Winter weather in southern Utah is hard to beat. That’s why snowbirds flock here by the gaggle. It rarely snows in the lower elevations around St. George, and if flurries happen to fall they melt by noon. You can golf (you, not me) in the morning and drive an hour away to ski in the afternoon. Hiking and biking opportunities are practically endless.
That said, southern Utah is not perfect. There is no beach. California is close enough, but there is another particular stretch of coastline I find worth the effort to get to, where you can wiggle your toes in the sand and soak up some spf–4 winter sun. It’s been called the Redneck Riviera of the Gulf Coast. I’m talking about the Florida Panhandle.
|Fort Walton Beach, Florida|
For some, nearby Destin and Panama City are the Spring Break Party Capitals of the Gulf Coast. However, if your serious partying days are a thing of the past and you just want to relax, Fort Walton Beach during the winter (and especially over Thanksgiving) is a whole different alligator. My best buddy PP had never gone to the beach over a Thanksgiving weekend so we booked a sixth–floor room with a balcony and watched the world drift by.
|Sixth floor view|
|Thanksgiving Day sunset|
|There were a lot of jellyfish washed up on the beach…|
|Fewer crowds over the holiday…|
|And the water was not that cold!|
The day we were supposed to leave a storm rolled in. We just stayed another day and spent a lazy afternoon on our balcony, mesmerized by the sand and the waves and the rain and the sky.