World's Top 8 Beach Adventures

Nothing tops the beach, especially when you bust your butt in the office for vacation time. But let’s be honest, if you’re the kind of traveler who craves adventure, burying your toes in the sand gets old after a few days. The good news? There’s a lot more to beaching than margaritas and chaise longues. Here’s a list of the world’s coolest coastal experiences that you’ve never thought of — you know, just in case your next getaway needs a little spicing up. 

Getty Images
Queensland, Australia
Sand Dune-Sledding, Moreton Island Western Beach
If you like a rush, try sand-tobogganing. Grab a special waxed board and lie or sit (forwards or backwards) as you sled down a massive dune. For the best ride on Earth, head to Moreton Island’s Mount Tempest, the world’s highest coastal sand pile, over 900 feet tall. Feeling extra brave? Try standing up and riding your edges like a surf or snowboard. It’s a lot harder than it looks.
Getty Images
Mallorca, Spain
Jetlev-Flyer, Port Adriano
Flying isn’t just a superpower anymore. Thanks to a jetpack fitted with a special marine engine, you can literally cruise around like Superman. Visit Mallorca, an island off the coast of Barcelona, and seek out Jetlev-Flyer located in Port Adriano on the island’s southern coast. They’ll hook you up with a jetpack that harnesses water to propel you up over the bright blue Mediterranean Sea.
Railay Peninsula, Thailand
Cliff-Jumping, Phra Nang Beach
For prime cliff-jumping, head to Phra Nang Beach in Thailand. Since it’s only accessible by a 20-minute boat ride from Ao Nang (the closest small resort town to the beach), tourists haven’t overtaken this long white sand strip just yet. Hike up either side of the limestone cliffs as high as you dare, and take the gut-wrenching plunge from one of the natural platforms into deep turquoise water. If you’re a climber, bring your gear — the tropical climate attracts some of the world’s best athletes who train year-round.
Coromandel, New Zealand
Dig Your Own Hot Spring, Hot Water Beach
Skip the hotel whirlpool and dig your own Jacuzzi at Hot Water Beach in Whitianga and Mercury Bay on the east coast of New Zealand. A naturally heated river flows into the Pacific Ocean underneath this long strip of white sand bookended by cliffs. Pick up a shovel, start digging and watch as warm water bubbles up. You can dig a romantic bath for 2, or get the kids to help out for a larger pool. If you’re lucky, you can time it right with the tide and get front-row seats to one of New Zealand’s best sunsets.
San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Belize
Swim With Sharks and Tropical Fish, Shark Ray Alley
Take snorkeling and diving to the next level at Shark Ray Alley in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Located about 4 miles south of San Pedro, Belize, this slice of ocean attracts harmless nurse sharks, rays, sea turtles, spotted dolphins and dozens of species of tropical fish. Boat tours take you out for less than what you’ll spend on dinner. Swim with the curious marine life and bring an underwater camera to capture it all.
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Kayak the Dalmatian Coast, Zaton Bay Beach
Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast is pocked with inlet beaches and bays perfect for sea-kayaking. Head to Zaton Bay Beach, 6 miles north of Dubrovnik, where you can put in a kayak and cruise around, sheltered from the country’s infamous coastal gusts. Check out the bubbling underground springs, stone villas from the Renaissance, and cliffs and caves. Plus, a handful of private coves offer the perfect spot for a mid-paddle snorkel or a cliff-jumping break before turning around.
Getty Images
Hawaii, USA
Camp on the Beach, Punalu’u Black Sand Beach
If you’re a camping freak, Hawaii’s Punalu’u Black Sand Beach is a must. Pitch your tent right on the jet-black volcanic sand (don’t worry, it’s legal), keep an eye out for Hawaiian sea turtles that bask in the sun, and indulge in a nap as the light breeze blows through the coconut trees. It’s located between Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the small town of Naalehu. The best part? Swimming isn’t ideal here, so most tourists opt for other beaches — you’ll likely be sleeping solo.
Patagonia, Argentina
Ride Horseback, Piedras Coloradas Beach (Near Las Grutas Beach)
High tide secludes Piedras Coloradas Beach from Patagonia’s mainland so don’t be surprised you when you’re temporarily cut off. You can reach the strand on foot or by car via a gravel road, but if you want to find your inner cowboy, you really ought to go on horseback — trust us, you’ll be grateful for your mare’s sure footing as you cross the damp ocean floor. Grab a donated book from the small library in the adobe hut, or stroll around and watch fishermen catch octopus. Go in January or February when temperatures are hottest.

You Might Also Like

Bromo Tengger Semeru Park

East Java, Indonesia

Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa

Lithgow, Australia

Kura Design Villas

Uvita de Osa, Costa Rica

Gift of Travel

More Travel Inspirations

American Outdoor Adventure Sweeps
American Outdoor Adventure Sweeps

Enter for a chance to win an adventure getaway, plus $25k! Holiday's 50+ Top Holiday Food Gifts

Give them what they really want!

HGTV Dream Home
HGTV Dream Home 2015

Take a tour of the home we’ll be giving away. Look inside HGTV Dream Home 2015 now!


See Also

Explore the US Virgin Islands

Kinga goes sailing and kite surfing at the US Virgin Islands National Park.

Travel 911

Get tips for travel emergencies, including lost luggage, stormy weather, ...

Marianela’s Beaches

Get Marianela Pereyra’s picks for what to see and do on California’s best ...

Parahawking in Paradise

Led by a hawk, Rachel goes paragliding for the best views of Torrey Pines.