As temperatures drop, and winter drags on for those of us in the Midwest, jetting off to warmer climes seems more and more attractive. While many who opt for a beach-side vacation home are at the mercy of airline schedules, prices and the hassles that come with flying commercial airlines, those with a private pilot’s license have greater freedom and flexibility to head to the beach virtually any time they want. If you’re in the market to buy a beach house, take a look at these top places. Let’s get started!
1) Panama City Beach, FL
Nearest Airport: Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (KECP)
Nothing beats the bright blue waters and white-sand beaches of Panama City Beach in Florida. Located in the northwestern part of the state, this beach destination is a great option for those looking for realty that provides fun in the sun and plenty of things to do. With its boardwalk, bustling downtown area and influx of tourists at moments throughout the year, this is a great option if you enjoy being on the go and having things to do while on vacation. The variety of beach houses here are perfect for any budget — from luxury water-side retreats to off-beach bungalows and everything in between, this town is sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience.
2) Dauphin Island, AL
Nearest Airport: Jeremiah Denton Airport (4R9)
Otherwise known as the Sunset Capital of Alabama, Dauphin Island provides a quieter setting that doesn’t forget about beauty. Home to just over 1,000 residents, those that can find a beach home here will love the local Audubon Bird Sanctuary, historic Fort Gaines, and plenty of golf courses, parks and marinas to boot. Plus, it’s close to an easy-to-access airport just 30 miles away in Mobile.
3) Ocean Shores, WA
Nearest Airport: Ocean Shores Municipal Airport (W04)
With a median home cost of about $240,000, Ocean Shores is the perfect place for those searching for a private, unique, luxurious beach home. This quaint coastal city in the Northwest gives vacationers the experience of the changing seasons – but with a more moderate winter, a variety of wildlife and the small-town charm that makes Washington so unique. The Pacific ocean, while often quite cold, provides some of the best ocean views that you can see, whether there’s sun, rain or snow. For birders, check out Ocean City State Park, a place that special migratory birds call home throughout the year.
4) Myrtle Beach, SC
Nearest Airport: Grand Strand Airport (KCRE)
While this bustling vacation town may not be for everyone, there are many affordable homes throughout Myrtle Beach. With almost 2,000 restaurants and more than 100 golf courses, as well as a number of gorgeous beaches, this popular coastal town has something for everyone (as long as you can handle tourists). Consider Myrtle Beach for an affordable, fun beach destination, where you can find home prices well under $200,000.
5) Palm Springs, CA
Nearest Airport: Nearest Airport: Bermuda Dunes Airport (KUDD)
For a classic beach-front experience, take a look at Palm Springs. There’s a reason why this location constantly finds itself on the top beach destinations in the U.S. (and the world) — because it’s perfect for a wide variety of people looking for swimming, relaxation and a sun tan. While beach houses are more pricey here, there are more than enough rental opportunities to take advantage of while you’re away.
6) Ocean City, MD
Nearest Airport: Ocean City Municipal Airport (KOXB)
There are more than 10 miles of shoreline along the tiny spring of land known as Ocean City, serving almost 9 million visitors a year. Those who chose to buy a beach house here will have first-hand access to a number of spectacular neighborhoods where oceanfront restaurants, attractions and homes are available to vacationers. There is plenty to do with a famed boardwalk, and several amusement park attractions.
7) Portsmouth, Virginia
Nearest Airport: Greater Portsmouth Regional Airport (KPMH)
Close to Colonial Williamsburg, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, those in search of a beach getaway on the east coast will love Portsmouth. While less traditional than the tropics, Portsmouth has a number of advantages for those looking for a second home on the water. From historic neighborhoods, the infamous seawall, amazing views `of the Atlantic and some of the best restaurants in the region, it’s no wonder this city has become a popular place to buy realty.
8) Jacksonville, NC
Nearest Airport: Albert J Ellis Airport (KOAJ)
People from all over the world come to Jacksonville’s beautiful beaches for an especially long beach season, amazing boating opportunities, fishing, turtle watching and much, much more. Head to either Topsal or Surf City, both within the greater Jacksonville area, and take in some of the best beach activities in the area.
9) Hilo, HI
Nearest Airport: Hilo International Airport (PHTO)
While Maui and Kauai may be the traditional hotspots, Hilo offers tropical escape with plenty of beach-side realty opportunities. Several state and national parks are in close proximity, with convenient access to Hawaii Airport. If you’re looking for an authentic second-home experience in beautiful Hawaii, Hilo can provide it.
10) Stillwater, MN
Nearest Airport: Lake Elmo Airport (21D)
While this isn’t a tropical destination, Stillwater, one of Minnesota’s premier destinations, offers amazing waterfront living for those who don’t mind the cold. Established in the late 1840’s along the beautiful bluffs of St. Croix River, many vacationers and second-home owners love the dramatic river-side views, historic towns and imposing valley scenery that makes the area so unique. Plus, it’s close enough to the Twin Cities that city-dwellers can always find something that piques their interest.
Ready to Take-Off to Your Beach House?
Then get in touch with Inflight Pilot Training today! With a private pilot’s license, you can visit your beach house whenever you get the vacation itch. All you need to do is hop in the cockpit, set your coordinates and take-off for a trip filled with sun, swimming and tropical vibes. All it takes is a call to Inflight Pilot Training, the Midwest’s top flight school, offering a variety of certification options that will get you flying solo at your own pace. Our CFIs are some of the best in the region and are ready to help you achieve your goals when it comes to learning to fly.
Ready to get started? Contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.