I'm a San Francisco-based freelance writer and blogger with nearly ten years of writing experience behind me.
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.
1. 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!
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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!
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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!
12. 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.
13. Write Poetry
Bring a notebook with you and get carried away with your words and creativity. The beach has been inspiring poems and songs for centuries now, so you might as well join the tribe of people who like to write when they're by the water. Other creative writing options include starting that novel you've always wanted to write, or simply keeping a diary of your trip.
14. Meet People
Beaches are filled with people, so there's no reason that you can't make new friends. Games on the sand—like volleyball—make this easy, but there are lots of ways to meet people at the beach. Look online to see if there are any upcoming social gatherings or meet-ups at the beach.
15. Look for Seashells
You can troll the beach looking for seashells and colored glass. Take photos of the best shells so that you can research them when you get home, or make some shell art on the sand and take a photo to remember it by. Please keep in mind that in some places, it's illegal to take shells from the beach, and it's often highly discouraged in places where it's still technically legal.
16. Take Photographs
The beach is a great place for taking some beautiful photos. On top of that, those photos will be great memories to take home after the trip. Wander along with your digital camera, see what there is to see, and snap away.
17. Search for Historic Sites
Many beaches are located near places of historic importance, which are marked with monuments or signs. You can find these in the most unexpected of places. Keep an eye out for military batteries on the water, historic lighthouses, and old battlegrounds. This is another great opportunity for your camera as well.
18. Catch Up on Phone Calls
With cell phones working almost everywhere these days, you should have no problem getting connected to others at the beach. It's a great place to catch up on phone calls while getting a tan—and everyone you call will be jealous because of where you are!
Of course, remember to be mindful of not speaking too loudly or obnoxiously. You may be in an outdoor public area, but so are many others—they're looking to relax and not unintentionally eavesdrop. Save the personal, private conversations for another time.
19. Look for Little Critters
Most people who go looking for animals at the beach are looking for whales, seals, or dolphins. Turn your focus to the little critters, like crabs, birds, and jellyfish. Spend the day seeing how many different animals you can count. Make it a goal and snap pictures for each one so you can catalog your findings.
20. Write Messages in the Sand
You can write them big or small. Say anything you want and then take a picture that will last forever. These pictures can be made into unique postcards to send to the folks back home.
21. Watch the Sunset
You could also watch the sunrise if you get there early enough. This activity is a favorite for many at the beach, as it should be, because it's such a breathtaking sight to see—you'll never tire of it. Take in the day (or morning) and reflect on what you've accomplished.
22. Celebrate a Holiday or Special Occasion
People often go to the beach to watch Fourth of July fireworks or to celebrate a honeymoon. There's nothing like the crashing waves and the sand between your toes to ring in a special occasion.
You're sitting around at the beach with no commitments for the time being (at least, that's how it ideally should be) and nothing demanding your attention. That's a great time to just hang out and daydream a little bit. Envision what you want your life to look like in five or ten years, where you wish you could travel, or what you would do if you won the lottery. Let your mind and fantasies carry you away in the best way possible.
You don't have to daydream or take pictures or do anything really. You can just sit there and relax. Breathe, meditate, take a nap. Just be and relax. You're on vacation, after all!
25. Build a Sandcastle
This is a classic beach activity for kids and adults alike. From the simplest design to the most elaborate, sandcastles help you pass the time at the beach while doing something really creative and fun. Try Googling sandcastles for some inspiring ideas!
The truth of the matter is that going to the beach is going to be fun, no matter what you do there. You're getting away from real life for a bit and you'll hopefully enjoy a scenic travel destination—or at least just get away from home and go to your town's local beach. It's just nice to know that there are plenty of things to do besides suntan and swim while you're there!
Have you tried any of the above activities? Also, what are some of your favorite things to do at the beach? Comment below and share with us all!
MADAANBHAVESH987 on April 07, 2020:
After reading your article i am waiting for visiting on a beach. i loved your article seriously. Also sharing with you guys a post on things to do on a beach. Checkout here: https://www.ayurvedatown.com/going-to-the-beach-do...
Capri Mungeam on October 05, 2019:
In NW Florida you can take Sand Castle Lessons to build 3 1/2 ft tall sandcastles!
