When envisioning the beach, one may picture themselves unwinding on a chair, feeling the refreshing ocean breeze caress their skin, and sipping on an umbrella-laden beverage while watching the sun descend on the horizon. However, the beach offers a plethora of enjoyable activities that go beyond relaxing with your toes in the sand. To optimize your beach experience, we have compiled a list of the best beach activities. These range from constructing elaborate sandcastles to invigorating kite surfing, and daring moonlit skinny-dipping sessions. So, put on your beach attire, slather on sunscreen, and fill your day with these awesome beach activities!
An Interactive Beach Book
Don’t forget to toss Adventures From Scratch into your beach bag before you hit the shore! This incredible adventure guide for families, friends, and couples is a must-have companion, filled to the brim with 50+ thrilling activity suggestions, conversation starters, and tear-out cards. Simply scratch off a suggestion and let the fun unfold during your sunny summer vacation. Grab your copy, embrace the excitement, and prepare for an unforgettable seaside experience!
The 41 Best Beach Activities for Couples, Families, and Friends
Spending a summer’s day at the beach is an ideal way to unwind. For some beachgoers though, more than a day of sun-soaking becomes a bit mundane. To steer clear of boredom, it’s essential to have a repertoire of engaging beach games at your disposal. Here are a few of the best!
1. Go kite surfing/windsurfing.
Kite surfing is an exhilarating water sport that combines surfing and paragliding and guarantees an adrenaline rush! Mastering the art of controlling the kite while maneuvering through water and air presents a unique challenge. This activity is both enjoyable and thrilling, while also being accessible and safe for beginners. In fact, even children can begin learning windsurfing, making it a fantastic family activity that everyone can enjoy together!
2. Indulge in fruity drinks.
No beach day is truly fulfilled without indulging in the delightful taste of tropical refreshments at a beach bar or from your beach chair. Relish in fruity concoctions, such as refreshing fruit punches, invigorating water from freshly cracked coconuts, or classic beach favorites like piña coladas.
3. Collect seashells or rocks.
Collecting seashells and rocks is a budget-friendly activity during a beach trip. However, it’s crucial to ensure that collecting these items is permissible before taking them away from the beach. For extra creative fun bring paint and spend your evening brightening up the seashells or rocks to make memorable keepsakes.
4. Build a sandcastle.
Constructing a sandcastle is an immensely pleasurable activity that transcends age, particularly beloved by children, and all you need is wet sand and a bucket. Building sandcastles allows you to unleash your creativity and put your skills to the test, as you sculpt and shape the sand into magnificent structures. Whether it’s designing towering turrets, intricate moats, or ornate sculptures, the art of sandcastle construction offers endless possibilities for imaginative expression and enjoyment on the beach.
5. Bury someone in the sand.
A well-known tradition among beach enthusiasts worldwide is burying oneself in the sand up to the neck. This one will keep the kiddos busy for hours, and they won’t get a sunburn!
6. Camp on the beach.
There’s unparalleled magic to spending a night on the beach, especially when accompanied by the irresistible delight of s’mores! From setting up camp to sharing stories around the crackling fire to falling asleep to the sounds of crashing waves, the entire experience fosters meaningful connections and creates lasting bonds. In fact, it has the potential to evolve into an annual tradition, eagerly anticipated and cherished by all. Just make sure your beach allows overnights and that you are staying in the designated camping areas.
7. Have a bonfire.
A bonfire can infuse any gathering with a captivating ambiance, particularly during a cooler evening on the beach. Extend invitations to your friends, pack your cooler with refreshing beverages, gather an ample supply of wood or collect driftwood, and bring along a radio or guitar to play your favorite tunes. As the flames flicker and dance, casting a warm glow on the surrounding sand, laughter, and conversation intertwine with the crackling sound of burning wood. It’s absolutely magical!
7. Cool off with ice cream.
When it comes to beating the heat on a scorching summer day at the beach, few things rival the simple pleasure of indulging in a generous scoop of classic ice cream. Bring your own tub, or hit up one of those cute carts strolling up the boardwalk!
8. Fly a kite.
Flying a kite is another delightful activity to enjoy at the beach. Local shops often offer a wide variety of kites, allowing you to select one that perfectly suits your preferences. Alternatively, you can embark on a creative adventure by crafting your very own kite. Whether you opt for a store-bought kite or take pride in the craftsmanship of your own, the experience of flying a kite amidst the ocean breeze is simply enchanting.
