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The last night of a two week stay on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.
Photo by Sean O. / Unsplash

What Can You Do at the Beach?
It's always summertime somewhere, and for many people, that means hitting up the local beach or visiting a beach town while on vacation. If you think that spending time at the beach is limited to just swimming, there's a lot more that you're missing out on! Here are some of the most fun things that you can do at the beach besides just going swimming.

Look for Dolphins
Many beaches all over the world offer the chance to see dolphins right from the shore—if you know what you're looking for and when to look. Do a little bit of research to see if your beaches apply and, if so, check the best times to visit. Don't forget your camera!

Play on the Boardwalk
A lot of beaches also have accompanying boardwalks where you can play arcade games, ride rollercoasters, eat delicious and unhealthy amusement park food, just walk around, and even enjoy free summer concerts on the sand. Check their respective websites to see what will be featured on the day you'll be there.

Play Frisbee
Frisbee is a classic beach game that people never get tired of enjoying together. There's only one prop needed, and it's very easy (and cheap) to get. You can even play with your dogs (if you're on a pet-friendly beach). There are also more advanced versions like Frisbee golf, Ultimate Frisbee, and Aerobie, but the basic version will do just fine.

Go Hiking
Many beaches offer nearby trails where you can hike to or from the water. This offers great exercise, and the water is good for cooling down after the hike. On top of that, you get to catch some beautiful views while being immersed in nature.

S'well Drink Chiller
Photo by S'well / Unsplash

Have a Picnic
There are always a lot of food vendors near popular beaches, but sometimes it's nice to pack yourself a picnic with fancy cheeses and fresh fruits and go indulge at the beach. If you're going with a big group, make it a fun (and delicious) potluck where everyone can contribute an easy dish—a variety of foods makes for a great beach picnic.

Have a nice picnic at the beach with the wonderful water as the backdrop. Just be sure you read each beach's rules and regulations regarding food first.
Have a nice picnic at the beach with the wonderful water as the backdrop. Just be sure you read each beach's rules and regulations regarding food first.

Photo is taken during the morning of the Emerill Lagasse Fishing Tournament in Fort Lauderdale Florida.  Photo by AH360 Photography.
Photo by stephen momot / Unsplash

Go Fishing
Fishing is one of the most relaxing things that you can do at the beach and something people have been doing for centuries. It's something that you can focus on or just leave in the backdrop—your choice. The best part is, you might catch your dinner!

Read Magazines
A beach vacation is supposed to be completely relaxing. Park yourself under a shady umbrella, enjoy the warm breeze, and read some magazines or indulge in a cheap novel. There may never be enough time during your regular schedule to flip through a magazine, so take advantage of the opportunity you have at the beach.

Go Window Shopping at the Little Seaside Shops
The majority of beaches are located in beach towns. A lot of these places are quaint and fun to explore—or at least take a stroll through. These towns also typically have a bunch of little stores set up along the beach. Spend some time browsing when you're ready to get out of the sun. Stop and grab a sweet treat too—maybe ice cream or salt water taffy.

Surfing down a wave
Photo by Jeremy Bishop / Unsplash

Go Surfing
Surfing is a great water sport. Get out on the water and have an adventure instead of just being lazy. You can also dedicate an hour or two to take a surf lesson and then lounge for the rest of your time on the beach. You could also try any other kind of water sport, such as kayaking, jet-ski racing, waterskiing, or kitesurfing.

Have a Bonfire Party
Bonfires are a ton of fun. Make sure that your specific beach allows for fires, though. Many of them don't. For the ones that do, it's a lot of fun to have a nice fire going on a cool night. You can hold a gathering where friends and family come together to play music, have good conversation, dance, roast marshmallows, and just have a great time.

A bonfire is a great way to enjoy the beach at night with some hot chocolate, s'mores, and friends.
A bonfire is a great way to enjoy the beach at night with some hot chocolate, s'mores, and friends.

Model posing in hat and swimsuit and glasses.
Photo by Joseph Kellner / Unsplash

Go Topless
There's something really brave about getting naked in public. It's an experience that can make you feel courageous and bold—it should be tried at least once. Of course, you have to make sure that you're doing this at a nude beach. Otherwise you're going to get into some serious trouble!

Hula Hoop
Or play catch. Or jump rope. Or fly a kite. Engage in some sort of child's play, using cheap toys that you can pick up at a nearby store. This will bring back the wonder of what it was like to go to the beach as a kid. It's also just really fun and a great stress reliever.