9 East Coast Beach Towns to Visit This Fall
9 East Coast Beach Towns to Visit This Fall
On the East Coast, many beachside towns die down after Labor Day. At least, people think they do. With our minds focusing on back to school and all that goes with it, coastal hot spots are often forgotten after the unofficial end of summer. But there's still a lot to see, do, and eat once the kids go back to school, and these nine typically summer destinations have a lot to offer lot in terms of fun, food, and off-season deals. So pack up the car – it’s not too late for a road trip! Read on to choose the perfect spot for your post-summer getaway.
Block Island, R.I.
Included on The Nature Conservancy’s list of “Last Great Places,” Block Island is a quiet treasure located almost equally off the coasts of Rhode Island and Long Island’s Montauk Point, accessible only by boat or small plane. With nearly half of the island conservation land, there are abundant nature walks, hiking trails and beaches all the more peaceful after summer tourists dissipate. With weather often edging into the 70s in October, dine outside while flocks of migrating birds stop over en route to warmer climates. Don’t miss Pots and Kettles food truck for lunch between outdoor activities or Kimberly’s, where New England seafood meets Thai.
Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
Relaxation is key on a Martha’s Vineyard trip, so the shoulder season is the perfect time for a visit. Walk the streets of Edgartown and stop at Mad Martha’s for a pumpkin ice cream cone (get it fast before it sells out!) Also check out some of the filming locations from Jaws. The Black Dog Tavern is a year-round restaurant, fantastic for any meal, with a dinner menu of standard New England favorites like chowder, lobster rolls, and clam bakes.
After the throngs of summer tourists have fled back to New York City, Montauk returns to ithe blissful, serene state that Long Islanders love, where vegetation is overtaken by brilliant autumnal reds and oranges and restaurant wait lists are no longer excruciating. The Montauk Point Lighthouse, Gurney's Spa, and spectacular sunrises make for a relaxing retreat. If you’re seeking more action, nightlife is still strong this time of year, or come for October’s Fall Festival, complete with a chowder contest and Long Island wine and beer). Another option: take a day trip to some Hampton wineries.
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
With the Northeast feeling the autumn chill, Myrtle Beach touts “60 More Days of Summer,” boasting gorgeous weather and warm ocean water with minimal crowds in September and October. That’s two extra months of sun, sand, seafood and Sex on the Beach (the drink!) for people who just aren’t ready to let go of summer.
Rhode Island shows its brightest colors in October. Enjoy vibrant fall foliage on Ocean Drive, a scenic ten mile drive circling Newport’s southern shore. Pack a picnic lunch from Rosemary & Thyme, as there are many spots to pull over along the way amid stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, Fort Adams State Park, and the historic Newport Mansions. Also not to miss is the Cliff Walk – the exercise will do you good while surrounded by all the fresh New England seafood still in season.
Ocean City, Md.
This popular summer vacation destination Ocean City keeps the events rolling throughout fall, including everything from car shows to fishing tournaments. Craft beer festivals are also popular, as is Wine on the Beach, which features East Coast wineries, micro-brewed beers, and Delmarva cuisine. Don’t miss the Ocean City boardwalk, a historical landmark that’s consistently rated one of the best boardwalks for food.
If you don’t mind a nightly nip in the air, head to Ogunquit for Capriccio, their annual town-wide arts festival showcasing art, music, and comedy and the site of the Capriccio Festival of Kites on Ogunquit’s soft sandy beach. Just a short walk from the beach, grab a Lobster White Pizza from La Pizzeria before it closes for most of the winter.
Rehoboth Beach, Del.
Attention pumpkin lovers! You know who you are, with your shopping cart full of all things cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin-related. Delaware’s popular vacation destination is the place for you to visit in the fall. Rehoboth is home to Dogfish Head Brewing and Eats brewpub which releases their famous seasonal Punkin Ale this time of year. (It’s currently on tap!) Also, it's less than an hour from the beer’s namesake Punkin Chunkin extravaganza in Dover, Del.
Virginia Beach, Va.
Ranked as one of the best boardwalks for food in America, Virginia Beach has plenty of attractions the entire family will enjoy. October is a great month of festivities, including the haunted Nightmare Mansion and Oktober Brewfest which, aside from beer, has authentic German cuisine and local rock bands.