9. Go on a hike.
A day at the beach doesn’t have to revolve solely around water activities. Depending on the location, there may be wonderful opportunities to embark on a scenic hike and discover some epic views of the ocean. Find tide pools and search for sea creatures, find a hidden cove all to yourself, or for the more adventurous explore a cave. Just make sure to keep an eye on the tide.
10. Have a beach barbecue.
Indulging in a beach barbecue, surrounded by great company, sipping on cold beers, and basking in the warm outdoor weather—what more could you want? Create a great playlist, throw down blankets, or bust out the cornhole!
11. Rent a beach cabana.
A cabana offers a luxurious haven, providing you with a private space near the beach to unwind, recline, and indulge in a refreshing drink, lose yourself in a captivating book, or simply savor the tranquility. At many beach resorts, you can easily rent a cabana for a day or more, allowing you to elevate your beach experience to a bougie-level getaway.
12. Play beach volleyball.
Beach volleyball is a must when hanging on the sand with friends. Immerse yourself in the energetic atmosphere as you dig, set, and spike your way through friendly (or not-so-friendly) matches. Volleyball transforms the beach into a playground where the joy of competition intertwines with the serenity of the coastal surroundings. Plus, you get a little exercise to burn off those sugary tropical cocktails.
13. Throw something.
Throwing a football, baseball, or frisbee is a fantastic sporty activity for the beach. Whether you gather some friends for an exciting round or two of ultimate frisbee, organize a football game, or simply leisurely toss a ball with your boo, there is just something special about doing a sporty activity on a beach.
14. Read a book.
For passionate readers, the warm summer evenings spent on the beach provide an ideal setting to unwind on a porch or under an umbrella, getting lost in the pages of a great book. Disappear in the world of fiction, learn a new skill, get some self-help, or brush up on your history. No matter what you choose, a good book only enhances the atmosphere of the beach!
15. Explore under the sea with some snorkeling.
Snorkeling offers a unique opportunity to witness the captivating marine life beneath the water’s surface—a privilege not often accessible to those residing far from coastal regions. Submerge yourself in a world of wonder as you witness the kaleidoscope of colors exhibited by vibrant fish and intricate coral reefs. The interplay of sunlight filtering through the water creates a mesmerizing spectacle that transports you to a realm entirely distinct from our everyday existence. Most beach resorts or stores offer rentals, so you don’t have to worry if you don’t have snorkel gear. You may need to book a guided tour to get out to the reef, depending on our location.
16. Try bodysurfing.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, bodysurfing entails riding a wave without the use of a surfboard or bodyboard. In bodysurfing, you become the “board,” relying on your body and skills to navigate the torrent. Bodysurfing requires a keen sense of timing, at least if you don’t want to do barrel rolls in the waves (which is gonna happen). Whether you are six or 60, there is just something fun and liberating about riding a wave to shore.
17. Make sand angels.
Creating a sand angel is a beloved beach activity that mimics the winter tradition of making snow angels. Just as you would find a suitable patch of fresh snow, locate a spot on the beach where the sand is soft and easily maneuverable. Lying down face up, you can then begin the delightful process of sweeping your arms and legs through the sand, leaving behind the imprint of your sand angel. Make sure to snag some photos of your little angel family before the high tide takes them away.
18. Hit a beach ball around.
Passing a beach ball around while wading in the refreshing water is a lighthearted beach activity. Play “Hot Potato,” passing the ball swiftly between participants before time runs out, or “Keep it up” where the first person to let the ball hit the water is out. Let your imagination run wild and invent unique games that incorporate the beach ball. It’s a $2 that can be a full day of fun.
19. Go paddleboarding.
Paddleboarding provides an accessible entry point for beginners while also laying the foundation for more adventurous water sports like surfing. For those in the early stages of learning, it’s advisable to seek out a location with minimal waves. This allows you to focus on mastering the basics of paddleboarding. As you gain confidence and proficiency, you can gradually navigate your way along the beach, enjoying the tranquility of paddling or even venturing into catching smaller waves. You’ll probably crash a few times, but you might just find a new passion!
