Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy
We are on the coast. We go to the beach rarely though... not because I don't like it (I *love* it!!) but because it can take almost an hour to get there... much of the nearest coast is occupied by industry. The good beaches are over the expensive toll bridge, plus parking is expensive!! We probably go 1-2 times a month (off-peak hours) in the summer and hardly at all the rest of the year. I like to think that I'd go down to the water daily if it was in walking distance.
I totally hear ya! I grew up in Maryland, and although it's a coastal state, the beach was about 2.5-3 hours away (depending on traffic or how fast you drive, it can also take 5 or 6 hours) and it so touristy that we really couldn't afford to go there as kids (especially once there were four of us kids). Hotels are like $400 a night, and parking doesn't exist and food is expensive and on and on on. You can make a loooooong day trip out of it, but then if the weather turns you're SOL, and it kind of feels like you're homeless for a day. No one will let you use their restrooms, so you have to scope out the two public restrooms on the boardwalk and hope your kid doesn't pee her pants while waiting in line. Ugh. Once we did make a day trip of it and my little brother got sick as soon as we got there. We tried to find a hotel for the night so that we could salvage just a bit of the trip, but no one would give us a room for just one night even though they had vacancies. Heartless rat bastards :)
Now we live, literally, 1.5 miles from the coast (some is bay, some ocean), so that's why we can get there so often. Plus, they are just little stretches of beach, so no vendors, no t-shirt, french fries, or other crap to buy. Just getting wet, building sandcastles, and beachcombing. Simple fun. If we want a touristy beach, we go about 12 miles to find one. No biggie. But the fact that we are so close to the coast is why it boggles my mind that more locals don't go on a regular basis. I mean, it's a couple of miles! Oh, and we looooove going to the port and boat-watching. I can see how that might get old for locals (especially one the kids are older), but we sure love watching the fishing boats come in!