South Carolina in the Off Season

While many people love to visit South Carolina beaches in the summer, fall and winter are incredibly beautiful times to escape to the coast. Blessed with beach weather well into autumn, even January and February can be quite comfortable for outside activities.

Looking for a break from the seemingly never-ending snow in the Mid-Atlantic last winter, a February trek to the beach was thankfully uneventful weather-wise. The smell of the salt air upon arrival, almost forcing deep breathing and relaxation, was a welcome respite from the smell of snow.

Even though swimming was not in the cards on this visit, it was pleasant sitting on the beach, watching the waves. The customary cache of seashells on the sand from the receding tide, and the seagulls squawking further acknowledged the coastal locale.

The pace of the town slows in the winter months, but with the exception of typical tourist pursuits – think Jet Skis and pirate voyages – not too many enterprises close altogether. The fishermen still come in to the inlet with their fresh catch. Shops, movie theaters, and arcades remain open at the Market Commons on the old Air Force base. And a Surfside icon and must-visit establishment, Painter’s Ice Cream, is open most days, with much shorter lines.

Located close enough to Myrtle Beach to access all of the big shopping and entertainment options, but removed enough to be quiet and less expensive, Surfside Beach proved a revitalizing break from a relentless, snowy winter.

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Visiting St. Michaels (wishing for warm weather)

Bucolic and quiet, St. Michaels is a beautiful waterfront destination, especially on sunny spring and summer days. Located in Talbot County, Maryland, this town was named for the Episcopal Parish located there in the 1600’s.

Initially a trading post for tobacco farmers and trappers, and a shipbuilding town, many of the homes date to the seventeen and eighteen hundreds. Incorporated in 1804, St. Michaels is laid out around a central square.

Home to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the town boasts a beautiful screw-pile lighthouse: the Hooper Strait Lighthouse (though this is not the lighthouse’s original home). This particular type of lighthouse was easy, inexpensive, and quick to construct. The screw-piles were used to form the foundation for the lighthouse in soft or sandy river or sea bottoms.

Restaurants, shops, and sailboats are just a few of the things to enjoy in St. Michaels. Visit the St. Michaels website for a calendar of events, and all the information you need for planning a trip to this beautiful spot on the Chesapeake.

St. Michaels, MD

St. Michaels, MD

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The Bridge to …

bridgeSummertime almost demands that one go down the ocean. This bridge, the sunny day, the fluffy white clouds, all suggest a trip to the beach.


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sunset over the marshSunset over the South Carolina marsh.

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6 Chairs

5 chairsThis row of colorful chairs seems to beg for occupants. Maybe as the sun sets, and the work day ends someone will occupy these seats.


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