These are the vacation places I dream of when the skies are drawn in December gray: The wind is warm and smells of salt marshes and sun-dried kelp. Gulls circle overhead in crisp blue skies. The beach is long, the surf pounds in the distance. Small crabs whisk sideways on the strand, looking for sandy burrows. Tiny fish flash and dark in the shallows left behind when the tide retreated. It is this combination of large and small elements that make a seaside retreat so relaxing, and why I go back year after year.
In addition to the allure of the sea, there’s nothing quite like the casual feel of small coastal community in the summer months. Gardens and window boxes are in full bloom. Colorful awnings shade the sidewalk. There are outdoor music festivals, harbor side cafes, seafood stands, farmers markets and stylish boutiques to be perused along Main Street. Ah, the glory of summer!
At some point (squeezed between a nap, a good book, a trip to the gelato shop), I like to take an architectural tour of the beach houses. These homes are often seasonal, which means they are busy with vacationing visitors and families during the summer, and go dormant in the winter. All of the coastal homes seem to maintain an effortless, calm demeanor whether their styling is modern or traditional, or something in-between.
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