7 Ways to Keep Busy on Vacation When You Don’t Like the Beach


Summer is almost here, and with the arrival of soaring temperatures comes en masse departure to the nearest beaches. While your family loves every aspect of a trip to the coast, between the sand, the skin-drying salt water and frizz-inducing humidity, you are not such a fan. For a family divided, it can create some frustration, but there are plenty of activities you can all enjoy together to compromise.

Search for treasures

Having a fun activity can help pass the time along if you find lazing on the beach to be boring instead of relaxing. Use this as an opportunity to look for someone else’s lost treasures. Get a metal detector and see what’s hiding underneath the sand. You can find prospecting equipment online, or check to see if any local shops offer equipment rentals.

Play board games

Is there another person in your group who shares your beach boredom? Bring a board or card game you can play together to help pass the time. It’s worth investing in a set of waterproof playing cards to keep the deck crisp and easy to shuffle, especially when others join in during a swim break. Waterproof cards are more resilient than conventional ones, so they’ll be protected from sunscreen and sand.

Watch movies

Bring your tablet or smartphone and watch catch up on the latest must-see movies. Many satellite and cable companies offer free mobile apps where you can view shows and movies on demand. Just don’t forget to bring a large umbrella or canopy so you have plenty of shade. It can be difficult to see the screen clearly on many devices when in direct sunlight.

Rent bikes

Just because you’re at the beach doesn’t mean that you have to stay stationary. Many public beaches offer bike rentals, so you can cruise around the area at a faster pace than walking, all while staying dry and getting in some exercise.

Go fishing

If you love to fish, research the rules for fishing at your vacation destination. For instance, in Huntington Beach, California, you can fish off the pier for free, without a license, but other areas may require a state-issued permit. You can enjoy the water while keeping a fair distance. And if you catch a few fish, you won’t have to worry about dinner.

Check out street performances & magic shows

Some bigger public beaches, like Pacific Beach and Venice Beach, attract a lot of street artists and performers along the oceanfront. People watching in bustling areas like these makes for an entertaining way to pass some time while your group soaks up some rays in the sand.

Eat & shop

While you may not like to get wet and sandy, there’s no denying the natural beauty of the beach. You don’t have to have your feet in the sand to enjoy the scenery. Instead, find a restaurant that offers outdoor dining with an ocean view and enjoy a nice meal and a cocktail soaking up the setting. Bring the family to a seaside cafe for breakfast or lunch and stick around after the meal while everyone else makes their way down to the water.

Look for local farmer’s markets on the weekends, so if you aren’t one to lounge by the water, you can do some shopping, all while supporting small farms and local businesses.

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