When you think of the beach, you might imagine yourself relaxing on a chair with the cool ocean breeze brushing your skin with a drink at hand and the sun setting on the horizon. Of course, there are plenty more fun things to do at the beach than meets the eye.
To make the most out of your experience, we have put together a list of fun and exciting beach activities, from building sandcastles to kite surfing to skinny dipping and more!
So put on your beachwear and sunscreen, and let’s dive into the beach fun adventures!
Beach Bucket List: Fun Activities, Adventures & Things to Do at the Beach
1. Build a Sandcastle
Although it can be quite hard for beginners, building a sandcastle is one of the most enjoyable activities that people of all ages (especially kids) can do on the beach.
Plus, it can be a great bonding moment with your family or friends, not to mention it can also put your creativity and skills to the test!
For the more creative bucket lister you can learn How to Build the Perfect Sandcastle.
2. Bury Someone in the Sand
A popular tradition for beach-goers everywhere is getting buried in the sand from the neck down. And for the experienced builders, you can also make a small sandcastle on top of their stomach—double bucket list points for that!
Of course, you still need to exercise caution, such as avoiding digging a deep hole or doing it where the water can reach you to avoid any accidents.
3. Camp on the Beach
There’s nothing quite like enjoying the night at the beach (and eating s’mores!). From setting up the camp to telling stories around the fire, it all will be a great bonding experience. It can even become a yearly tradition!
For Best Camping Tent: Best Tent For Beach Camping
4. Celebrate a Special Occasion
From spring breaks to birthday celebrations to weddings and romantic honeymoons, name it, the beach is one of those places where the vibe just perfectly fits any special occasion.
5. Collect Seashells or Rocks
As far as affordable activities on a trip go, you can’t get a much cheaper one than collecting seashells and rocks—it’s free on most beaches. Just make sure it’s acceptable before removing them from the beach!
6. Collect Driftwood
If you want to collect something other than seashells, why not try getting some driftwood by the beach instead? If you are good with your hands, you can even turn the driftwood into lovely home furniture like a chair, a table, and so much more!
But wait! Before you collect driftwood, be sure to check out the state regulations first regarding the collection of driftwood on the beach you are in, as it varies in each state.
It’s almost too easy to daydream while at the beach, especially on a quiet day. Add to that the sound of the waves and the birds, and the clouds lazily floating by, and you’ll find your mind drifting with them as well.
8. Indulge in Fruity Drinks
A day at the beach is never complete without sipping on some fruity tropical goodness at a beach bar, whether it be fruit punches, coconuts, piña coladas, and more!
You can even prepare your fruity mix at home if you have a small cooler! This article will help: 30 Non-Alcoholic Summer Drinks That’ll Get Any Party Started
9. Eat Seafood
What better place to indulge in some fresh seafood than on the beach? Just imagine munching on some crabs or grilled shrimp, and depending on where you are, even exotic seafood like Mahi-mahi!
Add to that the beautiful ocean view and some drinks to go with your meal, it will absolutely be *chef’s kiss*
10. Enjoy a Big Scoop of Ice Cream
Nothing beats the heat on the beach, especially on a hot summer day, than a big scoop of some good old ice cream! It is certainly a favorite among beachgoers young and old, I mean, who couldn’t resist snacking on this cool delectable treat?
With different flavors to choose from, such as vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and so much more, you will surely scream for ice cream!
11. Fly A Kite
Another fun thing to do at the beach is to fly a kite. Typically the local shops are filled with different kinds of kites for you to choose the one that’s most to your liking – or you can even make your own!
But, you can also buy one online. Check out these cool ones:
12. Collect Glass
Mind you, this is not your usual type of glass! Bottles or broken glass (and the like) left by the shore and battered by the waves and sand for years turn into smooth, colorful ‘stones’ called beach or sea glass.
Below are some of the best places for finding sea glasses:
Since most sea glass beaches prohibit or highly discourage people from taking home sea glass, you can take a photo of them instead. If you are up for the challenge, look for rare colors like gray, pink, or black, to name a few!
