Siesta Beach on Siesta Key in Sarasota, Florida, has white powdery sand so fine, it's like flour. I was in Sarasota with two great friends, to celebrate our birthdays. One afternoon we watched the sun go down in the West, despite the fact Florida's on the East Coast.
I forget that it's possible to see the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean if you're in the right spot. Well, okay, the bay gulf that leads to the ocean. Most of the time, we here in the mid-Atlantic get treated to the sunrises, what with facing East and all.
Another day, we walked along Lido Beach on Lido Key, where we discovered several different species of beach birds, one with a yellow tuft distinguishing it from your average Jonathan Seagull.
What struck me was that despite being together, there were a lot of silences as we strolled along the shore, stopping to look at shells. And it occurred to me that beach walking is a fine, contemplative activity for solo travelers. For short periods of time.
Meaning, I might get lonely on an extended beach vacation but I love spending hours at the beach on my own from time to time. Especially if there are little towns nearby or easy bike rentals or other entertaining activities.
But for the most part, I'll stick with a Club Med type of place if I really want to spend a whole week by the sea. That is, someplace where I'm certain to meet people. Otherwise, I think time would stretch way too long. What have others found?
Photos: Ellen Perlman
Lido Beach, Sarasota, Florida