Beaches vs. Mountains
What time of year are you vacationing?
Frolicking in the surf and building elaborate sand kingdoms are activities traditionally reserved for summer when the days are long and the sun shines bright. In the summer the beach is king. However, spending many hours at the beach can lead to an overexposure to the sun and the accompanying heat stroke, dehydration and sunburn can be a detriment to the fun of a summer on the coast. Over exposure to the sun can be negated by staying indoors at the hottest part of the day (between noon and two in the afternoon), frequent application of a high SPF sunscreen, staying hydrated, using a large sun umbrella, and of course frequent dips in the cooling waters of the ocean. For those who want to avoid long hours of sun and still enjoy a summer vacation, the cool breeze of snow topped peaks and cover of lush forests can be a reprieve from the blistering temperatures. However, in some ranges, the summer temperatures can be just as brutal as their coastal counterparts (even without accounting for physical activities such as climbing and hiking) without the added bonus of taking a refreshing dip in the ocean. Although both choices are viable options, most people would agree that a summer at the sea is the best choice if vacationing between May and August.
When vacationing in the Spring, the choice is not as straightforward. Although the beach is still an option with plenty of sunshine, the colder waters can be a deterrent to all but the hardiest of swimmers. Certain mountain ranges can also be troublesome with the hindrance of melting snows and fluctuating temperatures. However the mountains offer the unique opportunity to view the Spring time awakening of nature. When choosing where to take a Spring vacation, a traveler's best bet is to research specific locations to ensure that they are traveling to a place in which the weather is optimal for the activities in which they are interested.
Fall is another time of year in which the weather varies drastically for each location. Some coastal areas such as Florida and The Gulf Coast are still viable locations for a beach trip as the temperatures are warm enough for a lounging on the sandy dunes well into November. Certain mountain areas, such as the Smoky Mountains of the south east or the Green Mountains of Vermont, are amazing locations to experience the transformation of the landscape. Forests in Fall, shades of red and orange, apple picking, crisp mountain sunrises: these are all adventures unique to Fall in the mountains. However, in certain ranges, snow begins to fall in early November and vacationing in these locations becomes a notably different experience. As in Spring, weather research is needed to ensure that the traveler is choosing the optimal place for their Fall vacation.
Just like how in Summer the beach is king; in Winter the mountains are the favorite choice. For those who enjoy winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding and ice skating; a Winter vacation in the mountains is the best option. Children can enjoy special mountain activities such as building a snowman, having a snowball fight, or sledding and afterwards enjoying a mug of hot chocolate by a crackling fire. However, Winter in the mountains is not without it's drawbacks as well. Snow and ice can make traveling difficult. If unaccustomed, learning wintersports can be challenging and lead to injury. But most would agree, if vacationing in the Winter, the mountains are the premier option.