One of my awesomest (is that even a word?) Christmas memories is a trip to Agios Gordis Beach in Kerkyra on Christmas day. I was with friends and a myriad of dogs (my winter dog-sitting gig) and the wind was icy, whipping across the Ionian Sea, but we were well wrapped in winter coats. There was not a single other soul on that beach. And it was beautiful.
Fast forward to now- my friends from England were visiting. Last time they were here they took a dive into one of our 72F springs- and loved it. This time, being winter, we hunted for manatees, those lovely sea cows of the Gulf Coast, and then hit the beach.
Who made that silly rule that beaches were exclusively hot weather locations? They exist year round. I love a good beach in the off-season, and without the crowds and trash that tends to accompany them, they are even better come winter.
We took a walk along Fort Island Beach on the Nature Coast. Empty boardwalks, clean beach, and a flock of seagulls for company. It was the day’s end and the sun was setting. Low tide. We wound our way around the seafront, down tiny paths made by locals or animals, or both. No crowds, no overbearing heat that only a dip in the water can cure. Just pure connectedness with nature.
Explore a beach in the winter. Celebrate a sunrise. Connect with nature. Don’t wait, because this life is far too short. Live extraordinary NOW!
Things to know before you go:
1. Wrap up. The beach is windier and colder in the winter- depending where you are, this can mean tight fitting hats and gloves too. And a scarf to protect those little noses from getting too cold.
2. Bring some hot chocolate (or coffee for the grownups). A thermos and some Styrofoam cups for after your outdoor explorations.
3. Fort Island Beach is just a short drive from Crystal River on Florida’s nature coast. (We have done Anastasia Island in St. Augustine during the winter as well) Any beach will do- just go!