When I was a little girl growing up in Winter Park, summertime meant most of the shops along Park Avenue closed as the residents took off to find some respite from the heat. I guess I should mention air-conditioning was a rarity in homes then.

Folks who had relocated here from the south usually headed for the North Carolina mountains; Asheville was always a favorite. Those who hailed from the northeast found their way to the Catskills and our midwestern neighbors were always going to Mackinac Island.

But when you’re from here, there was only one place to go — the beach! Every beach had its most loyal followers; the surfers loved Cocoa, families flocked to New Smyrna and if you wanted a little nightlife to go with your sun and surf you went to Daytona.

For most, a beach visit was a day trip. A few were lucky enough to have a small second home. It didn’t take long before the demand for beachfront accommodations outpaced the availability.

I’ll always remember when my best friend’s parents were considering buying a unit in one of the new condominium buildings. There had to have been a dozen families in the model center, at least half of whom we went to school with. 

Some families would partner with their friends to buy a unit and split up the weeks. Fast forward many years, and the demand for a slice of beachfront heaven is still going strong.

So, if you’re looking for a place to get away from it all, and if you enjoy the sounds of the ocean and gulls, this is the issue for you. From southern Brevard County to Flagler Beach and everywhere in between — whether you’re looking for oceanfront or riverfront, here are the newest communities offering you a place to enjoy your endless summer.