Lavanniya on August 16, 2019:
I wrote messages in the sand ...thx google i had a fun time because of you..but...nvm
Francis Kenneth Alamay from Philippines on June 27, 2019:
dont write a letter in a bottle. we have lots of polluted oceans already :-)
Joann Curit from Maylao Cabadiangan Liloan Cebu on April 13, 2019:
I love fishing.I remember my late grandma..
talia on August 02, 2016:
wow i love these ideas
Taylor weeks on October 03, 2015:
I guess you're right pretty much anything at the beach is awesome, where else can you feel more grounded
grace on May 10, 2014:
if kids roll in the sand there parent will scream at them
Dil Vil from India on July 27, 2013:
Cool hub, i like it.
tastiger04 on July 15, 2013:
Awesome hub, great suggestions! I love the beach, can't wait to be near the water again :) voted up!
ShaamCA from India on April 18, 2013:
Nice Listing also useful for all age peoples :)
travelholidays from India on April 17, 2013:
Great Hub for every one ! Useful information. I Like point no.6 "Frisbee" , love the game :) . I think you missed beach volley ball
Kitesurfing Lessons on April 04, 2013:
Nice to be pushing people to get fit and enjoy their beach. Keep fit and learn new watersports. We love the beach and love to teach. Kitesurfing lessons near London http://hampshirekitesurfing.com
yolanda on January 01, 2013:
i just wanna know what is at the beach im trying to write a ryming song i got one already i got 15 if my teacher sees im gonna be fabulous
fuck you! on October 09, 2012:
go lick a fish you melt
tom on September 27, 2012:
hmmmmmmmm,beach is very nice for romantic people....
lex on June 25, 2012:
Does the beach makes you grow like a vegetable?
talfonso from Tampa Bay, FL on June 23, 2012:
This Hub is brimming with great ideas for a beach day. I live in FL, where there are lots of good beaches to go to. In fact, I live in the Tampa-St. Pete area, so I'm pretty close to the beaches.
I would add a caveat on #19. You may want to watch out for crabs (the classic crab-pinching-your-nose-or-foot) and jellyfish (they will sting you to high heck). No beach day is worth getting hurt or killed!
Melanie Chisnall from Cape Town, South Africa on June 23, 2012:
I didn't realize there were so many things you could do at the beach - bring on summer here in SA! Great hub, thanks so much for sharing this :)
JohnnyONEsockTWOshoes on June 18, 2012:
You can always jerk off at the beach.
scofield on June 01, 2012:
i like the following contents. it's pretty impressive. if we'll follow these tips then we will surely enjoy our trip.
nice work there little lady:D
Enna on June 01, 2012:
#11 "troll the beach" haha
hampshire kitesurfing centre on May 04, 2012:
Kitesurfing lessons on the beach, why not get out of the sity and come visit our kitesurfing school http://hampshirekitesurfing.com/
mit on April 26, 2012:
don't forget the best thing to do in the beach "Making Love" (1/2 body in sand & 1/2 body in the water)
if you never try it, add it on your list before you fly gone!
www.diarnaegypt.com on April 17, 2012:
Phillip on March 30, 2012:
i hadn't been to a beach for 9 years
Moe Beaches on March 08, 2012:
This is the stupidest list I have read in a long time.
Xysha27 on February 02, 2012:
thanks for ur help... this thing really help our group.. :)) by the way this activities is so cool.. :))
johan on January 11, 2012:
guys im one of d vacation specialist her in cancun mexico in inviting u guys to go her in vacation i well sure u well enjoy her in cancun all inclusive guys for more information just drop my facebook accnt at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information...tnx guys...
villasandhomes on January 04, 2012:
Great work... thanks for sharing..
SuperDomains from SuperDomains.com - www.SuperDomains.com - Atlanta, GA on December 29, 2011:
Going topless does not require much courage at all for us men. Anyway, all of this travel talk has me planning another vacation. Great article...
workoutdvdworld from Perth on December 27, 2011:
I also like beach volleyball for a fun group game, and who can go past burying someone in the sand up to their neck! Rollerblading on the boardwalk is also a great way to get in shape whilst making the most of the beautiful scenery.
Ravi Singh from India on December 18, 2011:
Thanks for this hub..I mostly go to beach to relax myself.. you won't get it anywhere else.voted up!!
