September 11, 2015

5 Reasons to Plan Your Beachside Vacation During the Shoulder Season

5 Reasons to plan your beach vacation during the shoulder season
Most of us know what to expect during the peak-season summer months at the beach.

Jostling crowds while you look for an empty patch of sand to lay your beach towel, waiting in long lines for an empty seat in favorite restaurants, and circling the parking lot trying to find an unused meter, endless fireworks during Fourth of July Week, and throngs of tourists at local theme parks. For those who like to be surrounded by people, who thrive in a crowd, a summer California vacation can be lots of fun!

However, while every man, woman, and child knows how to vacation during the high seasons of summer, very few ever get to experience the secrets of beachside “shoulder-seasons,” a term that refers to traveling off peak times.

Of course, these seasons are different for each location. At sunny Southern California vacation destinations, the shoulder season range from September to December, and March to May. Kids are back in school, families have resumed their 9-5 lifestyles, and for those of you who can find a few days to get away it’s the perfect time to ditch the masses and enjoy a relaxing weekend in Newport Beach , San Clemente , or Oceanside .

Ready to pack your bags and hit the beach? Here are five reasons you should be:

While we often associate cost with value, this is not always the case with vacationing. During peak seasons, costs are often high due to supply and demand. When crowds have resumed their schedules, clamoring for popular attractions ceases and prices drop due to smaller participation. However, we can promise the whales are going to be just as awesome to watch in September as in June . . . they don’t know the prices dropped. Some areas you’ll see a decrease in price are:
  • Travel expenses: watch airlines for last minute deals!
  • California lodging: subscribe to our Beachside newsletter for last minute vacation rental specials!
  • California Attractions: many theme parks, boat tours, etc, offer discounted rates in fall and spring.
Take that extra cash you’ve saved and enjoy a more luxurious vacation. Maybe try fine dinning that wasn’t an option before, or spend a bit more on souvenirs.

Get away from the hustle and bustle of summer tourists and enjoy the raw local culture of our local Southern California beach towns . During peak-season frenzy, even the friendliest locals get a bit frazzled with parking struggles and large crowds. Since we know Southern California is a popular tourist destination we're more likely to stay home during the summer. During shoulder-season, however, locals are out and about and eager to share stories, give recommendations, and show you the best of their town. Take a hint from them and absorb the local landscape and culture without the summer tourist crowd.


Ever spent most of your vacation waiting in lines and finding parking? Shoulder season vacationers in Southern California enjoy parking with ease, finding a spot on the beach with little competition, strolling through Laguna’s famous art galleries with a little elbow room to spare, skipping long lines at popular attractions like Legoland California , and trying new restaurants without reservations. It’s a time to experiment and try something new!

Does your dream beach consist of serene water lapping the sandy shoreline, peaceful strolls, and a total lack of people? While it is possible to find this relaxing beach mid-summer, your best bet for a quiet beach stroll is in the middle of the week during the shoulder season. Then, quiet walks on the sand, intimate dinners, and evening jogs along the boardwalk are the norm, making the shoulder season especially ideal for a spontaneous romantic getaway. Explore the best tide pools in Orange County , soak up the ocean’s beauty on long bike rides, and savor rich sunsets slipping beneath the waves with the increased privacy and calm of the shoulder- season!

(P.S. Need a recommendation for a great vacation rental for your romantic getaway? Take a look at our top picks, here .)

Summers in beachside towns such as San Clemente, Laguna Beach, and Newport Beach are packed with festivals and events. However, when September rolls around, there is still no shortage of attractions. Enjoy a week of world- class dance companies at the Laguna Dance Festival in September, meet and connect with some of the nation’s most talented artists during October’s Plein Air Painting Invitational , or enjoy Dana Point’s wine cruises , Laguna’s Sawdust Winter Fantasy , and Newport’s intriguing whale watching excursions in November. With mild weather still averaging within mid-70s during Southern California’s spring and fall, you’ll never be at a loss for something to do.

Ready to relax and spend your vacation doing what you love without the crowds?
Ready to enjoy the secrets of beachside shoulder-seasons very few get to experience? Ready to book luxurious accommodations from experts in vacationing?

We gotcha, and we’re ready to help you get started! Email us at, or give us a call: 1.800.408.1822 ext 1.

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