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Beach Vacation Unexpected Surprises -They Don't Tell You  This in the Brochures!


Pity the poor tourist who ventures on a California Beach Vacation! What happens when vacationers arrive at the sunny California beaches only to find gloomy skies? It happens a few times a year--maybe 50 days. In a malaise called June Gloom which happens from April through June, the skies are overcast with sun breaking through late in the afternoon, just as it begins to set over the Pacific.


The pour tourist who assumed he'd find sunshine on his vacation as the website or brochure promised, is disappointed and haunted with the thought that the family would have been better off visiting Florida beaches instead.


Other surprises that await the unsuspecting tourist include cold water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. "It's freezing," said J. Jackson, who came with his friends from Florida to check out the California beaches and surfing. Much to his disappointment, he was greeted with water temps around 58 degrees, and the surf that was mostly flat with one-to-two foot waves.


Do tourism marketing firms oversell the dream? Some say, yes.


The biggest, unexpected surprise that greets travelers to the mecca of sunshine and land where it "never rains" is the cool air.  Californians residing along the coast prefer some overcast days and cool temperatures  with a pay-off of generally mild weather, no snow and little rain throughout the year.  But for visitors who have saved up and spent $1000 or more on a dream family vacation, the image conjured up of sunshine, shirt sleeves and smiles, sometimes forces them to look deeper and ultimately accept that nature is at work.


"I've visited California before and the weather was absolutely top spot," said a gent recently visiting Disneyland in Anaheim with his family. To him, the overcast skies were "a bit disappointing." Will he take his tourism dollars elsewhere next year? "We'll probably look elsewhere," he said.


On the Huntington Beach Pier recently I was recruited to take a photo of a family positioned with the sun setting behind them.  They came from Pennsylvania to explore California, and beaches were a major element of their vacation. The group of four were "freezing" and thought California would be warmer, like where they came from.


Californians can't guarantee sunny skies and warm temperatures. Notice the fine print on your dream vacation may mention probabilities and percentages of opportunity for weather conditions.  We also don't compare ourselves  with Florida, known for their sugar sand beaches and aquamarine waters. The water off our shoreline is a murky brownish-green many days. This isn't Florida, folks! We don't have many mosquitos on our coast, hardly know a firefly or chigger, and alligators--well Reggie, the famous alligator that got loose in an L.A. lake was finally caught!


Be prepared that you may be greeted to:

Overcast skies and foggy mists

Cold ocean temperatures

Cool weather

Rough sand beaches in some spots--and even rocks


But don't let that rare overcast day turn your vacation into a California bummer. What California and its beaches offer that no other destination are some of the world's superlatives, such as the tallest trees in the world on the Redwood Coast, some of the cutest girls on the Southern California beaches, and a policy that makes the majority of California's coastline accessible to the public.



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