Sharon Mendelaoui from Toronto on November 16, 2011:
Great hub, makes me wish I was on the beach right now. http://dreamtravelmagazine.com
Londontours from London on October 27, 2011:
stue on October 26, 2011:
me and my faimly would have a sandcastle contest of who can make the biggest and creativest sandcaslte with stuff only from the beach
lipe from Thailand on October 26, 2011:
i will Sunbathing on the white sand and sip cool coconut water.
76 on August 31, 2011:
Venture Boyz from Floating in the clouds on August 12, 2011:
So much fun! This hub brought my back to my youth! Well except for the Go Topless part LOL. Who would of thought sand and water could be so exciting? Ah, I miss the beach. I may have to make a trip before summer winds down :(
felicitylovespari on August 03, 2011:
I personally love the beach and I am into having "good times" during summer. The things that you have listed are great. I will try it this coming summer..:)
whitton on July 21, 2011:
So fun and creative! I love the beach and there is so many things that you can do there that is free!
u01dtj6 on July 15, 2011:
Great hub! I want to go to the beach now :) When I go on holiday, I always write in the sand the place where I am and the year, and that is the photograph which begins my photograph album. Nice tips!
beach girl on July 05, 2011:
wow. i am going to do almost all of these when i get to the beach. i am so excited. just a few more days until i go.
jamiesweeney from Philadelphia, PA on June 29, 2011:
It's a very good hub, Kathryn. I'll apply those tips the next time I go for a summer vacation on my fav beach.
Thanks for sharing.
edw4rdcull on June 27, 2011:
will consider these tips for my next trip to the beach
applejuic3 from San Diego, CA on June 17, 2011:
honestly, a great list. i live in san diego and will be taking advantage of the beach a lot this year. i can't wait to utilize this list.
victoria walsh on May 29, 2011:
see I live in ireland I meant what to do wexford beach .
is there any more things to do at the beach
The Outdoor Fire Pit Guy on May 26, 2011:
The two activities that I really enjoy are the bonfires and hiking. Depending on the beach, there may be some really great hiking opportunities. I especially like the northwest beaches the best.
Singaporean beach-goer. on May 16, 2011:
That must be what to do on beaches in America. In Singapore, there's no shops, only bicycles and roller blades for rent.
And one more fun activity: bury someone in the sand! Muahahahaha!
Weber Genesis E320 on April 22, 2011:
what a fun article = thanks
Lola101october on April 21, 2011:
Now I know what to do with my family! Great ideas thanks hub!
Sailor on April 19, 2011:
I love beaches and Just love to burn my skin!
Belle Malicoat on March 30, 2011:
I'm doing this thing for my teacher and it helped me sooo much thank you!!
Andrea Ercoli on March 07, 2011:
Great hub! always enjoy the beach. Thanks for sharing Kathryn Vercillo:)
LaZeric Freeman from Hammond on February 09, 2011:
Always wanted to make love on the beach ... maybe one day.
joey chiasson on February 01, 2011:
Hmm what about like swiming? lol
lovetherain from Untited States on December 10, 2010:
we had a warm week this winter, and my kids spent the entire weekend building forts out of driftwood. It was great:)
gss from Florida on December 07, 2010:
A great list of things to do at the beach. As a Florida native, many of these are important criteria to do as much as possible. The beach is a great place to have fun.
Airtime Kitesurfing on November 30, 2010:
Its got to be kitesurfing every time. Its easy to learn and you will never get bored of it.
someone on November 28, 2010:
This didn't help at all.
There are more unique things to do at the beach than this.
jjjj on October 14, 2010:
booty call on September 27, 2010:
i admire your 25 fun things to do at the beach, where is swimming?
petra on September 13, 2010:
thx for help :)
John on August 23, 2010:
Relaxing and enjoying in Beach is very good hobby
llei on August 13, 2010:
Beach is so relaxing. Good for destressing
Olivia on August 11, 2010:
Thx now i am not bored at the bech
AJ on August 09, 2010:
These are the most mind-numbingly OBVIOUS suggestions. My husband and I got a great laugh over this article. We were expecting something a little more enlightening and creative.
