'Summer Vacation' Ideas for September
Back in April, a friend told me she couldn't wait until it got warm. I told her that I never hope for summer to start, because next thing I know, it's Christmas.
Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but, of all the seasons, summer seems to pass the most quickly for me, maybe because I spend much of my time at the beach. This past weekend, I noticed that the crowds in Ocean City have already thinned considerably. College students are leaving and families are heading home to get their kids ready for school. In just a couple of weeks, another season will be over. But that may be a good thing for those who aren't tied to school schedules. Some thoughts:
*If you haven't had a summer vacation, now is the time to start haggling. It's much easier to negotiate price for those early September weeks than for weeks in July and August. Check out the rent-by-owner Web sites (Cyberrentals, Vacation Rentals, Rentalo and VRBO are a few) and start working the phones and the Internet. You may get as much as a third off the stated rates.
* Try the restaurants that are packed in summer. September is a much better time to get the best tables. Insider's tip: One restaurant that we fell in love with this summer in Ocean City is the new incarnation of the Hobbit (410-524-8100) at 81st Street on the bay. This perennial Ocean City favorite closed a couple of years ago to make way for the Rivendell condos. Now it's reopened within the condo complex with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the bay, stylish decor, great service and a stellar menu featuring top-grade seafood and beef.
*If you're a shopper, most everything at the beach goes on sale in September. That holds true for the traditional outlet malls and the quirky gift stores. My picks for best shops to spend a rainy day (both in Fenwick Island, Del.) include Fenwick Floators and Carolina Street .
* Fall is the time to enjoy nature at the beach. There are festivals and organized trips. Resources include the Audubon Naturalist Society, which offers several beach field trips; the Birding and Wildlife Festival on Virginia's Eastern Shore Sept. 18-21; and Maryland Coast Day on Assateague Island Sept. 13.
Feel free to share your tips for enjoying late summer/early fall at your favorite beach destination.
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