One of the advantages of living in California is the easy access to beaches and warm(ish) weather even over Christmas. Sure, beach weather is better/warmer in Southern California (and admittedly many other parts of the U.S.), but I love the beaches in Northern California. As plenty of songs indicate, Christmas or winter holidays are associated with snow and many do not get that true holiday feeling unless there is snow on the ground. This also applied to me when I was still living in Austria, but I got over that pretty quickly.
Holidays without snow are just perfect for me, especially when spent on the beach. I was lucky enough to spend this year’s holidays at my favorite Northern Californian beach, Stinson Beach. It is a three-and-a-half-mile sandy beach about forty minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The current population according to the town’s welcome sign is 486. Highway 1 to Stinson Beach offers stunning vistas of the Pacific, and the road past Muir Woods and below Mt. Tamaplais leads through coastal redwood forests. On a clear day, the views on the trip to the beach as well as on the beach are breathtaking and show California from one of its best sides. California, and especially Stinson Beach, has convinced me that winter holidays are better with a beach.