The kids are back in school, but in the land of endless summer, the fun never stops. If you’ve managed to avoid the swarms of tourists all summer and are dying for a beach vacation, look no further for justification.

The Gulf Coast during the off-season is just as alluring as it is during the hustle and bustle of summer, but for many different reasons. From fewer crowds and traffic to cheaper accommodations, the Gulf Coast in the fall truly has it all!

1. Traffic is Lighter

Beach traffic in the peak summer season could test the patience of Gandhi. It is much more fun to scoot around town and experience all that your favorite beach destination has to offer without multiple pileups and impatient drivers in the way.

2. Rates are Lower

Hotels and resorts offer lower rates in the fall and winter to increase demand and fill rooms. Seize your chance for a quiet, cost-friendly beach vacation by booking during the off-season.

3. Pace is Slower

It is much easier to relax when your surroundings are peaceful. The off-season months from September to February (sans Labor Day weekend) are less hectic than their summer counterparts, making them perfect for chilling out.

4. Do More in Less Time

Vacations are meant to be fun, and they’re more enjoyable when you don’t have to wait in line. During high season, theme park crowds can be overwhelming; during the off-season, you can ride popular rides over and over again with little or no wait time.

Pictured above is a group of friends on vacation.

5. Fall Festivals

If you’re looking for reasons to travel during the off-season, going to fall festivals is one of them. Hit up a few local festivals during the fall months and celebrate the values that make up the destination of your choice. The Gulf Coast hosts several festivals during the fall, such as the Destin Seafood Festival, National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores, Voodoo Fest in New Orleans, and so much more.

6. Shorter Wait Times

Prompt service is generally a given during fall and winter at the beach, and competition for tips is fierce. You are likely to leave the restaurant feeling quite pampered.

7. Best Room Choice

Having a great room is one of the reasons to travel during the off-season. Fall is the prime time to rent prime real estate. Summer rentals go fast, but off-season rentals can be had with short notice and short stacks.

8. Longer Vacations

With lower rates and better views, extending your vacation time is one of the many reasons to travel during the off-season. Travelers who need solace can stay a week or two (or three) in a beach house overlooking the water without a soul in sight. With that much leisure and luxury, you can truly perfect the art of relaxation. Check out our blog on the things to pack for an Emerald Coast vacation.