At vacation time, people often head to the coast for rest and relaxation. As a result, coastal communities have developed a wide range of activities for vacationers. When you're planning your next coastal trip, make sure you check out these activities in advance. You can then find a place that offers opportunities to do the sorts of things you enjoy most.
Many people head to the coast to get some sun. If that's your goal, be sure to take along a beach towel to lie on and carry sunscreen to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun's rays. Use the sunscreen regularly throughout the day. It's easy to dehydrate in the heat, so keep a bottle of water handy too. You might also want to take a hat and a parasol to provide some shade if the heat becomes too much for you.
The coast offers many opportunities to go boating. You can sail on a yacht, speed across the water in a sports boat or proceed at a stately pace in a family motorboat. Whatever type of boating you enjoy, make sure you pay attention to the weather reports. Ensure that you understand the effects of the tides and keep a short-wave radio onboard for communication with the mainland.
If you're keen on fishing, you don't need anyone to remind you of the fun you can have at the coast. Do some online and magazine research before you arrive and you'll know what fish you can expect to catch and what gear you'll need. You don't have to go out on a boat, either, as you can also fish from the beaches and harbors.
Surfing remains as popular a coastal activity as ever. Beginners should sign up with a surfing school and learn the basics before venturing out on their own. For many, of course, surfing is not just an activity, it's a lifestyle.
Swimming is good exercise and a pleasant way to relax. Pay attention to any lifeguard warnings about tides and the weather. If you like to snorkel as well as swim, follow the local regulations. In some areas, you must snorkel with a diving buoy to warn boats and jet skis that you're in the vicinity.
Some coastlines are alive with water sports. These include waterskiing, jet-skiing, windsurfing and rowing. If you prefer to explore under the sea, you can go snorkeling and scuba diving. You may be able to hire all the equipment you need at a coastal resort. Simply check in advance.
Pack a picnic and head to the beach or to the top of a cliff overlooking the water. Take along cold meats, fruit, bread, cheese and soft drinks as appropriate. Keep the food and drinks chilled in a cool bag or cooler, and use a thermos for coffee. And don't forget a blanket to sit on!
When you see whales out at sea, they take your breath away. Choose an experienced tour operator who knows where the whales are and at what times they appear. Make sure you have a pair of binoculars and a camera with a zoom lens. The Atlantic, Pacific and Indian coasts are some of the best places to find whale-watching tours.
Beach games include building the best sand castle, rounding up two teams and playing netball, throwing a Frisbee between family members -- and perhaps the family dog, arranging a game of softball, and just kicking a ball around.
When you go beachcombing, you can find mementos of your vacation. There are shells and twisted pieces of wood that wash in from the ocean or bay. Try beachcombing when the tide is low and the water has left the ocean's flotsam and jetsam behind.
- Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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