13. Go Ocean Fishing
Unlike fishing on a lake or river, ocean fishing (also called deep-sea fishing) will require nerves of steel and some level of strength due to the size of fishes in the deep parts of the ocean.
Even though it is challenging, it can be a thrilling (and even scary) experience!
14. Take a Hike
Spending a day at the beach does not have to be in and around the water only. Depending on where you are, there is also the opportunity to go on a hike and see more of what nature has to offer. Don’t forget to take photos of your adventure!
15. Go Kite Surfing/Windsurfing
Kite surfing is a surfing-like water sport that will get your adrenaline pumping! You may not need just as badass skills to stay standing on your board as you would with surfing, but controlling that kite while flying through water and air is a game of its own to master.
To get the best of both surfing and sailing in one fell swoop, why not add windsurfing to your adventure bucket list? It’s fun and thrilling, but also easy and safe enough for even a beginner to try out. Since even kids can start learning windsurfing, this can be a fun activity for the whole family to do together!
16. Stand Up Surfing
If you are a seasoned surfer, standing up on a surfboard is an easy beach activity to tackle. If not, then it may take lots of practice!
17. Have a Beach Barbecue
Good food, good company, cold beers and warm outdoor weather, what more could you ask for in this world? Having a beach BBQ is one of the best ways to while away an afternoon on the beach.
Don’t have a BBQ? Here are the 8 Best Portable Grills of 2022.
18. Have a Bonfire Party
A bonfire can add incredible ambiance to any party, especially on a warm Summer night on the beach. So, invite your friends, load up your cooler with beverages, bring lots of wood and a radio to play your favorite tunes.
19. Have a Beach Picnic
Pack a traditional wicker basket with your favorite picnic foods and enjoy the feast as well as the weather. Real Simple magazine can help you out with their Picnic Packing Checklist. If you want to set up an Instagrammable picnic, here’s a cute red checkered picnic basket.
20. Rent Beach Cabana
A cabana gives you the luxury of having your own private space near the beach for you to lie down and relax, have a drink, read a book, and so much more.
Most beach resorts have cabanas you can rent out for a day or two. So if you want to level up your beach experience, be sure to rent out a cabana!
21. Hit Up the Beach Bars
Having fun at the beach does not stop when the sun goes down. For some, the fun is just getting started! From drinking a glass of your favorite cocktail to socializing with family and friends to eating delicious snacks and food, a beach bar is a great place to hang out after a long day at the beach.
If you are looking for the best beach bars in America, you can check out Thrillist’s Best Beach Bars.
22. Try Hula Hooping
Not only is hula hooping something that was incredibly fun to try out as a child, but it’s a great form of exercising for adults as well. By hula hooping, you can strengthen and tone your body, especially around the core, but also hips and thighs, in addition to which it can also lead to improved flexibility. As a fun tidbit: hula hooping has actually existed as a form of exercise since the times of ancient Greeks!
23. Rent a Jet Ski
For those who love high-speed thrills and adventure, you will definitely love jet skiing! Whether you are coasting the waters of one of the best jet ski destinations in the US alone or with family or friends, riding one of these will make you feel like a star in your own movie.
It usually costs around $80 to $100+ per hour on average, along with other requirements before renting one, so be sure to check it out in advance.
24. Host a Limbo Dance Competition
How low can you go? If that doesn’t ring a bell, then you are definitely missing out! Limbo is one of the most popular dances/games in any party setting, including the beach.
Hosting your own limbo dance competition will surely bring out the friendly competitive spirit among players young and old, whether it be family, friends, co-workers, anyone! And while you are at it, why not join in on the fun as well?
25. Look for Dolphins
Getting to see dolphins in their natural habitat is one experience you should not miss when at the beach. With over 16 dolphin species swimming around in North America, you might be able to spot one during a cruise (some of which are already included in a tour).
Here is a great list that you can check out for some of the best spots for dolphin watching. Be sure to bring some binoculars!
