An Impromptu Off Season Beach Trip + An Essential Packing List

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An Impromptu Off Season Beach Trip + An Essential Packing List

Who says you can’t enjoy the sand between your toes during the off season? Most people see a beach vacation as the pinnacle of a summer time adventure, but did you know the beach can sometimes be more enjoyable during the off season? Less crowds, epic sunsets, and moody weather make for a memorable weekend adventure. That being said, traveling to the beach during the off season looks a little different than when you go in the peak of summer. Get inspired with stories and insight from our latest off-season coastal adventure and check the end of the blog for an essential packing list so you can head out on your own.

If you have the means to make a last minute beach trip off season, this is your moment to soak up the last of those precious rays and watching winter storms crash against the shore. It gets pretty chilly and as we know, weather at the beach on the PNW can be unpredictable at any time, especially now during the Winter. Packing for your coastal trip, whether it is a long vacation, weekend adventure, or a leisurely day trip requires a bit of common sense. One thing to keep in mind during these transitional periods is to be prepared for sudden rain and gusty winds. 

Temperatures range from the low-40s to the high-50s and stay relatively pleasant, even when the rain starts to move in during the beginning of winter. The amazing weather on the Oregon Coast makes it the perfect time to get out and explore the great outdoors. It is always important to know what you need opposed to what you want… Keep it at a minimum while not forgetting the essentials. When on a spontaneous trip, less is always more.

Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the perks on this time of the year is cheaper and accessible accommodations. When choosing a place, I always look for the ones that remain within budget, and of course, with some extra amenities. It always makes a huge difference having beach gear, bikes, fire kits… a few less things to worry about while packing when provided by the host. Keep in consideration that a lot has changed and new restrictions apply for the “new normal” we live in as COVID-19 flips the world upside down. Although we all want to get out and enjoy ourselves, it is important to keep everyone’s safety and prioritize social distancing guidelines. Despite all of the limitations, there are still numerous opportunities to get out there and enjoy the beach at its fullest. 

We headed out from Seattle on Thursday and when we arrived at Cannon Beach, it was amazingly sunny. Once we checked into our Airbnb near the historical town, we (including my pup Bondi) were impatient to go play at the beach, get some vitamin C, breathe the crisp air, and enjoy the sand between our toes. In my opinion the best time to chill at the beach is for sunset and the hour or so leading up to it. It was just enough time to get my backpack with a couple extra clothes for layers, blankets to get cozy when the night falls, a few snacks and beverages, and we were set to go as sunset was approaching. We gathered firewood, as most of the beaches in Oregon are fire pit friendly (but always check local laws and regulations!). Pro tip for beach bonfires: stay away from vegetation and build the fire below the high tides line so it gets washed away. As part of my essentials, Heroclip always comes in handy to keep a few things off the sand and hanging nearby. We got very lucky and experienced some gorgeous golden light along the coast, quietly listening to the waves crashing at the shore. We played fetch with Bondi, got cozy in the blankets and warmth from the fire. It was a perfect night fall as the moon shone through the skies…

On Friday, we woke up to a whole new scenario as storms rolled in. Raining on and off made for the perfect day to roam around the really cute and historical town. Hopping shops, bars and restaurants while admiring the unique architecture and seaside houses is blissful and stress free. Riding a bike by the beach provided by the Airbnb while fighting gusty winds and getting soaking wet in the rain, running miles and miles with our dog surely made it a memorable day. 

On the following day, as if it were a snap of a finger, it was sunny and beautiful. We took a long walk on the sand, did some bird watching by the Haystack Rock and right after breakfast, we drove to the nearby towns, checking out all it had to offer. 

In total we had three days to roam around the Oregon coast. No plans except the allotted time to check in and out at the specified time. Nothing feels better than to just pack and go with the flow. Sunshine, rain, gusty winds, and all the amazing PNW lovely winter weather in a single weekend, but regardless, we sure had a lot of fun on the beach trip. 

Off Season Beach Essentials Packing List:

Here’s my “Off Season Beach Essentials” packing list that I am sure you’ll benefit from following on your next coastal adventure:

˚Heroclip(s) (multi functional use, and essential tool to have anywhere)

˚Sunscreen (You can get burned even if the sun is hidden behind clouds all day.)

˚Waterproof Jacket

˚Rain / Windproof Pants

˚Long Sleeve Shirt

˚Warm Hat / Beanie

˚Sunglasses

˚Sturdy shoes for walking on rocks (tide pooling)

˚Rubber boots (for crossing rivulets running into the ocean)

˚Fleece jacket or sweater for layering

˚Camera

˚ChapStick

˚Toiletries 

˚Hair Tie (in case it is windy on the beach)

˚Flip-flops, sandals, or multipurpose shoes

˚Compact & Warm Blankets

˚Doggy bags if you have a dog (get informed on dog beach rules; obey leash norms and clean up after your pet)

˚Tide Schedule – Beach Safety awareness (available at Visitor Center or your lodging location)

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