Squeeze in the Sunshine: Best Beaches for a Late-Summer Getaway

If you didn’t have enough beach time this summer or want to make that last grab at fun in the sun, head to the beach. They’re less crowded and not so hot this time of year, but they remain the ultimate slice of summer. Here are some late-summer beach trips to consider:

Cabin at Mays Landing Campground
Cabin at Mays Landing Campground

Atlantic City, New Jersey: Back in the day, and we mean way back, from the late 1800s to the roaring ‘20s, Atlantic City was the beach. Come September, the beach is less crowded and offers gentle daytime temperatures ranging between the high 60s and low 70s with ocean breezes. The water temperature is a lovely 72 degrees – perfect for the activities you can enjoy here including surfing, kayaking and fishing. Take a break from the beach and stroll the iconic Boardwalk for shopping, eating, and salt water taffy opportunities. Book a glamping cottage or cabin at Mays Landing Campground to enjoy AC Beach!

Bar Harbor, Maine: Book a stay in a glamping cabin at Mt. Desert Narrows or Narrows Too to enjoy September in the charming coastal town of Bar Harbor and take advantage of several beaches here. Sand Beach, located within Acadia National Park, is a great little beach set between the mountains and the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy swimming and the views but stay for the sunset and the night sky show as this is a great spot for stargazing. Another beach to check out within Acadia is Echo Lake Beach – again, a small beach that is great for swimming, picnicking, and spectacular scenery in the form of the soaring cliffs of Beach Mountain.

Coronado, California: On a peninsula in the San Diego Bay sits Coronado, a beautiful resort town home to the historic Hotel Del Coronado and several beaches. Coronado Central Beach has glimmering golden sand, the Hotel Del as a backdrop, and is a great beach for swimming, boogie boarding, walking, and tide pooling. North Beach is dog friendly so if you’re traveling with your furry bestie, this is the place to get that last bit of summer sun in. Swimming, walking the beach and, of course, a good game of frisbee or fetch are best done here. Silver Strand State Beach offers two beaches as it’s split – spend some time on the oceanside stretch of beach and then head over to the strip of beach along San Diego Bay. Activities here include shelling, fishing (with permit), kayaking, and swimming. Book a glamping cabin or cottage at Thousand Trails Pio Pico to check out Coronado beaches.

Rockaway Beach, Oregon: Rent a glamping cottage, cabin, or ultra-cool yurt at Thousand Trails Pacific City and experience one of Oregon’s best beaches at nearby Rockaway Beach. Of course, Cloverdale has plenty of beaches to enjoy so close to home, but we thought a day trip to Rockaway might be fun. Rockaway offers seven miles of sandy beach with several access points along the way. This beach is great for rock hounding and tide pooling. Swimming is an option in September but the water temps are around 62 degrees, so wetsuits are a good idea. While you’re here, grab an original Pronto Pup – considered the original corn dog since 1941. Rockaway Pronto Pup is open on weekends year-round. In Cloverdale, beaches to explore include Green Acres Beach (for a horseback ride along the beach experience, visit beach-rides.com) or Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area with its soaring sand dune and oceanside stretch of beach.

Cabin at Thousand Trails Pacific City
Cabin at Thousand Trails Pacific City

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The Year of the Yurt

Interior yurt photo from Tranquil Timbers in WI.

If yurt camping has been on your travel bucket list for a while, why not make 2020 the Year of the Yurt? Luckily, Petite Retreats has more than enough yurt locations so you can choose a different spot to yurt every month of the year!

If you’re not familiar with yurts, there are a few things to keep in mind. Our yurts typically feature either two double futons and one set of bunk beds or one double futon and two sets of bunk beds. Some also have a functional kitchenette with a stovetop and microwave (no oven), upright refrigerator with small freezer, and a dining table. Kitchen amenities include an electric coffeepot, a toaster, pots and pans, as well as dishes, glasses, and utensils. Oh, and also a private restroom with shower! They also feature satellite television, a propane fireplace and gas barbeque on the outdoor deck. If you’re looking to rough it a bit more, we do also feature a few yurts that are much more rustic, without a restroom or kitchen, at Snowflower, Mt. Hood, Long Beach, Paradise, Tall Chief, Grandy Creek, and Tranquil Timbers.

