The winter and the beach aren’t things I would often put together. When I think of the beach, I think of deep golden tans, beaming rays and the smallest bikini that I can get away with. Being the middle of January, I am a pasty pale (borderline blue- seriously), the skies are generally overcast and my Christmas cookies can still be seen hanging around my waste (as much as I am working to shake them away). But my recent beach experience in Destin, Florida, while visiting my aunt in Alabama, was way more than I could have expected. It gave me a whole new appreciation for the beach, with its calm shorelines free from masses of people and incredible seafood which both satisfied my mind and my diet. My aunt and some of her close friends travel there often, where they have grouped in pairs to go halfsies on a condo nestled in the forest of a manicured golf resort, just a short jog from the beach.
While we didn’t spend much time lounging on the sand, even though the weather seemed to be significantly warmer than it currently is in Alabama, we often ate at restaurants which overlooked the coastline or the harbor. You can’t get much fresher than staring out at the ocean while chowing down on the fresh catch of the day. And while yes, you could indeed choose the frozen margarita or fried fish tacos (which I still tried, of course) you could equally get a beautiful grilled shrimp salad, which is equally satisfying (it really was, I promise!)
Oh, and did I mention the shopping? Destin hold some amazing consignment shops for everything from Kate Spade, Saks, Banana Republic, J.Crew, and much, much more. Looking for something a little more unique? Check out some of the amazing antique shops with everything from furniture to jewellery. I found this amazing sterling silver and amethyst ring for $20! I am so in love with it and it is a perfect token to remind me of my fabulous mini-vacation.
(Sorry for my super dry hand and horrid nails in this photo!)
But of course, you could spend the whole day marvelling at the beauty of nature, from the fog rolling through the forest at morning to the sun setting over the ocean in the evening.
What is your favourite place to travel to during winter? The slopes will still be on my winter ‘must’ list, but now the beach will be too.