Lots of people know what it is like to come to the Crystal Coast for a vacation. Thousands of people have that experience every year. After spending time on our pristine shores, it is not unusual to start thinking about our area as a potential retirement spot or a place for a second home. Living here raises a lot more questions than spending a week relaxing on our warm beaches. Bluewater's Sales Blog will shed some light on life along North Carolina's best kept secret, the Southern Outer Banks that run along the shores of Carteret County.What it is like to live near the beach in the winter? Does Carteret County even have a winter?
One of the greatest things about living near the beach is the temperate climate. While where you live in relation to the water can make a huge difference, it is safe to say that the ocean keeps us cooler in spring and early summer. The water also helps us stay warmer in fall and winter.
Living right on the water can provide a wonderful extended growing season. Last year, our last tomatoes came off the vine on December 19, and this year we got our first tomato on June 1.
It is fair to say that our "winter" is not like the winter that most people experience inland even in North Carolina. While snow is not unheard of along the coast, it is a very rare occurrence. I have been here two winters so far, and I have yet to see a flake of snow or any ice other than an early morning skim on the water behind our house. During January 2007, I actually tracked the temperatures. I was surprised to find that we only experienced nineteen hours of below freezing temperatures during the whole month of January.
We have also found that there are very few days when it is too cold to walk on the beach or hike one of the great trails in Croatan National Forest. Last year I kayaked through the month of December. The previous winter I rode my bike a couple days each week during the winter.
We often find that during our infrequent cold spells a few minutes with the gas logs on in the morning is all that we need to take the chill off. The quick warmth of the fireplace prepares us for another day of life along the Crystal Coast. Waking up to that slight chill is all the winter that I need to remind me of icy roads and more serious cold spells in the mountains.
A mild coastal winter which allows you to actually get out and enjoy the scenic beauty of the area is one of my favorite privileges as a local. It is pretty hard to complain when winter foot gear is sneakers.