By now, we’ve all heard of having a bucket list - a list of things we want to do or places we want to go in our lives. But being a beach lover I wondered, what are the activities everyone has to experience on a beach in their lifetime?
Are you ready to get your toes in the sand this summer? Here are some of my favorite beach-y things to do (along with some I still haven’t tried):
- Watch the sunrise. There is nothing as expansive as a sunrise on the beach to greet the day. Make it a time to meditate or pray and greet the day with a new attitude.
- Watch the sunset. My personal favorite time on the beach. A great time for reflecting on the day or your life – and savoring the natural beauty of our world.
- People-watch on a boardwalk. Coast to coast, you can find many boardwalks that offer excitement, great food, eclectic souvenir shops and the chance to just people-watch while you stroll.
- Rent a bike. Most boardwalks offer bike rentals or surrey rentals for some cruising fun in the sun.
- Go to or participate in a sandcastle contest. Almost everyone remembers the simple childhood days of building basic bucket sandcastles at the shore. Now take a look at what the experts can build. An online search of local sandcastle contests can direct you to a local beach and date.
- Start a collection. I have shells from many beaches and I display them around my house year round. Days spent walking the beach with the kids searching for shells and sea glass are some of my best family memories. Sea shells, sand dollars, sea glass and even drift wood make great displays.
- Beach Bonfires. As long as it’s allowed, roasting marshmallows on a beach bonfire is one of the ultimate fun experiences.
- Jump the waves. You’re never too old to get in the water with the kids and do a little wave-jumping. Don’t just sit and watch. The experience of holding little hands and catching a big splash in the face is exhilarating.
- Walk the shores. How many beaches can you walk? Each time we visit a new one, we don’t just plop in the sand. Instead, we walk the beach end to end first. There’s nothing like a good long beach walk.
- Beach read. Make a list of your top 10 or 20 beach reading and take the time to do it. A chair or towel, sunscreen, water, a snack and a book is all you need for an easy escape.
- Yoga on the sand. Ditch the mat! Practicing on the sand, or wherever the mood strokes you, is how yogis thousands of years ago did it. Whether taking a class or heading there alone, try some beach yoga to get your inner focus on.
- Slicing sand. You haven’t danced until you’ve sliced the sand on the beach to a live band. There’s something a little wild and untamed about dancing barefoot in the sand.
- I’ll drink to that! Have a margarita on the beach while listening to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. Whether on iPod, or by a live band, nothing says BEACH BUM like Margaritaville. Don’t drink? That’s OK! Make it a lemonade or iced tea, it’s still as much fun.
- Scrub-a-dub. Enjoy a do it yourself body scrub. I often sit at water’s edge and rub handfuls of wet sand (gently) onto my heel, knees, and elbows. It works just as well as a store-bought scrub for sloughing off dead skin and leaving you glowing. Go easy though.
- Camp on the beach. Be it a tent or a trailer, the experience of camping on the beach is one I grew up with and remember better than anything else in my childhood. Sleeping with the salty ocean breeze and fresh air is deep and restoring.
- Write a wish in the sand with a stick near the water, say a little prayer and watch the sea water come collect that dream to make it come true. Take a picture first for your vision board or scrapbook.
- Fish. A centuries old sport, fishing for fun or for dinner is relaxing and a great way to bond with the kids.
- Get wet with water sports. Try surfing. While it may look daunting, many people say it helps them conquer their fears. If you are still chicken, try paddle boarding on gentler waters, or rent a canoe or kayak and slice through calm waters for a more relaxing sea experience.
- Go fly a kite. Find an open expanse of beach, bring a kite and let loose.
- Write. Whether journaling, writing to a friend or loved one, or trying your hand at poetry or songs, the beach has inspired many to bring out their deepest emotions.
- Play. Join a game of beach volleyball or start one by bringing along friends. Barefoot in the sand, volleyball is even more fun.
- Snap it. Take photos. There’s something about the beach that can make the most amateur photographers almost seem professional. The expansive views, the little pops of grass or flowers along the dunes, the sunsets, the shells – all make for great pictures you can save, frame or turn into unique personalized cards.
- Catch a crab. Any kind of crab, from hermit carb to fiddler crab to sand crabs. Let the kids have fun hunting for these creatures, but definitely make sure they hunt and release.
- Bird watch. Beaches are often home to many species of birds. Grab a pair of binoculars and see what you can find.
- Ride the waves. A boogie board or just body surfing can be a fun work out and an invigorating way to spend a few hours in the water.
- Celebrate July 4th (or any Holiday) on the beach. Watching fireworks over the water is exhilarating and fun. The reflections make it even more beautiful.
- See the beach from new heights. Ride a Ferris wheel at an amusement parks along a boardwalk area. Though not for me, I’ve heard the views are quite fantastic.
So, get out the flip flops, grab the sunscreen and beach buckets take the kids and go have a summer of fun in the sun at the beach.