Summer is the perfect time to catch a splash of ocean blue. The warm weather and longer days beckon us to the shores to immerse ourselves in the majestic waters. This summer, make plans to visit the ocean and revel in its beauty and power.
Soak Up the Rays While Enjoying the Ocean Breeze
Nothing beats lounging on the beach, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin while the refreshing ocean breeze keeps you cool. Spend languid days stretched out on a beach blanket or towel, reading a book, listening to music, or chatting with friends and family. The steady sound of waves and cries of seabirds will lull you into a state of total relaxation. Be sure to reapply sunscreen often to protect your skin.
Don’t Forget the Sun Protection
The ocean breeze may feel cooling, but don’t be fooled – you can still get a nasty sunburn while at the beach. Be diligent about applying broad spectrum, water-resistant SPF 30 or higher sunscreen every two hours. Wear a hat and UV-blocking sunglasses as added protection. Seek shade under an umbrella or canopy when the sun is at its strongest midday. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Swim, Surf, Snorkel or Scuba Dive
Frolicking in the waves is a quintessential summer experience. Run into the surf, dive under waves, or body surf to feel the ocean’s power. For the adventurous, catch a wave on a surfboard or boogie board. Just make sure to pay attention to any surf advisories and swim only on lifeguard-protected beaches.
Snorkeling just below the surface reveals the wonders of the marine world. Rent gear and float over coral reefs, watching tropical fish and sea turtles glide through azure waters. Or take a PADI scuba course and dive down deeper to explore shipwrecks and kelp forests. Feel like you’re flying over an alien planet.
Safety First in the Water
While swimming and water sports are fun, it’s essential to put safety first. Only swim on lifeguard-protected beaches within designated swim areas. Never swim alone. Pay attention to rip current warnings – don’t fight a rip current, swim parallel to shore until you escape it. Use reef-safe sunscreen to protect marine environments. Leave sea life undisturbed while snorkeling and diving.
Build an Epic Sandcastle
Bring out your inner child and spend a day building an epic sandcastle. Gather buckets, shovels, and other tools and get creative sculpting towers, bridges, moats, and more. Decorate with shells, stones, sea glass, and other found items. See how elaborate you can make your sandy masterpiece before the tide washes it away. Snap plenty of photos to remember it.
Sandcastle Tips and Tricks
Follow these tips for sandcastle success:
- Pack a spray bottle to mist the sand with water – this helps it pack together.
- Bring plastic buckets, shovels, and molds to shape the castle.
- Mix in a bit of wet sand from closer to the water for maximum cohesion.
- Sculpt details like columns, arches, and turrets with spare tools.
- Look for interesting items like shells and driftwood to press into the sides.
- Work quickly before the sand dries out in the sun and wind.
Enjoy a Beachfront Picnic Lunch
Pack a picnic lunch and dine al fresco at the beach. Spread out a blanket and enjoy sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit, chips and dip while listening to the soothing surf. Choose foods that won’t get sandy like finger foods and snacks in containers. Bring a cooler bag to keep items cold and plenty of water to wash it all down. Don’t forget reusable utensils, napkins, and trash bags.
Ideas for Easy Beach Picnic Fare
Pack any of these portable picnic foods for easy beachfront dining:
- Sandwiches – peanut butter & jelly, BLTs, subs, wraps
- Veggies and dip – carrots, celery, broccoli, hummus, ranch
- Fresh fruits like watermelon, berries, pineapple, grapes
- Granola bars, trail mix, dried fruit
- Tortilla chips and salsa, guacamole
- Pasta or potato salad
- Hard boiled eggs
- Cheese, crackers, and salami
Have a Beach Bonfire
As the sun goes down, gather driftwood and build a crackling beach bonfire. Roast hot dogs and marshmallows over the flames. Sit around the fire chatting and laughing with good friends late into the night. Gaze up at the starry sky as the Milky Way arcs overhead. End the night by serenading with campfire songs. Magical memories are made around a beach bonfire.
Check local regulations and only build fires in approved fire pits or areas. Exercise extreme caution with any fire and completely extinguish embers before leaving.
Look for Seashells and Beach Treasures
Beachcombing along the shoreline yields endless treasures from the sea. Scan the sand for glittering shells, fragments of driftwood, beach glass polished smooth by waves, interesting rocks, and more. Check the high tide line for the best bounty deposited by receding waves. Collect your favorite finds in a bucket to take home.
Identify different types of shells – periwinkles, whelks, clams, scallops, oysters, and more. Learn about the marine animals that once lived in them. Clean and display your prettiest shells around your home or incorporate them into crafts.
Enjoy beachcombing while protecting the environment:
- Take only a few of each type of shell so plenty remain on the beach.
- Keep rare shells like sand dollars intact.
- Avoid disturbing protected wildlife like starfish and anemones.
- Leave driftwood, stones, and rocks undisturbed in their natural habitat.
- Dispose of trash you encounter properly.
