Beach brain for midwesterners

Midwestern mamas and daddies : hear me out. I know that you’re cold. I know you’re still scraping that ice off your windshield every morning before school drop off.  I know that Spring is *just* around the corner but it seems forever away. I know that the warm cups of coffee or tea and the three fuzzy blankets your piled under just isn’t cutting it anymore. I know what you have. You have BEACH BRAIN.

Ok, so this is no formal diagnosis : perhaps more of a projection upon my readers as I am currently under a warm blanket with a warm drink and all I can think about is being on warm sand with a cold drink instead! It’s always about this time of the year that I start planning my tropical travel destinations – I call it my “beach brain”. 

You see, if you’re from the Midwest, you know that the beach is not just a hop in the car on any day destination. I’m from Missouri – and the nearest coastal beach is at LEAST 10 hours by car. If you’re graced with kids, well, that makes your drive even longer (bless them). It’s not easy to just throw swimsuits in the car and go. It takes planning for things to go smooth and to get the actual relaxation you crave. Some people (like me) get a high off of creating itineraries and budget spreadsheets for these beach trips. Some people do NOT. Some people need HELP and that’s ok! No matter your category I’m here for you boo. 

In this article I’ve compiled a list of my favorite “beach brain” destinations for those of us who are simply land-locked at no fault of our own. 

1) Gulf Shores, Alabama – This destination is an easy family trip. If you just want some sand, sun, and fun you can’t go wrong here. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach both boast plenty of eateries and things to do like: Bon Secour National Wildlife RefugeAlabama Gulf Coast Zoo, Waterville USA, or secure a Dolphin Cruise! You can also snag this mobile multi-attraction pass for local area museums and entertainment. 

2) Pensacola Beach, Florida – Just a few miles east of Gulf Shores, you can find even more white sand and relaxing downtime. Spend a few days at a beachfront hotel like the Hilton Pensacola Beach. Get on a hop-on-hop-off tour bus, or get in a night-glow kayak session. Try something new and do a Bayou Buzz Coffee Tasting Tour.

3) Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – We can’t forget about the southern east coast, it’s a good choice if you want a short flight and some sunshine! Myrtle Beach is also very family friendly, with lots of restaurants and beach-y entertainment. You can get a private or group surf lesson for your crew, or consider hiring a photographer to get new family photos! 

4) Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head Island area – Just south of Myrtle Beach is the beautiful historical town of Savannah. It’s a fine place to be if you want a quieter atmosphere! There are plenty of drivable beaches from the city like Tybee Island.  Hilton Head is known for it’s great beaches and golf courses. You can also go parasailing and take pirate ship excursion.

5) Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan – In my opinion, the Great Lakes do not get enough credit for being a beach destination! The water is clear, rarely rough, and you don’t have to worry about little ones getting salt water in their eyes. Really, anywhere on the west coast of the Michigan lakeshore is a great time.  There’s plenty of sandy places to relax, but there are also some really amazing spots where you can rock hunt and soak up the sun. Be sure to check out the lighthouses and know that the winery tours there are outstanding. 

So there ya go, maybe this will get your vacation juices flowing. As always, if you would like direction or help with planning, your friendly travel advisor is just a few clicks away. 🙂 Enjoy! 

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