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Fun things to do on a beach or lake trip

So you're taking a vacation this summer. There are so many choices of places to go and things to do. Since it gets really hot here in the southern US, it's only natural that people would want to take vacations to places where there is water-the beach, a lakeside cabin, etc. As if these locations aren't great on their own, there are all sorts of fun things you can do at a beach or a lake that you've never done before. In case you're not sure where to start, here are a few ideas of things you can do on your beach or lake vacation.
  • For the beach, take surfing lessons. At a lake, take canoeing or kayaking lessons. For some extra fun, look into water ski lessons.
  • Many lakes and beaches will allow you to rent surfboards, paddle boats or jet skis for the day. It might also be fun to rent a tandem bike; I've never done this, but I've always wanted to!
  • No vacation is complete without visiting a local Mom-and-Pop restaurant. When my husband and I go back to Wilmington, NC to visit my family, we make sure to take him to a locally-owned seafood restaurant. There is no shortage of them, and any one of them will beat Red Lobster any day of the week! In addition to incredible seafood restaurants, many coastal towns will have old-fashioned soda shops or ice cream parlors.
  • Go to a 'touristy' shop for t-shirts, hats and other souvenirs. While many of these stores are overpriced, you can sometimes find a good deal. Plus, you can usually find unique items that make good gifts. Some of them even sell locally-made fudge or salt-water taffy! They also often sell hand-made jewelry by local artists using seashells and other natural materials.
  • Take a long walk on the beach at dawn. This is especially fun when it is low tide and the water is really still, almost like glass. The reflection of the rising sun off of the water is absolutely breathtaking. If you are more of a 'night owl', take a low-tide walk on the beach under a full moon. Trust me, there are few things in the world that are more beautiful than this.
  • Make at least one sandcastle, especially if you brought the kids. If you sit at the edge of the water and dig in the soft sand when the waves pull back, you may also be able to catch some sand fiddler crabs. These are very small crabs-the largest ones are about the size of a beetle-and feel really funny walking across your hand! Scoop wet sand into a bucket and watch them wiggle!
  • If you go around the Fourth of July or some other event, see if there is a street festival. The ones I've been to have booths with crafts and locally-made food items, along with live music in the evenings.
As you can see, there are lots of fun things to do when you take a beach or lake vacation. Not everything will be available at every location or time of the year, but these are good things to look into.

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