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What to Do at the Beach in Winter: 9 Ideas

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what to do at the beach in winter

Think the beach is reserved for summer's heat? Let's turn that idea on its head. Winter at the beach isn't about bustling crowds and scorching sun; it's an unexpectedly serene and adventurous escape. Imagine trading in your sunscreen for a thermos of hot cocoa, and your swimsuit for a cozy beanie. From quiet picnics under the winter sky to capturing nature's stillness, the beach in winter is an underrated gem. Curious about what to do at the beach in winter? Let's dive into the possibilities that await!



A Festive Feast: Host a Winter Beach Picnic


Who says picnics are solely for summer? Picture this: you're wrapped in cozy blankets, sipping steaming hot soup from your thermos, indulging in a DIY hot cocoa bar right on the sand. The crisp air enhances every flavor, turning a simple meal into an extraordinary sensory experience. Lay out a waterproof blanket, bring insulated dishes to keep food warm, and enjoy a festive feast amidst the serene sound of gentle waves.



Capturing Beauty: Take Photos 

 

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In winter, beaches transform into a photographer's paradise. With the summer beach crowds gone, you'll be able to take some amazing, postcard-worthy shots! And, you can experiment without a crowd watching. You can lie down on the sand to capture those intricate patterns made by the waves, or climb up on a dune for a sweeping view of the sea. You’ve got the whole place to yourself, after all! And, the winter light, especially during the golden hours around sunrise and sunset, is a photographer’s dream. The winter beach is essentially a blank canvas for your creativity! 



Treasure Hunt: Go Beachcombing and Shell Hunting


Trade your swim trunks for a treasure hunter's hat. Winter reveals a bunch of cool finds—from unique shells, to colorful sea glass, the winter beach is a goldmine awaiting discovery! You can turn a treasure hunt into a whole family day—whether you make it a competition to find the coolest rock, or make it an educational outing for your kids, you and your family will love exploring what the tide brought in. It's a great way to reconnect with nature and each other!



Discovering Nature: Watch for Wildlife

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Winter beaches are a haven for birdlife. With binoculars and a guidebook in hand, set out on a bird-watching adventure. Look out for migratory birds and local species alike. From brown pelicans gliding, great blue herons fishing, and flocks of sanderlings darting along the shore, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you spot a feathered friend in the wild. It’s an activity that requires patience, but is perfect for the quieter winter months!



Zen by the Sea: Do Yoga or Meditate on the Beach

Swap the studio for the shore and take your yoga or meditation practice to the beach. Picture yourself stretching or sitting peacefully, with nothing but the sound of waves and this wide-open horizon around you. And there really is something about the sound of those waves – it's like they sync up with your breathing and take your relaxation or focus to the next level. So, ditch your usual indoor routine, and head to the beach. It's a fresh way to connect with yourself and nature, all at once!



Fireside Fun: Host a Beach Bonfire

 

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If your beach allows it, a winter bonfire is a must-do. Picture this: a circle of friends and family, the crackling of the fire, roasting marshmallows, and sharing stories under the starlit sky. It’s sure to be a core memory for everyone involved! In terms of setup, we recommend picking a spot away from any vegetation, and using a designated fire pit, if available. And of course, make sure to clean up any trash or debris afterwards to protect beach wildlife. Enjoy your bonfire responsibly, and create an unforgettable winter beach party!

Make a Difference: Host a Beach Clean-Up


Take advantage of the quieter winter beach season by gathering your friends or family for a beach cleanup. By getting rid of debris left behind by winter storms and fellow beachgoers, you’re making the beach a better place for humans and marine life alike! 


Make sure to come prepared with thick gloves, closed-toe shoes, and trash bags. The more hands involved, the quicker the job. But, of course, it doesn’t have to be all business—turn your beach clean up into a fun social event! Bring your family and get the kids involved. It's a feel-good way to spend time together and care for your local beach ecosystem!



For the Brave at Heart: Do a Polar Plunge

 

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For the brave at heart, take the exhilarating polar bear plunge into the frigid winter ocean! This invigorating, adrenaline-filled activity is a rite of passage for thrill-seekers. Feel your heart race as you take the plunge into the icy water. The initial shock is intense, but the rush of excitement and sense of accomplishment is unparalleled. Don't forget your warm towels and clothes for afterwards! 

Note: Safety first! Listen to your body - get out if you feel overwhelmed by the cold. With caution, preparation, and the right attitude, a polar bear plunge allows you to challenge yourself and feel vibrantly alive in the winter!



Explore Beyond the Sand: Go Hiking on the Coast


Discover the beauty of coastal trails during winter. With fewer visitors, these hikes offer serene, scenic views and a chance to explore the beauty beyond the beach!

We love heading to beaches like Point Dume in Malibu during the winter months—climbing up to the top of the seaside cliffs gives breathtaking views of the wintry waves crashing below. Bring your camera to capture the rocky coves, feathered friends, and other natural wonders only visible on a peaceful hike! And, if you’re lucky, you may spot whales migrating along the coastline during winter. Their massive splashing forms an impressive scene against the horizon. 



Finding What to Do at the Beach in Winter 


Winter brings a different kind of magic to the shores – one of tranquility, reflection, and a touch of adventure. Whether it's the thrill of a cold ocean dip, the peace of a seaside meditation session, or the warmth of a bonfire gathering, each experience reveals a new layer of beach life. So, when you’re thinking of what to do at the beach in winter, get creative! Don’t wait for the warmth—Embrace the brisk air and quiet beaches!


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