Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Ocean Isle Beach: Winter Edition

Happy Wednesday! Now that I'm back to blogging, it's time to catch up on some travel. The last time I shared about travel was from our summer trip to St. John. You can read about about that trip here. It was an amazing experience! We took some short trips during the fall and winter that I'm planning to share here over the next few weeks. Today, I'm going to begin with our most recent weekend getaway, Ocean Isle Beach. Some people think I'm crazy for wanting to go to the beach in the wintertime but it's magical. I am summertime and sunshine kind of person as well as a beach person. Of course, I'd rather have my beach days be warm and sunny but I honestly love going anytime of year. I can always go for some beach therapy! 

Pros for a wintertime beach trip: it's not crowded and accommodations are significantly cheaper.

Cons for a wintertime beach trip: it's cold and some restaurants are closed this time of year.

ocean isle beach, travel on a budget, wintertime beach trip

The pros definitely outweighed the cons when I booked this wintertime beach getaway. We secured an oceanfront room for a great price with an amazing view. We have been staying at The Islander Inn for at least 7 or 8 years. It's right on the beach at Ocean Isle and it's been the perfect spot for a beach vacation for our family of four. This isn't a fancy hotel by any means but it's updated and clean. They serve a great deluxe continental breakfast that my kids look forward to every single morning.

We loved The Islander Inn because it's right on the beach but beyond the beach there's an outdoor pool for the warmer weather plus an indoor plus and hot tub. My girls hit up the indoor pool every morning after breakfast and every evening before bed. Josh and I personally loved the hot tub! One evening we ordered pizza and hung out in the indoor pool area for three hours. We were the other ones in there and we had so much fun! Like I mentioned, the last of crowds is a huge pro for the beach in the winter.

There weren't as many restaurants open this time of the year but it didn't bother us. One of our favorite things to do on vacation is a grocery store dinner. We go into the grocery store (Ocean Isle has Lowe's and Publix) to pick out whatever each want for dinner that night. The girls absolutely love this! It's a win for everyone. Grocery store sushi and bubbly with an oceanfront view was pretty amazing. We also picked up some key lime pie (with a chocolate chip crust) from Causeway Gourmet. It's a must try!

So, what else is there to do at the beach during the winter? Well, for me personally, I can sit on the beach for hours. Yes, even when it's cold! I bundled up in layers, brought a blanket and a book, and sat on the beach. It's just so peaceful, especially with hardly any other people out there. We also really loved hunting for shells, which is also much easier to do when it's not crowded. Family walks on the beach are always fun too, no matter what time of the year it is.

We also visited the local brewery, Makai Brewing. It's a great family friendly stop with a sandwich next door. I love the Hawaiian theme and decor! I also went to Drift Coffee for a caramel oat milk latte and their gluten free banana bread. It's topped with honey, ricotta, and fresh berries. So good! Oh and our other food stop was to Provision Company but we went to the location in Supply, NC on our way to Ocean Isle. This is the only location that is open during the wintertime. It's a tradition to stop there as soon as we get to the beach. Always delicious!

Have you been to the beach during the winter?! I'd 100% recommend it!

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