Try Beach and Water Sports
The ocean opens a world of athletic adventures. Try out new beach and water sports for excitement. Play a game of beach volleyball – dig your feet into the sand and spike the ball over the net. Grab a bodyboard and ride waves into the shore. Go stand-up paddleboarding and explore coastal waters while getting an intense core workout. Kitesurfing and windsurfing combine flying kites or sails with surfing for serious thrills. And jetpacks and flyboards allow you to literally fly over the water. The options for ocean sports fun are endless.
Play it Safe
As with any sport, it’s important to take proper safety precautions. Follow instructions and start slowly until you gain skills. Wear protective gear like helmets, life jackets, harnesses, and leashes. Pay close attention to the conditions – avoid windy or extremely wavy days. Start in beginner areas before advancing. Lessons can quickly teach proper techniques. Stay safe while enjoying new adventures.
Cast Your Fishing Line In
The ocean offers prime fishing with a wide variety of catches. Try your hand at pier or surf fishing, casting your line from shore with the classic beach scene as your backdrop. Head out on a charter boat to reach deep water haunts of tuna, mahi-mahi, and sharks. Explore bays and estuaries to reel in snappers, drum, and sheepshead. Savor the tranquility and excitement of ocean fishing. Cook your fresh catch over a beachfront campfire or grill.
Responsible Fishing Practices
Help conserve fish populations and marine ecosystems while fishing:
- Obtain proper fishing licenses and adhere to regulations on size/catch limits.
- Use circle hooks to reduce hook-related injuries.
- Practice catch-and-release fishing when possible.
- Don’t litter. Dispose of gear, bait containers, and fishing line properly.
- Don’t feed or interact with wildlife.
Relax and Unwind at the Ocean’s Edge
Make time for peaceful relaxation during your ocean getaway. Find a secluded spot to sit quietly and contemplate the endless expanse of water merging with the sky. Feel the therapeutic negative ions pervade your senses. Breathe deeply and let the sound of waves wash your stress away. Take a meditative walk along the shoreline, moving with awareness and observing nature’s beauty. Let the timeless rhythm of the sea calm your mind. Return home feeling renewed.
Benefits of “Blue Mind”
Emerging research shows that time near water provides extensive cognitive, psychological, and health benefits – a concept termed “blue mind.” Interacting with the ocean may improve creativity, relieve anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure, and boost overall wellbeing. Prioritize rejuvenating ocean time.
Plan Your Summer Ocean Getaway!
This summer promises memorable days frolicking in the waves, basking in sunshine on the sand, enjoying active adventures, and relaxing in the presence of the sea. Take time to create special moments with family and friends along the shore. Explore new beaches and coastal towns. Rediscover simple pleasures like collecting shells, building sandcastles, or gazing out at the limitless horizon. Then return home with refreshed spirit, sun-kissed skin, and a heart filled with awe for the power and beauty of the ocean.
The ocean’s sapphire waters and soul-stirring shores beckon. Whether you seek high-octane thrills or peaceful tranquility, an unforgettable experience awaits. Catch a splash of ocean blue this summer. You’ll be glad you did.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time of year to visit the ocean?
The summer months of June through August are the prime beach season in most regions. The weather is at its warmest and waters are calmer, creating ideal conditions for swimming, sunbathing, surfing and other water sports. Early fall can also be pleasantly warm while less crowded.
What items should I pack for a beach trip?
Essentials include swimsuits, beach towels, sunscreen, hats and sunglasses, water and snacks, sand toys or sports gear, and lightweight cover-ups and jackets. Also pack beach chairs, umbrella, beach blanket or mat, and a cooler if desired. Don’t forget entertainment like books, speakers, and games.
How can I keep valuables safe at the beach?
Don’t leave wallets, phones, or keys unattended – keep them on you or locked in the car. Consider waterproof pouches for phones/cash while in the water. Leave non-essential valuables at home. Mark belongings with your information. Ask your hotel about renting lockers. Stay alert of your surroundings.
What are some kid-friendly beach activities?
Building epic sandcastles, playing in gentle waves, beachcombing for shells, flying kites, digging holes to China, or spotting dolphins and pelicans are great for kids. Provide sand toys for sculpting and molding. Take breaks in the shade. Teach kids about ocean safety. Enjoy snacks to refuel.
Is the ocean water safe for swimming?
Never swim in the ocean immediately after a storm due to dangerous waves and rip currents. Swim only on lifeguard protected beaches within designated swim areas. Avoid swimming for several days after heavy rain that can contaminate water with bacteria. Check for closures or advisories. Don’t swim near piers or jetties. Pay attention to warning flags.
The ocean is a magical place, offering endless opportunities for recreation, adventure, and relaxation during the summer months. Prepare properly, take needed precautions, respect this natural wonder, and enjoy making lifelong memories along the water’s edge. A world of beauty awaits – catch a splash of ocean blue this summer!