Sand and surf aren’t just for summer fun.
Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you need to stop hitting the beach! A fall beach trip has many upsides—less crowds, fewer sunburns, off-season deals, the list goes on! Sure, you may need a light jacket in the evening, but there’s still so much to enjoy.
Here’s our full list of fall benefits and some ideas for where you should visit to be an autumn beach bum.
1. Fewer Crowds
Hotspots like Cozumel, Mexico are packed with fun all year, but the fall gives you a chance to appreciate the coast at a slower pace. Enjoy an open beach and peaceful ocean views unobstructed by other loungers’ umbrellas. Plus there are more ways to get there now that cruises are returning to Cozumel!
2. Cheaper Travel
Fall is considered the “shoulder season,” between the peak and off-peak season, in a lot of beach destinations. When summer vacations have ended, but people aren’t yet rushing south to escape the winter, there are big travel deals out there to entice you.
3. Better Shopping
Shopping Meccas like St. Thomas (the “duty-free capital of the world”) can be jam-packed in the summer, but as crowds thin out in the fall, it’s easier to shop in town between beach lounging sessions. And with fewer customers, local merchants may even come down on prices.
4. Warmer Water
Summer heat warms the ocean and by fall, it can actually be warmer than in August! Did you know that the water off Aruba’s beautiful beaches is warmest in October? Same with its neighbor Curacao.
Heading further south, the weather is plenty warm too! Belize averages 85 degrees or more from September to November. Best of all, you can again sail to all three of these spots so getting there is part of the fun!
5. Fishing Season
Any angler in your life likely knows that the best time to fish in the Gulf of Mexico is early fall—that’s when most fishing competitions are held. Florida has no shortage of fishing spots, so check out the waters around Tampa and Miami, or even Mobile, Alabama to drop your line.
6. Active Sports
Let’s be honest, in July you can work up a sweat just by lying on the beach. Cooler weather in fall can be the perfect time to get active. Try some beach volleyball or barefoot soccer on the sand at a soccer-crazed island like Jamaica, another fall beach destination welcoming cruisers again.
7. Surfing The Swells
California has long been the crown jewel of surfing on the U.S. mainland, but visiting surfers will find a major bummer during the summer: flat waves. The swells kick up in the fall and there can be perfect wind conditions and warm water until November. Head towards Long Beach, California and hang ten!
8. Festivals Galore
The end of tourist season is often when the locals come out to play. With great weather along the gulf coast, you can find fun fall festivals from Texas to Alabama—especially if you’re a shrimp lover! And beer lovers already have their calendar marked for Oktoberfest, but why not enjoy a brew near the beach? There are renowned breweries around Tampa, Florida and Norfolk, Virginia, so post up and say “prost!”