Summer is here, my friends! It’s time for bonfires, adventures, and best of all, trips to the beach. The beach comes in many forms: lakes, rivers, and of course, oceans. Soft sand beneath your feet, the hot sun on your face, and a cold beverage in your hand. With the necessities out of the way, only one question remains: what will you DO?
Wherever your beach is, we’ve put together a few suggestions to get you started.

#1. Lakes

Lakes are fantastic. All the summer water fun you could hope for, with none of the risks that come with an ocean. No riptides, (usually) fresh water, and no sneaky sea life to ruin your day. Many lakes are in state parks that have plenty of hiking trails. The calmer waters also offer you a ton of options for on the water fun. One that I particularly enjoy is paddleboarding. If you don’t know anything about paddleboarding, it looks a little something like this:

Paddleboards are expensive, there’s no doubt. As their popularity rises, however, more and more locations are offering rentals for a fraction of what it would cost to own one, with zero maintenance. You can paddle out to the middle of the lake and take a swim away from the noise of the crowds. Take a dip, hop back on, and paddle back in for a barbecue–there are usually some public grills around. Grab a burger on the beach, sit back, and enjoy.

#2. Rivers

Rivers catch a bad rap. They surge, they flood, and they are pretty fast moving. The currents alone can be dangerous. If you’re looking for something a little more calming, perhaps a rafting trip is more your style. Check your local area for popular rafting spots. The best part about rafting is you can take as many people as you’d like (barring any local restrictions, of course), lash your rafts together, and make a flotilla (this, of course, includes a raft for your cooler). Now, where are the beaches, you ask? While they may not be beaches in the traditional sense, there are often sand bars along the river that make great stopping points. They’re usually sandy, and they make for great starting points for small adventures onto the shore. You can stow up the rafts for a few minutes, give everyone a chance to dry out a bit, and catch a snack before heading back down the river.
#3. Oceans

The final piece of the puzzle, of course, is a good old ocean beach. There’s nothing more calming than the lapping of waves on the shore and your toes in the warm sand. Speaking of sand, ocean beaches are where the real fun begins. Remember making sandcastles as a kid? Now, you’re older and wiser with all the intelligence that comes with your years of life. Build a moat, for goodness’ sake. No more waves destroying your hard work. Moats are awesome. Make a sand sculpture of just about anything. High tide line? Look for awesome shells buried in the sand to give to your lady. Ocean beaches are ripe with opportunity for adventure and good solid finds. I even found an antique license plate once. You never know what will wash up.

Beaches mean water, and water means fun. The sands themselves are an adventure. There are no ends to the activities you can partake in on the shores of the water. Cast a line out, do a little skimboarding, Just sit and read a book. Your imagination is your only limit. A little frisbee or football goes a long way in the sand. Get some friends together and head on out. Like the title says, life’s a beach.

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