26. Find Tide Pool Creatures
Given the rich diversity of life found in our world’s waters, it’s no wonder you’ll find fascinating creatures at tide pools along the shoreline, especially during the low tide.
If you have kids with you, they will surely love looking at these tide pool creatures with you, from crabs to starfishes to sea anemones and so much more! Of course, we also need to respect their space so as not to disturb them or their habitat.
Meditation is much more than sitting in a lotus position chanting “om” over and over again—it is a way of life. Clearing your mind through meditation has many benefits, like lowering blood pressure and anxiety levels. Plus, it can give you a brighter outlook on life! Having an “empty mind” for even a few seconds can seem like a challenge, but this 10-minute guided meditation will help you along the way.
28. Do Some Beach Yoga
Yoga may not be the most vigorous form of exercise you’ll commit while on the beach, but it’ll do wonders for your body and mind. It cares for and strengthens your body but also your mind and can even feel like meditative practice after a long day. Here are 5 beach yoga poses to try in the sand!
29. Meet New People
The beach is a place where people gather together to have fun and relax, making it a great place to meet new people.
One way to break the ice is by hosting or joining team games like beach volleyball or limbo dance. Of course, a beach bar is also a great place to hang out and meet someone new.
30. Send a Message in a Bottle
There is always something mysterious and fascinating (even romantic) about messages in a bottle. And since we are here to make lasting memories, why not send one of your own?
Just imagine letting fate take its course until someone (hopefully) finds the bottle days, months, years, even centuries later. Who knows what they’ll find inside?
You can check out this tutorial on how to make one (which is also environmentally-friendly). Or buy one online (this one is cute!) Be sure to check out the state laws in your area as well.
31. Paint Rock and Shells
While combing the beach, you might come across empty seashells and small stones along the way. With some acrylic paint and a little bit of creativity, you can turn them into colorful pieces of art!
Not only are they pleasant to look at, but they can also serve as a remembrance of your trip to the beach.
To help preserve the beaches, some states prohibit or limit the number of shells and stones you can take with you, so you have to check it out first.
32. Play Beach Volleyball
With scenic ocean views, the sun sprinkling down some vitamin D in your skin, plus friendly company, it’s no wonder people love a game or two of beach volleyball.
Yes, it can be a bit hard (and tiring) to move on the sand if you are a beginner. But most of the time, you won’t even notice it, especially if you are having fun!
33. Play a Board Game
Some people may think board games are boring (I’m not one of them!), but they can actually be a lot of fun especially if you have the perfect game and partner/s to play with.
If you prefer a more chill day on the beach, having a board game marathon with your favorite games could be fun. You can make it even more fun by adding prizes for the winner.
Unsure of which games to play? Check out this list: Board Games Bucket List: 50 of the All Time Best Ones to Play
34. Throw a Frisbee
Playing frisbee is another sporty activity to commit to on the beach; whether that means putting together a group of people for a round or two of ultimate frisbee or just tossing it back and forth with a close friend while enjoying the sound of the waves.
35. Play I-Spy
A game of I Spy is a fun, tried-and-tested game usually played while on the road, especially during long trips. And with plenty of things to “spy with your little eye” on the beach, it can be a great addition to the games you can play with family and friends!
36. Walk the Boardwalk
Going on a walk on boardwalks is a great way to take a break from the beach while still getting to enjoy what the surrounding area has to offer.
There are over 60 boardwalks across the United States’ beaches and piers, with the most popular one (and the oldest) in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Most of them have establishments lined up along the path, such as restaurants, shops, amusement parks, and more, so you’ll have plenty of things to do, like grabbing a bite of their local cuisine or getting yourself a souvenir.
37. Compete in a Game of Tug of War
If you have a big group with you and a long rope, a friendly game of tug of war will surely fire up everyone’s competitive spirit on the beach. Not only is it a fantastic team-building game, but anyone can join in on the fun as well!
38. Play Tic-Tac-Toe in the Sand
A game of tic-tac-toe is easy enough for everyone (including kids) to enjoy and play while taking a break for the more challenging activities ahead.