20. Enjoy a beach picnic.
Spread out a vibrant beach blanket, soak up the sun, and enjoy a sandwich in the sea breeze. Whether you’re nibbling on treats or playing beach games between bites, a beach picnic is the epitome of carefree joy, creating memories that will make your heart smile. You’ll probably go home with a little sand in your teeth, but why not? It’s everywhere else anyway.
21. Go deep-sea fishing.
Unlike fishing in tranquil lakes or rivers, ocean fishing, also known as deep-sea fishing, demands nerves of steel and a certain level of strength to tackle the mighty creatures lurking in the deep ocean depths. Deep-sea fishing can be an unforgettable and exhilarating experience when you catch something. Cast your line into the deep blue, and let the excitement of the unknown unfold as you test your mettle against the wonders and surprises the ocean has in store. You don’t need to be an expert, you’ll likely be utilizing a guided tour, and the captain and crew will take care of all the tough stuff. You just show up (with your Scopolamine patch) and savor the victory of reeling in a big boy!
22. Rent a jet ski.
Unleash your inner speed demon and experience the exhilaration of jet skiing! Whether you’re embarking on a solo escapade, racing your friends, or taking a sunset ride with your significant other, riding the waves will make you feel like a bonafide movie star in your own aquatic action flick. Before you hit the waves, keep in mind that jet ski rentals typically range from $70 to $100+ per hour. It’s also essential to check out any additional requirements or regulations beforehand to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.
23. Play tic-tac-toe in the sand.
A classic game of tic-tac-toe is the perfect way to unwind and have some fun, suitable for all ages, including the little ones. At the beach, we can take it up a notch and add an exciting twist with a relay version of tic-tac-toe. This friendly competition involves wiping the concept of taking turns. You’ll make a giant grid in the sand, and line up your teams as far away as you want. It’s a race where the X’s and O’s are competing to fill in the grid. Have a seashell or water floaties serve as your baton. Player one from each team races to the grid and marks their letter, and then races back to hand the baton to the next team member, and so on and so forth. You will need a judge to stay at the game board and declare a winner. It’s a beachy twist that adds an extra layer of excitement to this timeless game.
24. Compete in a game of tug of war.
Gather your beach crew and brace yourselves for an epic battle of strength and teamwork with the classic game of tug of war! With a long rope in hand (or a pool noodle), ignite the flames of friendly competition and watch as everyone’s competitive spirit comes alive on the sandy shores. This exhilarating game not only fuels the bonds within your group but also invites anyone nearby to join in on the action.
25. Play I-Spy.
Unleash your inner detective and engage in a lively round of I-Spy at the beach! This beloved game, often reserved for long road trips, finds a perfect new home amidst the sandy shores and sparkling waves. From seashells and sandcastles to soaring seagulls and colorful beach umbrellas, the possibilities are as endless as the grains of sand.
26. Dig a hole in the sand.
There’s an undeniable joy that comes from digging holes in the sand, especially for our little beach explorers. Their imaginations run wild on a sandy treasure hunt. If you want to spice up the game, bury some toys for them early in the day, and mark them with a flag, then set them loose to find the treasures.
27. Go skinny dipping.
Skinny dipping offers an invigorating experience at the beach and can add a tantalizing adventure to your romance. It provides a unique opportunity to share intimacy with your partner while immersed in the freedom of the water. However, it is essential to ensure that nudity is allowed and make certain no other individuals are present nearby!
28. Start a limbo dance competition.
How low can you go? If you haven’t experienced it yet, you’re in for a treat! Limbo, a beloved dance/game, is a must-have at any beach or party gathering. Organizing your very own limbo competition is a fantastic way to ignite a friendly sense of competition among participants of all ages, be it family, or friends. Plus, it’s hilarious, as many of you are bound to bust it. All you need is some type of rod and music and you’re ready to limbo.
29. Play musical towels.
Playing musical towels is a fun beach activity that will have everyone jumping for joy. The concept is the same as musical chairs but with beach towels. Lay out a colorful assortment of towels and jump, twirl, and dance your way from towel to towel, listening for the music to stop, and then make a mad dash for a towel.
