Beach with whitecaps and a few people walking along the water's edge. Buildings visible further down the shore.
Visit Myrtle Beach in October to partake in one of the two seafood festivals they host.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Visit These 9 Beaches This Fall for Warm Weather and Sparse Crowds

Who Says You Can Only Go to the Beach in the Summer?

Traditionally, fall means cooler weather and changing leaves — that is, unless you live in one of these nine cities. Beach vacations don’t have to stop once summer ends, where the water is still warm enough for swimming.

Why give into sweater weather when you can stay warm with your toes in the sand and a drink in your hand. Start daydreaming, get out that family beach vacation packing list again, and check out our picks for the best fall beach vacations you don’t want to miss out on.

Myrtle Beach, SC

A beach resort town on the northeastern coast of South Carolina, Myrtle Beach still has tons to do in the fall. Temperatures stay around the mid-70s to 80s during the day, making it ideal for swimming and water sports.

In addition to surfing, jet skiing and parasailing are popular things to do here. A large boardwalk runs along the beachfront, featuring a number of attractions, including an amusement park. Myrtle Beach also has two different seafood festivals in October, which attract both locals and tourists alike.

Small cove with rocks on beach and waves crashing onshore.Visit for the annual surf competition, the Brooks Street Surfing Classic, in the early fall.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Laguna Beach, CA

Located just outside of Los Angeles, Laguna Beach has been a favorite spot for surfers for over 50 years. Waters are at their warmest in early fall, which is when the city hosts its annual surf competition, the Brooks Street Surfing Classic.

There are eight different beach areas, but the main beach off of Broadway Street, and the 1,000 Steps Beach, are the most iconic and frequented beaches for tourists. Four- and five-star resorts line the beachfront allowing you to transition from sunbathing by the pool to the beach with ease. If you’re looking for more budget-friendly options, there are plenty of cheap hotels in LA that are a short drive to the beach.

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Pier extending into the ocean.Pensacola Beach is the perfect place for a laid-back beach retreat.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Pensacola Beach, FL

Consistently listed as a top beach destination in Florida and the entire United States, Pensacola Beach lands pretty close to reaching heaven on earth. Its powder-white sand and crystal-blue water will seduce you with its beauty and relative lack of crowds.

Temperatures stay in the mid-70s both on land and in the water, making it the perfect getaway during the fall. Enjoy a beer or cocktail with your toes in the sand at one of the many grills and tiki bars that line the shores. There’s a true beach-bum mentality here where fun and leisure rule.

Cottages perched atop sand dunes leading down to beach.Nags Head is one of the best locations in the Outer Banks for swimming.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Outer Banks, NC

Over 100 miles of shoreline off the coast of North Carolina make up the Outer Banks, a series of diverse barrier islands. In general, the northern towns of Kitty Hawk, Duck, Southern Shores, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head are the best for swimming and surfing, with temperatures in the mid-70s during the fall.

Kitty Hawk’s Maritime Forest attracts kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders who are curious about the local ecosystem. Nags Head also has the largest sand dunes on the east coast, which are perfect for hang gliding over the water.

Plus vacation villas will be cheaper this time of year, which makes this an ideal spot to vacation with toddlers so you have that much more space to return to as home-base at the end of a day at the water’s edge.

Waves washing up on shore at sunset.Fall is a great time to learn how to surf as it's considered one of Maui's low seasons.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Maui, HI

US News & World Report named Maui the best place to visit in November for its unusually warm temperatures. It also marks the beginning of whale watching season when humpback whales begin migrating in the Pacific.

As such, if you really want to enjoy the beach and its incredible wildlife, consider booking a sailing charter or snorkeling adventure to experience Maui’s coral reefs up close and personal. Fall is also a great time to learn how to surf in Maui, as it’s considered one of the island’s low seasons.

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Boardwalk with tall grass on either side.There are plenty of attractions at Virginia Beach, making it perfect for families.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Virginia Beach, VA

Family-friendly Virginia Beach has loads of beachfront attractions including a boardwalk amusement area and even a year-round haunted house. Aside from individual water sports like swimming and stand-up paddleboarding, boat tours for fishing and wildlife watching are popular beach activities.

The three beaches — Resort, Sandbridge and Chesapeake Bay — are relatively empty come fall, despite playing host to awesome festivals where you can compete in an international sand-sculpting championship. While hotels are significantly cheaper in the fall, you also have the option to camp right on the beach at False Cape State Park.

Driftwood washed up on beach at sunset.You'll find driftwood all along the beach, making it a great place to go for a stroll.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Jekyll Island, GA

One of Georgia’s top vacation destinations year-round, Jekyll Island has five unique beaches full of long stretches of sand and surf. Sand dunes and giant driftwood specimens line the water, making it the perfect natural playground for children.

Other local attractions like the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and Summer Waves Water Park, can also be found near the beaches. If stuffing yourself with delicious food is part of your beach vacation goals in the fall, make sure to visit during their annual Shrimp & Grits Festival for some of the best tasting versions of the dish in the area.

White sand beach with white plaster lighthouse.Cape Florida lighthouse in Bill Baggs State Park.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Key Biscayne, FL

South of Miami Beach, and just off the coast of Miami proper, lies Key Biscayne, a barrier island with two exclusive beach parks. As such, aside from oceanfront condos, the only other accommodations in the area are luxury resorts like the Ritz Carlton and Grand Bay Club.

However, there are an incredible number of beach activities and eco-adventures tours at Crandon Park, the northern park on the island, which make it well worth the money. The beach’s sandbar and calm waters also make it prime real estate for swimming and snorkeling.

Additionally, Bill Baggs State Park — to the south — offers wind-surfing rentals, along with wide beaches for sunbathing and a historic lighthouse.

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Gulfport, MS

While not as well-known as some of the other gulf coast cities, Gulfport has a series of beautiful white-sand beaches that are ideal for staying warm in the fall. You’ll want to stay at the Island View Casino Resort to take full advantage of all Gulfport has to offer.

In addition to casino-style gaming, the resort offers spa treatments, multiple dining facilities (including a beachfront grill), and a luxurious bar and pool area made for watching the sunset. Nearby Jones Park also plays host to a number of events throughout the year, including a music festival in the fall.

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