The beach, often seen as a communal destination for families, couples, and groups of friends, can also be a tranquil retreat for the solitary soul.
If you’ve ever pondered the idea of a solo beach visit, you might be held back by questions like, “Is it weird to go to the beach alone?” and “What is there to do at the beach alone?” First, it’s not weird to go alone. And second, surprisingly, there’s a lot to do.
Just to give you an idea of the things you can do at the beach, you can:
- Practice photography
- Engage in water sports like surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, SUP boarding
- Draw or paint
- Do yoga, jog or various other exercises
- Listen to music
- Build sand castles
- …and lots more
Keep reading on to get more ideas for things to do at the beach alone, and why they can be such fun activities even for the solo beachgoer.
Sunbathing is an activity that not only allows you to bask in the warmth of the sun, but can also help boost your mood due to the production of vitamin D. When sunbathing, you must take the appropriate safety precautions.
First things first, wear sunscreen with a suitable SPF (15 or higher) to protect your skin from harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays. UV rays can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer if not properly managed.
It’s recommended to avoid sunbathing during peak sun hours (usually between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) to reduce the risk of sunburn. Using hats, umbrellas, and sunglasses can provide extra protection.
Reading at the beach alone can be an immersive experience. The gentle lullaby of waves in the background can enhance the pleasure of diving into a good story. When choosing a book or magazine, consider one that suits your mood – a light-hearted romance novel, an engaging thriller, or maybe a magazine about travel or hobbies.
If reading physical copies, be sure to bring something to weigh down the pages from the occasional gust of wind. Alternatively, e-readers are a popular choice for beach-goers as they often have glare-resistant screens suitable for bright sunlight. Many of them are now water resistant! Regardless, try to keep your reading materials safe from sand and water.
Beachcombing is the activity of searching the shoreline for interesting and valuable items that have washed up from the sea. As you stroll along the water’s edge, you can find a variety of treasures such as seashells, sea glass, driftwood, and sometimes even artifacts or coins. Each item tells a story of its journey through the vast oceans.
When beachcombing, bring a small bag or container to collect your finds. Keep in mind that some beaches have regulations about what can be taken, so always respect local rules and the environment. Lastly, always leave living creatures where you found them; they’re an integral part of the beach ecosystem.
Beaches offer an expansive canvas for photographers, filled with dynamic landscapes, captivating wildlife, and ever-changing light conditions.
When engaging in beach photography, consider different elements like the position of the sun, cloud patterns, and the tides. Sunrise and sunset, often referred to as the “golden hours,” provide soft lighting that can add depth and warmth to your shots.
Additionally, with macro photography, you can focus on smaller subjects like grains of sand, seashells, or tiny creatures with great detail. For those new to the term, macro photography involves capturing close-up images where the subject appears life-sized or larger in the photograph.
Ensure your camera equipment is protected from sand, salt spray, and water to keep it functioning correctly.
Meditating on the beach alone allows you to connect deeply with nature and your inner self. The rhythmic sound of the waves can serve as a natural guide to mindfulness, helping you focus on the present moment.
To start, find a quiet spot on the beach and sit or lie down comfortably. Close your eyes and begin by taking deep, calming breaths. As you breathe in and out, let the sounds, smells, and sensations of the beach guide your awareness.
If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to the present moment. Meditation can help reduce stress, improve concentration, and promote a general sense of well-being.
Sketching or Painting
The natural beauty of the beach has inspired countless artists over the centuries. If you’re inclined towards drawing or painting, the beach presents a dynamic subject. Whether you’re capturing the vastness of the sea, the intricate patterns in the sand, or the lively play of light and shadow, the possibilities are endless.
Begin by choosing a vantage point that offers an inspiring view. Then, set up your materials, taking care to protect them from sand and water. Sketching and painting allow you to see the world through a unique lens, noting details others might miss. They not only let you express yourself creatively but also allow for a deeper appreciation of the natural world.
The beach, with its serene environment and rhythmic sounds, can be a perfect backdrop for writers. Whether you’re jotting down personal reflections, crafting poetry, or penning a short story, the surroundings can provide rich inspiration.
For those wanting to write, a simple notebook and pen can suffice. However, those wanting to capture longer thoughts might opt for a laptop – though extra care should be taken to keep it free from sand and moisture.
If you find yourself stuck or lacking ideas, simply take a moment to observe. The sights, sounds, and feelings experienced at the beach can serve as wonderful prompts to jumpstart creativity.
Exercising at the beach isn’t just about getting fit—it’s about immersing oneself in nature and feeling invigorated by the fresh air and open space. Popular beach exercises include jogging along the shoreline, where the resistance of the sand can intensify the workout, making muscles work harder.
Beach yoga, another favorite, combines traditional yoga poses with the natural challenges posed by sand, improving balance and strength. For those unfamiliar with yoga, it’s a practice that combines physical postures, breath control, and meditation to promote physical and mental well-being. Always remember to hydrate and protect your skin with sunscreen when exercising outdoors.
Swimming in the ocean differs significantly from swimming in a pool. The sea’s saltiness can make you more buoyant, which some find enjoyable. However, ocean swimming also comes with challenges like waves, currents, and the occasional presence of marine creatures.
Before venturing into the water, be aware of potential hazards. For example, rip currents are powerful currents of water moving away from shore and can pull swimmers out to deeper waters.
If caught in one, the key is not to panic. Instead of fighting it, swim parallel to the shore until you’re out of the current. Always check local beach flags or signs for information about water conditions before diving in.
Build Sand Structures
Building sand structures isn’t just child’s play. It can be both an art form and a therapeutic activity for adults. With just sand and water as primary materials, you can create intricate sandcastles, sculptures, or even detailed landscapes.