Sounds a bit too simple? Since we are talking about the beach, we can spice it up more by doing different variations, such as a relay version of tic-tac-toe!
39. Play Truth or Dare
Whether you’re playing the game one-on-one or in a group, truth or dare will surely liven up a dull and slow day at the beach. Not only will everyone get to know each other more, but it also makes for some memorable memories.
You can also do other variations of the game, like Would You Rather or Never Have I Ever.
40. Read a Book
If you are an avid reader, then those warm summer evenings on the beach make for some of the best times to just sit by your porch and read a New York Times Best Seller. This list is considered one of the most reliable when it comes to suggesting excellent books in the United States. Whether you are looking for fiction, non-fiction, auto-biographies or even a children’s book for those bedtime stories, you will find it here.
If you love the classics then check of the Classic Books Bucket List: 25 of the Best Must-Read Novels
41. Just Relax
This is one of the best things to do at the beach! Everybody deserves a break every now and then, and the beach is one of the perfect go-to places for having fun and just relaxing.
You can lie down on the sand or beach chair, close your eyes, and be present at the moment. Let your worries and distractions slowly melt away under the sun or go with the ebb and flow of the waves.
42. Try Rock Stacking
Rock stacking can be traced back to prehistoric times in the form of cairns, which often serve as landmarks for trails, burial sites, or even as part of one’s tradition.
Today, rock stacking can mean different things to people, with some doing it as a meditative practice or even something on a spiritual level. Still, it is an art form that you should definitely try at least once, especially while on the beach.
Here is a fantastic guide on how to get started in the art form, which also has ‘leave-no-trace’ tips. Don’t forget to take a picture of your stacked rocks to commemorate the moment!
43. Make Sand Art
The beach is not only a place where you can have fun in the water and under the sun, but it is also a place to get your creativity flowing.
With the sand serving as your canvas, you can draw portraits or intricate shapes, build elaborate sandcastles or sculptures, anything! Sure, your artwork may not last forever, but the memories and experiences do.
44. Go Skinny Dipping
Skinny dipping is not only an exhilarating activity to do on the beach, but it’s also one for your sexy bucket list. It’s also an awesome way to enjoy some intimacy with your partner. But, be sure no one else is around!
45. See Fish While Snorkeling
Snorkeling lets us have a glimpse of the waters’ different marine life, something which we don’t get to do very often, especially if you live far away from the coastal areas.
The cascade of colors from the fishes, coral reefs, and the sunlight beaming from above is just marvelous to look at and will make you feel that it is indeed a different world down there.
46. Explore a Cave
Could this beach bucket list item be next on your hobby bucket list too? Lots of beaches have hidden caves to be explored—find one!
47. Start a Race in the Sand
Running across the sands of the beach might sound simple enough, but it is an activity that is more challenging than it looks, given how soft sand is compared to a hard surface like concrete.
Whether it’s a game of Bring Me or tag, a part of a relay, or just a good, old race, getting to race against someone on the beach while the crowd cheers in the background is one of the most exciting things you will experience.
48. Have a Water Gun Fight
Nothing beats cooling down while having fun splashing water at your family and friends while in the water. For added fun, be sure to bring along some water guns with you and start a water gunfight!
You can even use the water guns to do variations of games like water gun tag and more.
Need a water gun? Check out the Stream Machine Soaker!
With most of our time spent indoors, the most popular thing to do at the beach is getting some vitamin D lovin’ from the sun!
Not only does it work wonders for your mind and body, but the tan that comes with sunbathing is always a welcome bonus that you can show off once you return from the beach.
50. Take a Stroll
There are times when we have to slow down and breathe, and a quiet stroll alone or with someone along the beach is perfect for this. No rush. Just let your senses take in the ambiance and take in the moment.
51. Take Photographs
As bucket listers, we all want to make lasting memories by doing things we once dreamed of doing. And who wouldn’t want to capture the moment in the form of a photograph?
