These Are the Top “Shoulder Season” Beach Destinations, According to Vrbo

published Sep 11, 2022
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Picnic background with bag, grape and white wine on the beach by blue sea
Credit: Shutterstock | Ekaterina Kondratova

Summer is drawing to a close, but that doesn’t mean that beachy getaways are out of season. According to new data from vacation rental platform Vrbo, vacation rental prices in many beloved U.S. beach towns are set to decrease noticeably during 2022’s shoulder season.

Shoulder season is typically defined as the travel period between a destination’s peak season (in this case, summer) and its off season (in this case, winter). Vrbo found that in 2022, beach-front home rental prices are set to drop by an average of 25% during this period.

“We weren’t sure if shoulder season would happen this year because demand for summer beach vacation homes has been so high, but based on Vrbo pricing and availability data, we’re happy to see that shoulder season has returned,” Vrbo spokesperson Alison Kwong said in a release. “Families can still head to the beach and enjoy a sunny, warm vacation even during the traditional fall months, at a lower price.”

While fall beach-goers historically enjoy fewer crowds, they’ll also likely face better temperatures. Having cooled down from the 90-degree dog days of summer, hotspots like Gulf Shores, Alabama and Panama City Beach, Florida have average daytime temperatures of 75 to 85 degrees in September — still warm enough to enjoy a dip in the pool or the ocean, but not so hot that you’ll be dodging heat advisories.

The Sunshine State features the most shoulder season deals, with three Florida beach towns making the list. South Carolina and Texas trail behind, with two beach destinations apiece.

Here are Vrbo’s top beach destinations for shoulder savings, in no particular order:

  • Corpus Christi & Port Aransas, Texas
  • Fort Walton Beach, Florida
  • Gulf Shores, Alabama
  • Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • Miramar & Rosemary Beach, Florida
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  • Ocean City, Maryland
  • Outer Banks, North Carolina
  • Panama City Beach, Florida
  • South Padre Island, Texas