fall” in love with the beach in the fall. We highlight recommend making this your go-to evening practice; nothing is more beautiful than a beach sunset in the fall as the sky blazes with magenta, cerulean, sienna, and aubergine hues.

Stand-Up Paddle or Kayak on the Lake

While you may not be splashing through the surf (who could blame you?) during your fall trip to the beach, you certainly don’t want to avoid the water altogether. A great way to enjoy the water during fall at the beach is from the vantage of a stand-up paddle board (also known as a YOLO board) or a kayak.

The 30A area is host to a unique global phenomenon called coastal dune lakes. These formations of brackish and freshwater form only in a few places on the planet. They are placid and unpolluted, perfect for relaxing and exploring. Fall is actually the perfect time of year for paddling because you get to enjoy cool breezes and less-blazing sun rays. Pack a picnic and make a day of it.

Bike from Community to Community

Another must-do at the beach during the fall is cycling. We’re not talking Peloton; we’re just suggesting getting (or bringing) a beach cruiser and coasting up and down the road visiting each of the unique communities and maybe squeezing in a little shopping and snacking. Don’t miss ice-cream in Blue Mountain Beach or coffee in Grayton. Replenish with a smoothie from an Air Stream restaurant in Seaside before cruising all the way to Rosemary Beach where you can stop and sniff the rosemary (zesty!).

Enjoy a Bonfire on the Beach

At the end of a great day of relaxation and exploration, there’s rarely nothing better to do than to sit and relax and to listen to the ocean waves lulling you to peace. At least one of those nights should be spent sitting around a soul-warming bonfire on the beach.

It’s a perfect fall to-do. Just grab a sweater and some red wine or spiced cider picked up at a local shop along with marshmallows and graham crackers and enjoy the crackle of logs against the backdrop of an inky sky.

Visit the Farmer’s Markets

Weekends are for wandering especially at the beach during the fall. You can abide social distancing protocols and get outside without that mask by visiting the local farmer’s markets held from 9 AM to 1 PM in Rosemary Beach, Seaside, Grayton Beach, and Grand Boulevard in Sandestin, respectively.

Attend a Food and Wine Tasting

While the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation’s 5th Annual Harvest Food and Wine Festival held in WaterColor from November 4 to November 7 is sold out, the First Annual Seaside Restaurant Week held November 1-14 is shaping up to being a perfect must-do during fall at the beach in 2021. Seaside Restaurant Week, inspired by the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, features highlights of local restaurateurs with wine tastings, pop-up bites, and entertainment.

Another fun fall tasting still slated to take place in 2021 is Rosemary Beach Uncorked, which takes place on November 6 from 1-4 PM. The event’s proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity. As the event slogan says, “Eat. Drink. Be Rosemary.”

If you won’t be visiting during these times, not to worry, plenty of restaurants and wine bars have tastings and tasting options, a perfect fall beach activity for a lazy afternoon. A few great spots include:

  • The Wine Bar in WaterColor

  • 45 Central in Seaside

  • La Crema Tapas & Chocolates in Rosemary Beach

  • Restaurant Paradis in Rosemary Beach

  • The Tasting Room in Alys Beach

Free Your Mind with Beach Yoga (That Doesn’t Leave You Sweaty)

Yoga is all about the mind, body, spirit connection, which is consequently the same thing that spending fall at the beach is about (if you really think about it). Yoga doesn’t demand physical perfection, balance, or flexibility, so it’s great for everyone to try at least once. There are several top-rated guided beach yoga classes available for the Destin and 30A areas. These classes take you out of the studio and onto the sand where you can make a full mind, body, nature connection. During beach yoga, you breathe with the gusts of wind that surround you; your energy pulses in tune with the ocean waves as they connect to the sandy shore.

Yoga on the beach brings you back to you; it’s pure; it centers you; it helps you find peace within yourself, which unless we’re mistaken is exactly what you were looking for on your fall trip to the beach, and is frankly something we’re all looking for as 2021 draws to a close…as we look toward the future with hope and acceptance for all that has been and for all that will be.

There’s no better time than fall to visit the beach. Don’t let the opportunity slip away from you. Visit us online at My Vacation Haven and find the perfect place to check every box off this 2021 Guide to Fall at the Beach for the ultimate fall beach vacation.