Ways to Better Enjoy Your Next Trip to the Beach
Beaches account for many of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. In the United States for example, beaches are a major driver of the economy, collectively contributing more than $320 billion annually to the nation’s economy. It seems people are travelling to beaches in exponentially higher numbers than those choosing to visit national parks.
So what exactly is enticing beachgoers to head to the sand and surf? While most people are content with simply lounging on a towel in the sun or taking a quick swim to cool down in summer, others are looking for exciting ways to enjoy some great outdoor recreation. If you’re looking for ways to make your beach trips more fun and eventful, check out our top activities to try the next time you head for the coast.
One of the best workouts you can enjoy at the beach is taking a sea kayak out on the waves.
Getting in a kayak allows you to get further out in the ocean than you could safely do swimming and this allows you to get a whole new perspective than simply seeing the ocean from the beach.
Kayaking in the ocean often takes a lot more strength and endurance than kayaking on a gentle lake or river, so you may want to take lessons before heading out the first time or find a friend who is skilled and together make use of a 2-seater kayak where you can split the rowing demands.
Stay closer to shore when just starting out and avoid heading out during high waves and heavy winds. Ask locals what the most ideal locations and the current best times are to launch a kayak and keep up to date with tide charts. It’s best to learn the basic kayaking strokes on a lake before heading out on the sea and you may wish to wear a helmet if you plan on kayaking around rocky coastlines. Waves that are three feet and under are generally easy to manage but larger waves can prove rather challenging. Keep an eye out for larger boats that can create wakes which may potentially cause you to capsize. Make sure you are as visible as possible, always wearing a personal flotation device in the event you become separated from your kayak.
Many of the world’s most exciting fish to catch, and tastiest to eat, come from the sea. There are several different ways to enjoy saltwater fishing including bay fishing, surf fishing, and deep sea fishing. We recommend you start off with surf fishing or fishing from a public pier as these are the easiest and most economical ways to introduce yourself to the world of saltwater fishing. Talk with other local fisherman as to what bait and gear you should be using. Just remember to secure a valid saltwater fishing license if it is required.
While you can catch a large variety of saltwater fish from shore by fishing the surf with a 12 to 15-foot fishing rod with large line guides, you may want to book a fishing charter with a knowledgeable guide to tackle more adventurous fishing. Trying to land giant fish such as a swordfish is challenging but is some of the most exciting fishing to be had. When it comes to deep sea fishing, you will most likely be using a variety of different rods depending on what fish you’re after.
Shrimp often makes the best bait when saltwater fishing from shore and will attract a wide range of fish species, however, mullet and squid can be used with success as well. Some of the most popular fish to seek out around the U.S. coastline include snapper, marlin, halibut, grouper tarpon, amberjack, and sea bass. Some great saltwater fishing locations to check out include Cape Cod, Virginia Beach, Seattle, Galveston, Miami, and the Florida Gulf Coast.
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
As beautiful as the ocean is to look at from above, there’s so much beauty under the sea that needs to be seen as well. To get familiar with the marine life in the area where you live or are visiting, get your diving mask on check out the fascinating organisms that call the sea home. You’ll feast your eyes on a whole new universe filled with colors and patterns rarely seen on solid ground.
While you may have to get training to enjoy most types of scuba diving, snorkeling can be enjoyed by just about anyone and can often be just as rewarding as heading deeper beneath the surface. Both snorkeling and scuba diving allow you to get up close and personal with rays, harmless sharks, sea turtles, eels, and countless fish species. You may even want to book a tour to swim with whale sharks, the world’s largest living cartilaginous fish.
If you’re wary of getting wet yourself, stick to exploring tidal pools where an abundance of sea creatures can also be found. Tidal pools are home to anemones, starfish, octopuses, and more. You can also search the shoreline for seashells that often wash up. Stick to only collecting the unoccupied ones and throw back any live specimens. Purchase a local shell guide to see if any of your finds are considered rare and so you may avoid handling potentially dangerous species such as cone shells.
Why just admire the crashing waves when you can ride them. There’s something absolutely exhilarating about riding a wave that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world, or at least on top of the ocean anyway. With the wind blowing in your face and feeling the water wrap around you in a rip curl is one of Earth’s greatest experiences.
It’s important to note that surfing takes a great deal of skill to master and don’t go trying to tackle monster waves a beginner. Professionals can make surfing look easy but there are serious safety issues to consider and you should stick to gentle waves until you gain the confidence you can deal with more extreme conditions.
You should never approach learning how to surf by yourself. Get lessons from skilled instructors who will allow you to get skilled much more quickly. When choosing a starter board, stick with a longboard or foamboard, one that offer a lot of volume, is wide, thick, and has a flat rocker. You may also want to start by using beach breaks with soft sand as opposed to areas full of rocks or coral.
Want to enjoy the ocean but wish to avoid crowds of beachgoers? Book a sailing adventure to hit the high seas and enjoy your very own private slice of seaside paradise. The best thing about sailing is that you can enjoy it alone or with a group of family and friends. Whether it’s celebrating a special occasion or simply just because, sailing is a great way to enjoy a full day of relaxation where you don’t need to seek out public beach bathrooms and showers and can many times be catered with delicious meals.
If you’re not trained in sailing and don’t know your port from your starboard, we recommend letting someone else take on the actual technical aspects of sailing. One of the greatest things about sailing is the relaxation it provides, but it can quickly become stressful if you’re the captain and you don’t know what you’re doing.
Nearly everyone dreams of riding a horse on a beach. While horseback riding can be exciting anywhere, it is especially enjoyable along the coast where you can almost be guaranteed a cool breeze and stunning views. You’ll find many companies offer horse riding tours along the beach, but we recommend you seek out private tours to get the most out of the experience. A romantic horse ride on the beach can be tarnished if you end up having to share the experience with a large group of other riders, some of which may need to be catered to more often.
Some beachside horseback tours include actually riding horses into the water, making the experience even more exciting. If you’re not into horses, you may want to look into beach camel rides that may be offered depending on your location.
We hope you get a chance to enjoy some of these great beach activities. There is so much more to the beach than building sandcastles and catching a tan. Once you have checked all these activities off your list, look into parasailing, flyboarding, or jet skis for even more excitement.