SJ on July 27, 2010:
I go to the beach to clear, or to clutter my head, mostly during the week when it's less crowded. Bonfires are great, but in California, it's freezing at night at the beach, it has to be a big fire. But way fun.
kandrawe from Tropical Country on July 24, 2010:
I really like to bring my dog to the beach
Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on July 07, 2010:
I simply love the sea animals! The sand between my toes! Oh, I adore beaches! What a delight!
nikk45 on June 30, 2010:
well i wish i could use those ideas but i can't since it is cold too cold to go to the beack.like cresent beach me and my friends wenton friday with our school holy was that freakin cold
equealla from Pretoria, South Africa on June 18, 2010:
When living at the beach we tend to forget there is so many fun things to do. Thanx for reminding us. Great hub.
adorababy from Syracuse, NY on June 14, 2010:
It is almost end of the summer from where I am from but this is certainly going in my list to do.
lauralolita from Florida on May 31, 2010:
blackhatworld from Belize on May 27, 2010:
there are a lot of things that you can do with the beach. but the best way is to relax!
Beach Umbrellas on May 04, 2010:
Wonderful suggestions! Thanks for sharing.
Adri...bee on April 19, 2010:
Wow I can't wait till I do all of this haha :)
becca7176 from Palm Beach Gardens, FL on April 16, 2010:
This is one of those truly fantastic hubs.
pinkhawk from Pearl of the Orient on March 30, 2010:
...wow cool and fun! I like these ideas except for the "go topless" hahaha! I will be in trouble if ever esp. here in the Philippines, the police might caught me--public scandal..haha! thank you for sharing your ideas ma'am! :)
JOHN on March 08, 2010:
THIS IS A GREAT WEBSITE TO LOOK Aty to find things that you want to know before you go to am beach
kea on February 07, 2010:
kitesurfguru from Worldwide on January 31, 2010:
kitesurfing is definitely a sport to take up :-) great fun if you go to a windy place!
Greg Cremia from Outer Banks on January 15, 2010:
I am glad you included 'relax'. It only takes a couple of minutes at the beach for the sound of the crashing surf to melt away life's stresses.
QueenBee456 from Delray Beach, FL on January 13, 2010:
I always love rolling around in the sand
Going2Oahu from Honolulu, Hawaii on December 30, 2009:
Relaxing at the beach is my favorite thing to do!
Jim on December 09, 2009:
Great thing to do at the beach! Maybe doing survivor style activities!
Jessay on November 30, 2009:
You have a great sensibility. Thanks for the beach suggestions.
lowerabworkout on November 18, 2009:
I just found this relaxing hub! I especially like the idea about daydreaming. It's something that most of us get little time to do, yet it's often when we step back a little that those "Eureka moments" come along. The beach is perfect for a little daydreaming!
Diane Morgan on November 12, 2009:
Don't forget people watching especially for men. If you see a man reading on the beach, 9 of 10 time is a disguise. He is actually doing some major people watching :)
tonyhubb on November 10, 2009:
Very nice article :) Thanks!
Jeff Davis from California on October 09, 2009:
you forgot bocci ball, drinking, and rock stacking (very peaceful)
Tammie on August 15, 2009:
love the ideas, :) ill deffenatly use them!
propeshka on July 31, 2009:
I always like playing a game called "Tip it" with the frisbee. Two teams, one team throws a good throw towards the middle of the other team. Teams tip the frisbee with their feet, hands, and head for points (3, 1, and 5 respectively). String together combos for bigger points. Play to 15 or 21 points per game.
Good hub, but I can't believe you missed volleyball!
kiwi91 from USA on July 15, 2009:
I get bored at the beach, so this is a useful list for me. Sitting out is the last thing I like to do there. Very good hub.
Ronald Oliver on July 14, 2009:
You can always play a game of half rubber which was created as a beach game in South Carolina. I played this years ago and it is a blast.
cjcarter on July 02, 2009:
I love the beach! I'll be sure to put some of your ideas to use!
Davud on June 28, 2009:
"2. Look for dolphins. Many beaches throughout the world offer the chance to see dolphins right from the sure if you know what you're looking for and when to look."
Right from the SURE?! are you kidding me!!
TheKitesurfCentre from Camber near Rye, East Sussex, UK. on June 18, 2009:
If you love the beach and the sea and are up for something a little more exciting, come and have a go at kitesurfing, its awesome. Here is our kitesurf school in the UK near London and Brighton.
Betsy Baywatch on June 16, 2009:
great hub! thanks for sharing...what about a beach wedding?:)
beachplay97 on May 16, 2009:
skimboarding is another fun thing to do!