When you say beach, most people picture a picturesque tropical island paradise in the Pacific. With coconut trees swaying in the breeze under the hot sun. Others might also imagine the azure waters of the Caribbean and her white sandy beaches. The last thing on everybody’s mind is the US. But what a lot might not know is that the country is home to many beaches that are as beautiful as the others in the tropics. Not only that, but the beaches here also have plenty of cool things to do. Read on to learn more about the many activities you can do in US beaches.
Snorkeling and Diving
Undersea life is one of the most fascinating things in the world. The explosion of vibrant colors from corals and fish would take anyone’s breath away for sure. The best way to explore the beauty of marine life is to get up close and personal with it. With snorkeling and scuba diving you can do just that! Here are great snorkel and dive spots to visit in the US.
First up is Santa Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California. This rocky island is home to some of the best snorkel spots in California. Locations like the Lover’s Cove Marine Preserve and the Casino Point Dive park are the most popular spots to dive and snorkel on the island.
If you want more of a Pacific island feel then head on over to Oahu in Hawaii. This island born from volcanoes in the Pacific is home to some of the world’s breathtaking dive spots in the world. Some of these include Kahuna Canyon, The Sea Tiger Shipwreck, and the Turtle Canyon in Waikiki.
If you want a taste of the Caribbean without hopping on the next international flight, head on over to Shell Island in Panama City. This small uninhabited island of the coast of Florida offers pristine blue waters typical in the Caribbean.
Another popular sport that has gained a large following across the globe is surfing. This Adrenaline-pumping board sport traces its roots to the island of Hawaii where it is practiced for thousands of years. Today it has grown into a popular sport enjoyed by many both recreational and competitive. Luckily, the US is home to amazing beaches that are popular with surfers worldwide.
One such spot is Santa Cruz California. This Central California coast city is a known surf country with many spots that attract thousands of surfers each year. Here you get to see fairly consistent surf for most of the year. There are surf spots for all skill levels making this popular for novices as well as seasoned veterans. Popular places include Cowell Beach, Maverick, Pleasure Point, and Streamer Lane.
Of course, if we talk about surfing, it would be very remiss of us if we don’t mention where it all started. The Hawaiian Islands—being the cradle of surfing—has some of the world’s most south after spots for surfers who wish to improve their skills. Located smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii enjoys great consistent surf for the entire year.
Maui is a particularly popular surfing destination you wouldn’t want to miss. Notable spots to visit are Olawalu Beach, Ho’okipa Beach, and Lahaina Reefs. Just be sure to watch out for sharks.
Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels
Another great board sport to try on your next beach outing is paddle boarding. Just like surfing, it hails from the Hawaiian Islands. Back then, small canoes were used by the natives who would paddle standing up. Unlike its cousin though, standup paddleboards or SUP is much more relaxed and laid back. Perfect if you just want to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach.
Paddleboarding modern form has since then evolved when new materials became available. Nowadays, inflatable standup paddleboards have revolutionized the sport. Boards are now easier to store and transport anywhere you go – and their prices have come down as well.
Because you don’t need waves to get about, the sport is very flexible. Beaches, lakes, and rivers are all fair game to paddleboarding. It can be tricky for beginners especially learning how to stand up for the first time. But once you get over this hurdle, it becomes a lot easier until it’s second nature.
Taking a dip in the water sure is fun but the beach offers plenty of engaging activities as well. Beach volleyball is one such activity that has been a staple in many major beaches since its inception in Copacabana. It’s just like volleyball but tweaked and adapted to suit beach conditions. It is also a great way to meet friends while working up a good sweat at the beach.
Some of the best places to enjoy beach volleyball include Manhattan Beach California. A fairly popular beach that hosts an annual beach volleyball tournament that draws hundreds of people. During the days leading to the tournament, you can see many players prepping with practice matches and drills. There are also other smaller beach volleyball tournaments, especially during the summer.
Another beach volleyball destination, also in California, is Sunset Beach. Known for its warm Californian sun and the cool Pacific waters. During the months of April-May, many beach volleyball camps open their doors to aspiring players who want to hone their skills. Throughout the year, many tournaments and events also take place on its shores. If you want to up your volleyball skills while basking in the beauty of the Pacific, Sunset Beach is a must-visit.
Beach Ultimate is an off-shoot of Ultimate (aka Ultimate Frisbee) and has been adapted for the beach setting. Like its sister sport, beach ultimate is played with teams on a marked court. The games can either be men’s, women’s, and co-ed. The standard player size is 5 players but a 4 people format also exists. The game, which dates back to the 1980s, is fairly new compared to other team sports. But it has since grown in popularity among Grass Ultimate fans as well as mainstream sporting fans as well. Miami Beach and Long Island Beach are some of the most popular Beach Ultimate destinations.