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11 Magical Places Where Snow Falls on the Beaches

Bye, bye, bikini. Hello, parka!

When the weather turns chilly, travelers run in the direction of sun, sand, and sandals. But there are some beaches in the world where it’s hardly beach weather in winters. Quite the opposite, in fact. From the Jersey Shore to the Baltic coast, snow falling on beaches is an incredible, magical sight. White, powdery snow covers sandy beaches and turns the scenery into a winter wonderland unlike any you may have seen. Here we have 11 beaches where snow makes an appearance, so pack your beanies and gloves because things can get pretty cold out there.

1 OF 11

Jersey Shore

WHERE: New Jersey

A few weeks ago, residents of New Jersey celebrated snow days on the beach. Winter storms and severe weather conditions often disrupt life at the Jersey Shore, but the beaches of Cape May and Atlantic City turned into a snowglobe. You also spot winter surfers riding the waves in the frigid waters of the Atlantic despite the cold and the snow. For others, walking, snowball fights, and sleigh rides may be a better idea.

2 OF 11

South Haven Beach

WHERE: Michigan

Lake Michigan is unbelievable in winters. Ice sheets often form on the lake and pretty pictures of ice balls on the shore enthrall photographers. The beach town of South Haven has an iconic lighthouse—more than 100 years old—that looks frozen when the snow paints it white. Ice also covers the pier and South Beach, but as magnificent as it looks, ice can be dangerous and caution is advised.

3 OF 11

Kings Beach

WHERE: California

Surrounding the deep blue Lake Tahoe, the Tahoe region is a winter delight dotted with ski resorts, hiking trails, and white-capped snows. The freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains doesn’t freeze over, but its shoreline gets whitewashed during chilly months. Locals head to Kings Beach on the north shore on snowy days to make snowpeople—videos of dogs playing in the snow will melt your heart. If you’re not big on skiing on the powdered slopes, go cross-country skiing on snow-covered beaches (there are trails along Baldwin Beach and Pope Beach in South Lake Tahoe). 

4 OF 11

Chatham Lighthouse Beach

WHERE: Massachusetts

Cape Cod in Massachusetts shows the sunny side of life with its sandy beaches along the Atlantic. Come winter, the beaches are carpeted with glittering snow. One of the most popular beaches is the Lighthouse Beach in Chatham, which has a historic lighthouse (surely the name gave it away). Another Chatham beach that you can visit for snowtime activities is Hardings. 

5 OF 11

Unstad Beach

WHERE: Norway

You expect dramatic landscapes in Norway–the Lofoten Islands definitely tick that box. In the summer, you can plan adventures under the midnight sun: hiking, surfing, fishing, and kayaking. When things get colder, this is the place to spot the elusive Northern Lights. If you can brave the winters, then the islands will reward you with their rugged beauty. The icy Arctic beaches are dreamy and otherworldly and it’s difficult to pick one. One of the most popular is Unstad. It’s a surfers’ favorite and the chill doesn’t daunt them and you’ll see them ride the waves of the Arctic even when the scenery around is delightfully frozen. Other must-see snow-covered beaches are Skagsanden and Ramberg. 

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Chesterman Beach

WHERE: Canada

The town of Tofino on Vancouver Island is a surfing destination all year round. Adventurers don’t shy away from the Pacific waves in winter months, and storm watching is a passion for many. So when the remote island on the west coast gets a happy dusting of snow, you’ll still find locals heading out. Whether you want to join in or watch the spectacle from the white-washed beaches of Chesterman Beach, Cox Bay, or Long Beach, you’ll enjoy the scenes.

7 OF 11

Stroomi Beach

WHERE: Estonia

Tallinn’s famous beach is where you’ll find the crowds in summer, playing volleyball, swimming and sunbathing, and enjoying treats from the outdoor cafes and barbecuing. But in winters, snow is everywhere in Tallinn, including the beaches. Stroomi Beach has also surprised people with egg-shaped ice balls—an unusual, but natural phenomenon also observed in Michigan, Finland, and Russia.

8 OF 11

Loch Morlich Beach

WHERE: Scotland

Surrounded by snow-capped Cairngorms mountains, Loch Morlich Beach in the Scottish highlands is a freshwater loch (lake or sea) in the Glenmore Forest Park. The golden sand is a magnet for water sports enthusiasts. There are also forest trails along the birch and pine trees–and this beach glitters in the heart of it. Now imagine the sun shining on its sandy shores and the sparkling waters reflecting the lush green forest and faraway mountains. That’s the picture you want as a background on your phone!

9 OF 11

Sopot Beach

WHERE: Poland

On the Baltic Sea, Sopot mostly flies under the radar. But the beach town is a beautiful discovery if you’re willing to deviate from the usual European itinerary. Walk on the longest pier in Europe and breathe in the fresh air of this spa town—it was a famous health resort that once attracted the wealthy. Sopot Beach and this pier receive a fair share of snow and you’ll want to be here in January to make the most of it.

10 OF 11

Omori-hama Beach

WHERE: Japan

The northern prefecture of Hokkaido is an under-the-radar skiing destination. It is home to the second-most snowy city in the world, Sapporo, which also hosts an annual snow festival. The city of Hakodate offers gorgeous seaside views and this is where you should head to see beaches in all their snowy glory. Follow the locals to Omori-hama Beach on a snowy winter morning to see freezing waves hitting the pristine shore. 

11 OF 11

Torre Lapillo Beach

WHERE: Italy

The region of Puglia in Southern Italy is famous for its sunshine and beaches. But recent winters have witnessed showers of snow. In fact, in 2017 when the Salento region in Puglia received uncommon snowfall, people talked about a 500-year-old prophecy that two days of snowfall in Salento will mean the end is near. It happened again in 2019.

Apocalyptic predictions aside, the beaches in Salento (Torre Lapillo and Porto Cesareo) were a beautiful sight.