12 Nov, 2009
Dreaming of a White Christmas at California Beaches
A new poll released by the Los Angeles Times in conjunction with University of Southern California caused some a heavy sigh as the mistletoe and visions of a white Christmas simply faded from sight. According to the survey, 80% of state residents believe California is on the wrong track as the unemployment rate rise and cuts to public programs continue.
While merchants are hoping to create a holiday bustle and rush to buy gifts, many beach merchants say their sales are flat–and they’ve been so throughout the entire tourist season in 2009. Winter looks no brighter for shop owners who ponder if staying in business is really worth it. The shocking reality is apparent at malls as you wander past empty stores.
But wait! There’s a bright side to the gloom. For those of us who live at the beach, here’s the good news:
- With warmer holiday seasons each year, it’s possible to never use your heater at all. Last year I never turned my heater on.
- When snow hits the mountains, beach dwellers and inland flatlanders can gaze over to the majestic, snow-peaked places and discover there’s a white Christmas nearby–and it’s only an hour or two drive.
- Rent prices have gone down, and availability in rentals have gone up, part of a trend in California reflected by Realty Trac news today. The Irvine based forecaster tells of more foreclosures on the way and news that California’s foreclosure rate is lower than Nevada’s. That’s not exactly worth a holiday cheer, but things could be worse.
- Beach cities aren’t among the top 10 in the nation for foreclosure rates. In California, seven cities among the top 10 in the U.S. were Vallejo- Fairfield ranked second; Modesto ranked third; Riverside-San Bernardino, fourth; Bakersfield sixth; Merced seventh; Stockton eighth; and Sacramento came in 10th.
- Housing prices are certainly lower than past years at California beach cities and communities, but there are bargains to be had. For house-hunters, this is not a bad time to look around as tax credits and low interest rates make for more affordable housing for those with jobs.
- Free activities abound. From tree lighting ceremonies, to holiday parades and concerts, the beaches are aglow with many community-style things for singles and families to enjoy. And most don’t cost a penny. Take a hike with your friends. Look at the tidepools in Laguna Beach or other coastal spots. Build a bonfire at one of the free beach fire rings. Go watch the water show with new holiday themed music at Fanfare in San Pedro beginning in early December. There’s just so much going on you don’t need to sit around.
- Go put your feet into the sand. Even when you feel “dirt” poor, you can wear a smile as you empty the sand from your shoes after a walk on the glorious beach. Maybe you’ll even see migrating whales or those dolphins and porpoises that are duking it out off coast in some spots. Nature provides quite a show.
- You can pay to see world class concerts, or ride boats in the bays this holiday, stay at world class beach hotels, and sip happy hour cocktails with amazing views of the ocean. When you have the beach (and California), you have it all!