30. Engage in truth or dare.
Play the classic game of truth or dare. Whether you’re playing with a partner or a lively group, this game guarantees laughs and unforgettable moments. Reveal hidden secrets or take on daring challenges that will help you bond and get to know each other better. If you’re up for more thrills, switch it up with other versions like “Would You Rather” or “Never Have I Ever.” Prepare for endless amusement and a beach day you won’t soon forget, especially if there are a few margaritas involved!
Check out our list of “200 Truth-or-Dare Questions for Adults” to get your beach game started!
31. Play beach hopscotch.
Hop, skip, and jump your way to sky blue! Transform the sandy shore into your own hopscotch grid with seashells or sticks. Take turns tossing a pebble or a shell and navigate the numbered squares with nimble feet. Playing in the sand adds a whole new level of agility and balance. It’s a delightful twist on the classic game, adding a touch of seaside charm to the mix.
32. Go boogie boarding in the waves.
Boogie boarding is a wave-riding escapade like no other! You might become the king or queen of the surf, carving through the water with style and grace (or you might roll, tumble, and flop like a fish on dry land.) Either way, it’s all part of the fun!
33. Play beach soccer.
Sand soccer is an activity the whole family can enjoy. With just a few markers like towels, buckets, or even sandcastles, you can easily set up goals in the sand. Soccer on sand adds a different set of skills as the ball doesn’t move as it does on grass… and neither do you. Divide yourselves into teams and let the fun begin!
34. Engage in a float race.
Amp up the excitement during your beach extravaganza by adding some awesome floats to the mix! Take your inflatable along and challenge your besties to a race from one end of the beach to the other.
35. Race in the sand.
Running across the soft sand may seem deceptively easy, but don’t be fooled, it is challenging. Engage in a lively game of tag, participate in a relay, or simply compete in a straightforward root race. Just make sure you win at all costs.
36. Have a water gunfight.
Escape the summer heat and indulge in a water gunfight with your loved ones! Engage in a thrilling round of water gun tag, where the goal is to tag each other with a refreshing spray. Or perhaps, set up targets and compete in a shooting competition to test your accuracy and skill. Create your own rules, scenarios, and challenges, and invent new ways to drench your opponents.
37. Fly high with parasailing.
Soaring high above the sparkling waves, parasailing is like a date with the sky itself. The wind caresses your face as you’re suspended in a colorful parachute, enjoying a birdseye view. With a gentle tug, you’re whisked away, effortlessly floating amidst the clouds, as if gravity has lost its grip. Take in the panoramic views below, the sun-kissed beachgoers, and the vast expanse of the ocean. It’s quite an experience!
38. Take in the sunset or sunrise.
Sunrise or sunset? Choosing between these celestial marvels is an impossible task. Whether you’re Team Sunrise or Team Sunset, the beauty of witnessing the sun’s golden embrace on a beach is simply breathtaking. It’s a moment of pure awe as the sky is painted in a symphony of colors, casting a spell of serenity and wonder.
39. Relax and sunbathe.
Soak up the sun’s warm embrace at the beach, where vitamin D becomes your ultimate companion. For some busy vacation goers, this is what a beach retreat is all about, and there is no shame in just indulging in some rest. Feel the gentle kiss of the sun on your skin, rejuvenating your mind and body.
40. Work out on the beach.
Seize the opportunity presented by the glorious weather and tone those muscles. Pack your workout gear, grab your yoga mat, and go equipment free. Some beaches even have an outdoor gym area for you to use. Feel the soft sand beneath your feet as you flow through a yoga session, harmonizing your body and mind. The options are endless, and you get to finish your sweaty routine with a refreshing dip in the sea.
41. Go Surfing.
Jump on your board for a sun-soaked adventure like no other. Not a surfer? No problem! If you are vacationing in a surf destination, there will be plenty of willing instructors around, and a day less is usually pretty affordable!
A day or two by the seaside is a treasure trove of experiences. Bask in the delightful blend of fun and relaxation by keeping a few of these awesome beach activities in your pocket! You don’t need to plan something for every minute of the day. The point of vacation is to rest, but you just might find that some of your best memories (and photos) are created during a game of Tug of War. Now, get to packing, and soak up some sun for us!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Make your beach trip enjoyable by trying some of the scratch-off activities from Adventures From Scratch. It’s a great way to fill any vacation with spontaneous adventure!