You Own the Beach After Labor Day

  • Indian Beach in Ecola State Park, Oregon

    Indian Beach, Oregon

    For a slightly different type of beach getaway, check out Indian Beach in Oregon's Ecola State Park. The water may be chilly for swimming, but the 2-mile hiking trail through dense coastal forests between Indian Beach and nearby Cannon Beach with colorful tide pools along the way will keep you busy. Keep an eye out for the Tillamook Rock lighthouse, nicknamed Terrible Tilly, visible just off the coast from Indian Beach.

    Photo courtesy of Verdance/Flickr

  • Lover's Beach at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

    Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

    There's a reason Cabo San Lucas has been drawing sun-loving beach goers to its picturesque turquoise waters for more than 70 years. Colorful coral reefs just off the beach, unusual cliff formations, warm waters and plentiful waterside bars serving tropical cocktails are hard to beat. Weather along the Baja Peninsula is pleasant year round, and the weeks following Labor Day offer the best fishing opportunities.

    Photo courtesy of Tyler/Flickr

  • Sunset over the beach oats at North Myrtle Beach

    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

    September is known as "secret season" in South Carolina's Myrtle Beach, as the weather is still warm enough for swimming but back-to-school season has emptied the beaches and hotels and shops cut costs to encourage tourism through the colder months. Kayaking, fishing, golfing and entertainment along the boardwalk promenade make Myrtle Beach a family-friendly and affordable post-Labor Day beach getaway.

    Photo courtesy of Steve Walker/Flickr

  • Santa Cruz Lighthouse

    Santa Cruz, California

    Thinking of California naturally conjures up images of perfect surf and endless sandy beaches, and Santa Cruz is no exception. If you can pull yourself away from the beach and lively Santa Cruz Boardwalk with its old-fashioned amusement park, you'll be rewarded with excellent hiking, biking, whale watching and wine tasting. Nearby Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is also worth a visit for its towering trees and impressive nature center.

    Photo courtesy of Benson Kua/Flickr

  • Sands along Destin's Emerald Coast

    Destin, Florida

    Known as the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village" due to the plethora of billfish off the Emerald Coast, Destin is known for its white sands, clear waters and excellent golfing opportunities. The year-round idyllic weather and myriad of restaurants serving up freshly caught seafood from Florida's largest fishing fleet further sweeten the pot.

    Photo courtesy of Keoni Cabral/Flickr

  • Seagulls fly along Galveston's gulf coast

    Galveston, Texas

    The wide beaches of Galveston Island are quite popular with local Texan tourists throughout the summer months, but once school starts up in the fall, it's easy to find a nearly private stretch of sand to relax on. The Historic Strand shopping street has plenty of locally owned shops where you can pick up cheap beach gear, and history buffs will appreciate the museums and myriad historic Victorian homes on the island.

    Photo courtesy of Ed Schipul/Flickr

  • Manhattan Beach Pier

    Manhattan Beach, California

    Surf and sun are plentiful at this Los Angeles-area favorite where the Beach Boys used to hang out. The surfing at Manhattan Beach is some of the best to be found anywhere on Los Angeles County's 72 miles of coastline, but beach volleyball, pier fishing and boogie boarding are also popular activities on the Manhattan Beach menu.

    Photo courtesy of David Krieger/Flickr

  • Sea foam on Hilton Head's beach

    Hilton Head, South Carolina

    The semi-tropical island of Hilton Head, another South Carolina favorite, is surrounded by broad, flat sandy beaches considered to be some of the most beautiful in the world. Salt water fishing, biking, golfing and tennis are local favorites, and if you still find yourself bored, the island is within an hour of both Charleston and Savannah.

    Photo courtesy of Lee Coursey/Flickr

  • Seagulls on the Gulfport Beach

    Gulfport, Mississippi

    The white sand beaches of Mississippi's Gulf Coast may not get the attention that Florida and California beaches do, but the calm waters and quiet beaches should certainly not be overlooked. Aside from swimming and water sports, the coast surrounding Gulfport offers a few other unique travel experiences, including sighting endangered Least Terns in their protected nesting grounds, volunteering with a coastal rebuilding project or trying your luck at the slots and table games of the casino resorts.

    Photo courtesy of jrsnchzhrs/Flickr

  • Sunset at Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

    Amelia Island, Florida

    Amelia Island, the northernmost barrier island on the Florida coast, is home to 18 miles of beach, but should you tire of swimming, sun bathing and grilling on the beach, there's always the Amelia Island Historic District. An afternoon or evening exploring the quaint southern shops and restaurants along Centre Street, with more than 450 buildings from before 1927, is worth the trip in and of itself.

    Photo courtesy of Andrew Malone/Flickr

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