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KellyAssauer
08-19-2012, 06:07 PM
I need a beach location for a short story I'm writing.

The setting needs to have a somewhat private or semi-secluded beach. The beach should be accessible via a short walk from the beach house.

I'm looking for an location between Maine and Virginia.

The characters need to be able to swim in the ocean. After some research, it appears that the time of year and water temperature may have an influence on exact location. The warmest months for the water temperature seems to be July August & September - and that can fit the story.

I'm not sure about using a location in a 'bay' because the sound of the surf is featured predominately in the storyline, and I am unsure as to how much surf a bay location would have.

So, those are the limitations, does anyone have a particular setting that might fit that criteria, or does such a place exist?

thank you!

-kells-

Meerkat
08-19-2012, 06:42 PM
Delaware, south of Bethany Beach has some gated communities where the beach would be private. Also, Assateage in Maryland and Chicoteague in Virginia have secluded spots.

Also, please transport me from real life to your story!

cornflake
08-19-2012, 11:18 PM
You've got TONS to choose from, mostly dependant on how much money and what type of town you want involved.

That describes a lot of Maine - outside the tourist towns there's a ton of beach that's just dotted by private homes...

It also describes places like the Hamptons (South Hampton, East Hampton) in NY, where there are private beach areas by the homes of the very wealthy. Lots of places...

WeaselFire
08-19-2012, 11:33 PM
Off season in the Hamptons is very private. I'd agree with Delaware, and some of the areas around Virginia Beach might qualify. Maine has better surf sounds but it's never a good place to swim. Might look at Block Island off Rhode Island.

Also depends on what you want for a beach. Rocky, sifting sugar sand, etc. Weather plays a factor as well.

Jeff

lbender
08-19-2012, 11:58 PM
I agree with cornflake - tons of choices. In addition to the ones mentioned, southern New Jersey has loads of islands and beaches, both private and not. Long Beach Island is just one.

Chasing the Horizon
08-20-2012, 12:12 AM
Cape May, New Jersey is lovely. The publicly accessible beaches go on for miles and have some parts that are very secluded. Due to the shape of New Jersey, it also has a beach called Sunset Beach where you can have the unusual experience of watching the sun set over the Atlantic. You cannot, however, see the sun rise over the Atlantic like you can most places. The shape of the land makes the sun rise over land.

There is surf, though it's not high enough to really do much surfing on during normal conditions (though this is true of much of the East Coast). It's perfect for swimming, though. I was there in September and the water was wonderfully warm and the beach almost completely deserted since it was after Labor Day.

ETA: Cape May could be exactly what you're looking for because it has very few 'touristy' things and is quiet even in summer according to the residents I talked to. Most of the tourists go to Wildwood. There's really nothing to do in Cape May except go to the beach. No amusement parks or boardwalk, few bars, only a handful of restaurants, etc.

KellyAssauer
08-20-2012, 12:46 AM
Thank you all so much for the help!

Without that sense of place I can't begin...

Cape May is starting to sound good. =)

As every one began to describe places I realized that my MC's aren't the wealthiest of people. The 'house' in my head seems more likely built in the 40's or 50's or 60's. Something far less than a zillion dollar home - more of an improved upon over the years fishing cottage.

It would belong to the FMC's parents. They would have spent a part of the summer here, probably mostly with Mom, seeing Dad on the weekends.

The beach: I've given this a lot of thought as well, the longer the shelf below the water, the slower the 'normal' surf and the further you would have to wade to float or swim, so it can't just drop off, but it can go for half a mile either...

Would that keep me in the Cape May area?

Chasing the Horizon
08-20-2012, 01:06 AM
Thank you all so much for the help!

Without that sense of place I can't begin...

Cape May is starting to sound good. =)

As every one began to describe places I realized that my MC's aren't the wealthiest of people. The 'house' in my head seems more likely built in the 40's or 50's or 60's. Something far less than a zillion dollar home - more of an improved upon over the years fishing cottage.

It would belong to the FMC's parents. They would have spent a part of the summer here, probably mostly with Mom, seeing Dad on the weekends.

The beach: I've given this a lot of thought as well, the longer the shelf below the water, the slower the 'normal' surf and the further you would have to wade to float or swim, so it can't just drop off, but it can go for half a mile either...

Would that keep me in the Cape May area?
Yes, all these things would work in Cape May. There is one area that had a very gradual drop off and others with sharper ones (I'll have to look and see if I can find exactly which areas were which, though you could easily walk from one to the other so they must be within about half a mile of each other). Much of the town is made up of the small sort of houses you describe.