Circle M
Yurt so good! Check out these cozy yurts at Circle M in PA.

California yurt options include Lake of the Springs, in Oregon House; Snowflower in Emigrant Gap and Yosemite Lakes in Groveland. Lake of the Springs is nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains and nearby attractions include the New Leaf Llama Farm, home to 30 friendly llamas. Snowflower puts you near Tahoe National Forest and all its activities, including hiking, fishing, swimming, climbing and bicycling. Yosemite Lakes is of course the perfect spot to stay when exploring Yosemite National Park as the entrance to the Park is just five miles down the road. The campground itself offers fishing, swimming and panning for gold thanks to the Tuolumne River that runs right through Yosemite Lakes.

Heading north from California to Oregon, there are four yurt opportunities – two along the Oregon coast, one in beautiful Bend and one in Mt. Hood Territory in Welches.  South Jetty (Florence) and Pacific City (Cloverdale) provide great locations for coastal excursions that could include Florence’s Heceta Head Lighthouse with its beautiful coastal views or wine tours of Cloverdale’s many vineyards. Bend-Sunriver is great year-round and Bend is always full of activity, indoors and out.  Bend’s Oregon Winter Fest is set for February 16, 2020, and summer brings the Bend Summer Festival, set for July. Mt. Hood in Welches is a great place to stay when catching the area’s most famous festivals, including the Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival in August and the Mount Hood Salmon and Mushroom Festival in September. Worth noting, the yurts at Mt. Hood are rustic and don’t have a restroom or a kitchen. That said, they’re conveniently located near a bathhouse. Both Bend and Welches offers skiing and sledding fun in winter and plenty of hiking, biking and fishing come summer.

Photo by @three_amigos_x from the yurts at Yosemite Lakes in CA.

On to Washington State, where five locations offers yurt accommodations.  Starting in southern Washington, there is Long Beach, located on the scenic peninsula with its boardwalk and beaches, and the world Kite Museum (because kite flying is excellent here), which features our more rustic yurt offering. Paradise is in Silver Creek and is surrounded by the mountains, including Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier. The campground has two stocked fishing lakes, too! The yurts at Paradise are rustic, and located near a restroom facility. Tall Chief is just outside Seattle and is the perfect spot to explore Seattle’s offerings, including the towering Space Needle, the lively, and historic, Pike Place Market and the offbeat Museum of Pop Culture. (The yurts at Tall Chief are also rustic.) Mt. Vernon and Grandy Creek, both located in northern Washington, complete the yurt options in Washington and each offer different opportunities. Mt. Vernon, located in Washington’s picturesque Skagit Valley, is a wooded wonderland with activities like hiking and fishing topping the list. The San Juan Islands are just a ferry ride away. Grandy Creek is in Concrete, in Mt. Baker territory, making the North Cascades National Park your playground. Plus, Baker Lake is great for fishing and swimming.

Tranquil Timbers is located on the beautiful Door County Peninsula of Wisconsin in Sturgeon Bay, which was voted one of the Top 10 Happiest Seaside Towns in the U.S. by Coastal Living magazine. Summer is the best time to enjoy yurt camping here as well as the world-famous bass fishing for which the bay is known. The charming towns dotting Door County are another plus to summer in Wisconsin.

Make 2020 the year of the yurt at Yosemite Lakes in CA.
Make 2020 the year of the yurt at Yosemite Lakes in CA.

Finally, the rolling hills of Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County are home to Circle M and their yurt accommodations. Lancaster County offers plenty of Pennsylvania Dutch hospitality from authentic Amish dining experiences and buggy rides to interesting museums (check out the York Barbell Weightlifting Museum and Hall of Fame or the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania). All kinds of family fun, including loads of chocolate, are available at nearby Hershey Park.