Not only will it serve as a gentle reminder of your fun beach activities, but it can also help you get back on track if you feel like you are getting lost in life.
52. Watch the Sunset or Sunrise
Are you Team Sunrise or Team Sunset? Or are you both? Whichever you are, getting to watch the sun rising or setting on the horizon in a place like a beach is simply breathtaking.
53. Write Messages in the Sand
If you want to do something a little bit easier than making sand art, you can write down messages in the sand instead.
It can be a single word that resonates with you, a simple phrase, a favorite quote, anything that comes to mind. You can even leave it there for anyone to see, and who knows, you might even make someone’s day!
54. Go Body Surfing
If this is your first time hearing it, bodysurfing involves riding a wave without using any surfboard or bodyboard. Though it is slightly ‘easier’ to learn compared to traditional surfing, it still requires a certain fitness level since you’ll be the one acting as the ‘board’ that rides with the wave.
Here is also a step-by-step guide on how to do this sport: How to Body Surf
55. Make Sand Angels
Making a snow angel on fresh snow is one of the most popular things to do in winter season. But at the beach, especially during the summer months, they also have their own version of this Christmas tradition: making sand angels!
Much like how you would make a snow angel, you just have to find a spot on the beach where you can smoothly move the sand around, lie down face up, and start swiping with your arms and legs!
56. Climb Sand Dunes
Sand dunes are a familiar spectacle on most beaches as they are naturally formed by the elements and mainly act as barriers against strong winds and waves.
If it is allowed in your state, check if there is a trail around the sand dunes that can take you to the top!
57. Look for Shapes in the Clouds
Let your imagination run wild and see what shapes you can make out of the clouds, especially during a bright sunny day with fair weather.
You can even play a game of I Spy with family or friends with this while relaxing on the sand!
58. Dig a Hole!
There’s just something about digging in the sand that makes it fun and satisfying, especially for kids. It can be building some sand art, looking for some buried ‘treasure,’ or even just building a trench for your sandcastle.
A good rule of thumb for digging holes in the sand is for it to be no more than knee-deep to avoid any accidents. And be sure to fill them up again afterward.
59. Toss a Beach Ball Around
Passing around a beach ball while in the water is a great way to break the ice in a group or as a warm-up for the more challenging activities you will be doing. Plus, it just screams fun and is quite irresistible not to bring it back up in the air.
It is also versatile enough that you can use it in one of your games, like say, a beach version of Hot Potato, or something even more creative!
60. Ride a Boogie Board
A boogie board (also known as a bodyboard) is a small rectangular piece of hydrodynamic foam that you can use to ride waves without standing up like in surfing.
Since it is smaller in size, it is easy to bring with you along the beach, plus it will also help you get surfing fundamentals down if you are just starting out, which can also carry into surfing with a surfboard.
61. Spot a Whale
Whales are one of the most fascinating and spectacular marine mammals you’ll come across in the water. With the largest species of whales (the blue whale) reaching up to 98 feet, you will be at a loss for words when you see one.
Ready to spot these giants of the deep? Be sure to check out this site: The Best Spots for Whale Watching in the U.S.
62. Go Paddleboarding
Paddleboarding is simple enough for beginners to pick up while still opening you up for more challenging water sports in the future, like surfing or kayaking.
If you are still learning, try finding a spot where there are not many waves. Once you get the hang of it, you can slowly paddle yourself around the beach or even catch some small waves!
63. Jump Waves
It’s amazing how even the simplest activities can make us feel the fun and excitement of being on the beach, such as jumping waves!
It can also be a great bonding moment with the kids, letting them jump or even carrying them up just before the waves touch them. The laughter and the giggles that come with it? Priceless!
. . .
A day or two filled with beach activities is one of the most memorable things that we get to experience in our lives. With a fun, relaxing atmosphere, picturesque views on land and under the sea, and plenty of things to do at the beach, it’s no wonder people will keep coming back for more.
So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself that much-needed dose of vitamin sea and start checking off items from your bucket list!
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