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The Ultimate Beach Guide

Shelter might be one of humankind’s basic needs, but ditching indoor shelter for the blue water and white or seashell pink sands of the beach can be one of life’s greatest pleasures. Beaches offer the soothing sight of foamy, white cresting water and the lull of waves hitting the rocks. They offer an airy, warm haven to bask in the sun, watch marine animals, boat, and water ski. Those who prefer stop to dip more than their toes in the water can use beach time hunt for rocks, shells, and other fossils.  In order to reap the most enjoyment, however, humans have to protect and preserve shorelines from pollutants and devastation as well as guard themselves from beach dangers such as fast moving currents and deadly animals.

Beach Preservation

Preservation societies across the U.S. aim to protect shores and beaches from natural and manmade dangers.

California Preservation: This is the official website for the California Shore and Beach Preservation Association (CSBPA). Photo by Tupper Ansel Blake
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  • Great Lakes Preservation: This site details efforts by the Great Lakes Chapter of the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (GLSBPA)

  • Northeast Preservation Conference: This site gives details on Northeast Shore & Beach Preservation Association and its annual conference to save beaches.

  • The Jersey Shore: This website offers news on the health of beaches and shores in New Jersey.

  • Texas Shore Preservation: This official site of the Texas chapter of the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association highlights local beach and shore news.

  • North Carolina Waterway Association: This North Carolina Beach, Inlet & Waterway Association website details annual beach conferences and beach events.

  • Florida Shores: This Florida Shore & Beach Preservation Association uses its website to offer news on current beach affairs.

  • California Beaches: This is the official site for the California Coastal Coalition.

  • Preservation of U.S. Coasts: This site offers coast preservation news and developments linked to the Coastal States Organization (CSO)

  • Coastal Engineering Conference: Managed by the Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute (COPRI), this website offers news on beach engineering conferences, preservation technology, and other protective effects.

Tidal Information

Beach goers can use tide tables, maps, and real-time online data to pinpoint when high and low tides will occur.

  • Real-Time Tide Data: This website by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offers real-time information on tides and currents across the U.S. as well as general information on tide causes.

  • Tide Calendar: This National Park Service website offers a tide calendar to help beach enthusiasts across the nation identify perfect high and low tide times.

  • Bay Area Tides: This geological survey site for the San Francisco Bay area offers current tide data in both chart and map form.

  • Maryland Tide Locator: Beach-goers in the state of Maryland can use this site for tide information.

  • Carolina Tide Tables: This website offer tide information for areas in South Carolina.

Beach Safety

Sharks, sting rays, lightning, and riptides can ruin a day at the beach. The sites below offer tips on surviving these dangers.

Beach Shell and Rock Hunters

Rock hunting is a popular beach pastime during which scavengers can collect pebbles and rocks that hint at the history and evolution of certain beach areas.

  • Southern California Rocks: This guide lists the types of rocks one can find in the California beach area.

  • Conchologists of America: Lots of information for shell enthusiasts.

  • Guide to Seashells: Explains how to clean, preserve, and identify any seashells and other sealife you find on the beach.

  • Rock Tour: This website offers a virtual tour of for people rock hunting in San Francisco and the Marin Headlands.

  • How to Read Rocks: This website gives tips on how to read rocks to determine age. It also advises how to rock hunt the Bluff Point state park in Connecticut.

  • North Texas Conchological Society: A club for shell collectors and enthusiasts.

  • Metamorphic Rocks: This site offers information on scouting metamorphic rocks and rock layers in Maine.

  • Lake Superior Rocks: This site offers advice on finding rocks and pebbles around Lake

Beaches in the U.S

The U.S. has many destinations to satisfy beach lovers, including Miami Beach, Daytona Beach, and St. Thomas Beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

  • Corona Del Mar: This site features California’s very popular Corona Del Mar state beach.

  • Newport Beach: This visitor’s guide offers information on Newport Beach in California.

  • Daytona Beach: This visitor’s website lists special offers and events linked to the well-known Daytona Beach in Florida.

  • Miami Beach: This site, run by the Miami Beach Visitors Bureau, details events and attractions around the hot spot known as Miami Beach.

  • The Florida Keys: This online visitor’s guide offers information on beaches in the Florida Keys.

  • Virginia Beach: This website offers tips on visiting beaches in Virginia, whether in Sandbridge or the Chesapeake Bay.   

  • St. Thomas Beach: Although in the Virgin Islands, the glorious St. Thomas Beach is still part of the U.S.

  • Coney Island Beach Life: Site offers information on the beach and boardwalk in Coney Island.

  • Hawaii Beaches: This site lists the top 10 beaches in Hawaii.

  • Beaches of Martha's Vineyard: This website lists and ranks more than 20 beaches in Martha’s Vineyard. 

International Beaches

Popular beach destinations from Aruba to Costa Rica offer opportunities for deep sea diving, swimming with sharks, sun-tanning, or snorkeling.

  • Boca Catalina: This site gives details on the Boca Catalina beach in Aruba where beachgoers snorkel and tan.

  • Maroubra Beach: This beach in Australia is a favorite for surfers.

  • Paradise Island: This Bahamian beach offers a tropical escape, as detailed on this site.

  • Placencia Beach: This site details the Central American beach destination of Placencia in Belize.

  • Horseshoe Bay: This Travel Channel site touts the pink sand beaches of Horseshoe Baby in Bermuda as romantic.

  • Copacabana: The famous Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro is the focus of this tourist site.

  • Virgin Gorda: This British Virgin Island beach area known as “The Baths,” offers many attractions in Virgin Gorda.

  • Jericho Beach: This beach in Vancouver, Canada is a coveted sailing site.

  • Malpelo Beach: This article details the glories of deep sea diving at Malpelo Beach in Colombia.

  • Playa Blanca: This site offers information on the beaches of Playa Blanca in Costa Rica.

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