Top 5 Ways to Love a Winter Beach
We all love a summer beach. A breeze cools off the blazing sun and dries the sweat. Shade tents and families side by side from jetty to pier on a holiday summer weekend is great people-watching.
But a winter beach offers you (and your family and friends) something special. Here are the top five ways to love a winter beach.
1Swim in the still warm Gulf waters.
It’s not too cold for a swim if you’re tough. Water temps don’t dip below 68 degrees.
That’s more invigorating than the summer, but worth it to get your blood flowing. Since you won’t have the sun to warm you when you get out, be sure to bring a fuzzy towel and change quickly out of wet bathing suits. Dry off and then enjoy the next best thing about winter beach.
2Walk (or drive) along a slightly chillier beach
If it’s too cold for a swim, toss on a sweater and a fuzzy hat. Take the hand of a loved one and walk. See what you can see. Talk if you need. Or simply be together with the sounds of wind and water.
Still too cold with the blowing wind? There’s plenty to see through the windshield and windows on a slow beach drive.
Hop in your car, roll the windows down and turn the heater to your feet. Drive slowly along the packed sand of the beach. Be sure to pay attention to beach conditions that can make driving tricky.
3Winter birdwatch for traveling and migrant species.
While you walk (or drive), scan for birds. Many shorebirds stay year-round on Corpus Christi beaches; Brown Pelicans, Great Blue Herons, and the like. Winter birds include those that spend their non-breeding seasons here and some that are traveling through like Ruddy turnstones, Red Knots, Willets and Black-bellied, says David Newstead, who monitors bird populations with the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program.
Be on the lookout for the unofficial winter beach mascot – the little Sanderling. With a stamina reminiscent of the Energizer Bunny, Sanderlings are constantly busy, up and back with the waves, poking and poking beaks into the sand.
As you birdwatch or beach, be sure you are respecting the birds’ habitats, cleaning up trash, especially fishing lines that can get a bird all tangled up.
4Cozy around a campfire
As the sun goes down, bring out the s’mores and the hot cocoa; the blankets and the best friends; the boom box or the guitar. The magic of a campfire is strong in any season. But when there is a temperature difference between the flames and your surroundings, it is all that more enticing. Check that campfires are allowed on the beach before you light up. Be fire safe and extinguish all flames before leaving.
5Enjoy the solitude
Connect with the openness of a winter beach and the more stark surroundings that the season brings. It may be just what the therapist ordered as the stress and obligations of the upcoming holiday season press in. Ignore the growing list of gifts to buy or the parties to “make an appearance.” Drive to Corpus Christi and enjoy the beaches instead!
Let the beach’s salt air blow off all the worries. Pause in the glory of a group of pelicans flying overhead. Marvel at nature’s patience and persistence that made bit by bit over much time from tiny specs of blowing sand a mighty dune that now protects the island and the city beyond from extreme weathers.
And after you have that solitude, share it! Add your winter beach experience to your envy feed on Facebook or Instagram. #SeeCC