I have to go out, but I'll see if I can find some links with pictures and better descriptions when I get home.

druid12000
08-20-2012, 01:10 AM
Does it have to be in the US? I grew up in a small town in Nova Scotia with cottages all along the coast on the Northumberland Strait. Miles of secluded beaches and, thirty years ago, it was the warmest water north of Florida.

KellyAssauer
08-20-2012, 01:19 AM
Does it have to be in the US?

Well, ummm.... it would be easier.

As people give me suggestions I go straight to Google earth! I just found another possibility in Rhode Island.

The further north I go... I suspected that the water would get colder... but maybe not so much?

Don Evan Scott
08-20-2012, 05:18 AM
The water up north is cooler, but the later in the year, the warmer it is, and the gulf stream helps a lot. Hampton Beach in New Hampshire is enormously popular and the temperature of the water is perfectly fine in July, August, even September, though by September the air temperature starts to get un-beach-like. Also, like I said it is popular and it would not qualify as secluded.

However, way down in New Bedford, Massachusetts, there is a beach on both sides of the city that is fairly popular with the locals, but is not touristy at all. They are both on a "bay" facing suburbs on either side, HOWEVER, if you venture south, you reach the bottom edge of the city, facing south into the Ocean, and not many people go there. It is not necessarily a "beach" because there is a rocky drop-off to the ocean and you can't go down there, but it is pretty and you can hear the waves and all that. There are also fairly secluded areas that do have sand nearby. It is called Fort Taber.

Also, across the bay is Fort Phoenix, in Fairhaven Massachusetts, which is also fairly secluded, and you can actually walk out on the hurricane barrier and sit and watch the boats and surf (watch the surf, not go surfing :) ). Check them out on google maps if you'd like, and I can help if needed :)

druid12000
08-20-2012, 06:08 AM
I haven't been swimming in Nova Scotia for years, but growing up there were times when the water temp was comparable to a warm bath. Check out Northport, NS. Last I knew the population of the town was 100 and even with the cottages being used during summer there were only a few families that actually spent the entire summer.

NinaK
08-20-2012, 03:32 PM
NJ has long barrier islands that run along the coast. In most areas the towns are two to four blocks wide, a bay block to the west and an ocean block to the east. They run from Bay Head to the north almost to Cape May at the southern tip of the state. There are several towns that have homes right on the beach Like, Mantoloking, Lavallette, Beach Haven, Stone Harbor, while the others have a road or boardwalk that runs along the beach. North of Bay Head there are towns that have homes on the beach however they are not on a barrier island.

Some of these towns like Bay Head have large three story, eight bedroom homes that line the beach, while communities like Ocean Beach and Normandy Beach have smaller two and three bedroom bungalows.

Many of these towns have an average year round population of anywhere from 800 to 1500 residents. During the summer months they swell to three and four times the number. Most of the seasonal residents leave in early September, it becomes quiet and the ocean temperatures are still in the 70’s.

The sound of the ocean surf will depend on the wind and the tide, sometimes it is gentle and lapping while other times it is thunderous. You do hear the waves hitting the bay beaches, they are usually not as strong and hit more frequently. Also a lot of the homes on the bayside are located on properties that have bulkheads, so you hear the waves slap against the wood.

Snick
08-20-2012, 04:56 PM
I would suggest that you put the names of the east caost states plus Nova Scotia into a hat and grab one. Then you can get a map of that state or province and run your finger along the shore with your eyes shut until you decide to stop moving your finger, and that will give you the geography. Then you can dream up a name. You might also want to conside which, if any, other features need to be nearby.

Nekko
08-23-2012, 10:04 PM
As a former NJ resident I'd second most of what NinaK posted. In addition to some of the larger homes she mentioned, you would also be able to find cottage type bungalows like those you describe. Seclusion becomes a little more difficult, but still totally possible.

Hearing surf not a problem, but it is dependent on weather nearby (could be several miles out to sea. I loved going to the beach when a storm was coming in.) On calm summer days, the surf was often more of a very gentle swish-low roar. Underwater projections will help create more sound.
However, most of the Atlantic coast is not good for surfing, but I don't think that's what you were looking for. Think Beach Boys in California, you never hear their songs about NJ!

From many summers vacationing in Maine, the water is pretty damn cold! As kids we would dare each other to see who could stand in it up to our knees the longest. We certainly didn't do much swimming - and we were stupid kids (you know, kids don't think about cold when they want to have fun.)

Niiicola
08-24-2012, 05:21 PM
Cape Cod would also work. The towns along the National Seashore (Eastham, Orleans, Wellfleet, Truro, Provincetown) have Atlantic-side beaches with sandy dunes and waves. There are definitely houses on secluded and quiet beaches. The water is chilly but absolutely swimmable in the summer. I grew up there, so feel free to ping me with questions.