For those unfamiliar, the water acts as a binder, giving the sand a malleable consistency, allowing for easier shaping. Basic tools like buckets, shovels, and carving tools can assist in your creations, but even your hands can be enough to start.
While building, not only do you engage your creativity, but you also get a tactile experience, connecting directly with the natural elements.
Many beaches serve as habitats or stopping points for a wide variety of bird species. Armed with binoculars and a bird identification guidebook, beachgoers can observe these creatures in their natural environment.
Look out for shorebirds that often dart along the water’s edge, searching for food, or larger birds like pelicans or seagulls that might be diving for fish or soaring overhead. Over time, you can learn to identify different species by their appearance, behaviors, and calls. It’s a relaxing hobby that fosters a deeper appreciation for nature.
Fly a Kite
Flying a kite at the beach combines the joys of the open sky with the steady sea breezes that make kite-flying optimal. There are various kite designs, from simple diamond shapes to intricate dragons or birds.
The key to successful kite flying is to ensure that the wind catches the kite’s surface, lifting it into the air. As you hold onto the string or reel, you can feel the kite’s pull and navigate its path. It’s an activity that’s both peaceful and exhilarating, connecting you directly to the forces of nature.
Listen to Music or Podcasts
The gentle ambiance of the beach can be further enriched by the melodies of your favorite music or the enlightening words of a podcast. Using headphones can create a personal space, allowing you to deeply dive into the auditory experience without disturbing others around you.
Whether it’s the upbeat tunes of summer hits, calming instrumental tracks, or informative podcasts on subjects of interest, the beach setting can elevate your listening experience.
However, ensure your devices are protected from sand, salt spray, and potential water exposure. Also, maintain some level of ambient sound awareness for safety, especially if you’re near water or busy areas.
There’s something uniquely delightful about enjoying a meal at the beach alone with the sound of waves in the background and a panoramic view of the vast ocean.
Packing a picnic for the beach requires some preparation: ensure foods are kept cool and safe in insulated containers, bring along beverages to stay hydrated, and don’t forget essentials like napkins, utensils, and a trash bag to leave no trace behind.
Popular beach picnic foods include sandwiches, fresh fruits, salads, and easy-to-eat snacks. Always be aware of local wildlife, as some animals might be tempted by your picnic.
Paddleboarding or Kayaking
Paddleboarding and kayaking are water sports that allow you to explore the sea or any water body from a unique vantage point. Both activities provide a full-body workout, emphasizing core strength and balance. While they can be leisurely, it’s highly recommended that you wear a life vest and be aware of sea conditions, currents, and marine traffic.
Beaches, especially those away from city lights, can offer breathtaking views of the night sky. Star gazing is the act of observing stars and other celestial bodies, often with the naked eye or with the aid of telescopes or binoculars. On a clear night, you might spot constellations, planets, and even shooting stars.
Mobile apps designed for astronomy can guide you in identifying various celestial objects. When planning a stargazing trip to the beach, check the lunar calendar — a moonless night will provide the best visibility for distant stars and galaxies.
The thrill of discovery awaits those who venture to the beach with a metal detector. Over time, beaches can accumulate various metallic objects, from lost jewelry to old coins. If you’re new to metal detecting, this is an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the device’s settings, ensuring the best chance of discovery.
Always respect local regulations, as some areas might prohibit or limit metal detecting, and ensure that any holes dug are filled in afterward to keep the beach safe for others.
Float on an Inflatable
Floating on an inflatable device at the beach offers a unique, relaxing experience that combines the sensation of weightlessness with the rhythmic ebb and flow of the sea. Inflatables come in various shapes, sizes, and designs, ranging from simple rings to elaborate loungers or themed shapes like flamingos and unicorns.
Before using an inflatable, ensure it’s fully inflated and free from leaks. When afloat, always remain in designated swimming areas and be aware of currents and tides, as these can drift you away from shore. Using a tether or an anchor can help keep your inflatable in place.
Remember, even if you’re a confident swimmer, it’s always advisable to have a flotation device nearby and to be cautious, especially in unpredictable ocean waters.
Play with Your Pet
The beach is a haven for many pets, especially dogs who enjoy the space to run, dig, and play. Before bringing your pet to the beach, check if it’s pet-friendly, as some beaches have restrictions or designated areas for animals.
Once there, ensure your pet is under control, either on a leash or through voice commands. Remember to bring essentials like fresh water for them to drink, a bowl, and toys to keep them entertained.
Be mindful of other beachgoers, as not everyone is comfortable around animals. After the fun, ensure you clean up after your pet, leaving the beach as pristine as you found it.
Shop at Beach Markets
Many coastal areas host beach markets that offer a unique shopping experience. With the salty air and sound of waves in the background, these markets often feature a mix of local artisans, food vendors, and sellers with a variety of wares—from handmade jewelry to beachwear, art pieces, and local delicacies.
Shopping at beach markets not only supports local businesses but also provides a chance to find unique souvenirs and gifts. Always carry some cash, as not all vendors might accept card payments, and remember to bring reusable bags to minimize plastic use.
As with any market, be aware of your belongings and be respectful of the vendors and their products.
Enjoy Beachside Festivals and Exhibitions
Beaches often serve as venues for festivals, exhibitions, and other cultural events. From music festivals with stages set up on the sand to art exhibitions showcasing beach-themed pieces, these events offer an enhanced beach experience.
When planning to attend such a festival or exhibition, check the schedules in advance, as popular events can draw large crowds, and some might require tickets or reservations. Ensure you’re prepared for the day, carrying essentials like water, snacks, sunscreen, and possibly a chair or blanket to sit on.
Engaging in these events not only enriches your cultural understanding but also fosters a sense of community, bringing together people from various backgrounds to celebrate under the sun and stars.