Our Favorite Fall Beach Destinations

Southerners love spending autumn by the shore. 

Southern Living Editors

Nothing against summer at the beach or fall in the mountains, but give us a balmy autumn day on a stretch of sand with no crowds, and we’re in a state of bliss. As frommers.com points out, while North Florida and South Florida have opposite high seasons, their shoulder seasons (that's when they begin dropping rates) are consistent: April-May and September through November. Shoulder season is a little harder to define on the Outer Banks, but it’s roughly April-May September-October.

Before booking any travel, it's important to pay attention to the weather reports. Fall is also hurricane season, and Mid-Atlantic beaches will be cooler than those farther south, especially at night. (Not necessarily a bad thing, once we’ve made it through the scorcher months.) Some businesses begin closing in shoulder season. Even so, it’s worth it to have a few days on a fabulous beach, knowing you’ve got the run of the place.

Mississippi Gulf Coast

Fall getaways in the South always include fairs and festivals. October’s Cruisin’ the Coast is a doozy—a gathering of thousands of classic cars, with towns from Bay St. Louis to Ocean Springs offering food, live music, and special events.