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Free Things To Do At The Beach, Or Close To Free

This week I’m vacationing at Hilton Head Island.  And while I did play golf a few days, I find that the best times I had so far are the free or close to free activities!

Body Surfing – Not my son!

So I decided to compile a quick list of all the free (or again close to free) activities that we have done.

Cheap things to do at the beach:

  • Body Surfing, is my one of the favorite things to do at the beach.  As you can imagine, it’s just riding a wave without a surfboard by using your body in place of the surfboard…  I had a lot of fun doing this, but even better is that fact that I was able to teach both my son and daughter how to do it today!  My son was tough because he has been stung multiple years at the beach by jellyfish, so naturally he had a strong fear of the ocean.  But once he did it once, he was hooked!  My daughter was the most fun to watch though!  She rode a wave all the way onto the beach!  I wish I had filmed it…
  • Walking the beach.  Is there anything cooler than walking the beach with the cool sea breeze blowing as you and your significant other (or solely) walk miles away from your hotel?
  • Building sand creations.  They aren’t just sand castles anymore!  When we went to the beach earlier today, there was an alligator sand creature that formed a loop, effectively forming a sand castle too!  Okay, my kids still build sand castles, but there are alternatives!
  • Searching for shark teeth: One of my friend’s parents always came back with a small bucket full of shark’s teeth.  I never figured out their trick in finding them, but it always amazed me!  Perhaps you know the magic trick, if not, read what this site has to say about it.
  • Renting a bike for the week: The cost usually runs in the $20 dollar range, or even better you could bring your bikes with you.  Since the beach is flat, you can ride for hours and hours without really getting tired.  On Hilton Head, there are over 100 miles of bike trails and paths, so it’s a very bike friendly Island.  If you are an avid biker like the blogger at Little House In The Valley, you would love it!
  • Sun Bathing: Okay, it’s 2010 and we all know that sun bathing isn’t such a great idea anymore.  But why not sit on the beach with an umbrella (really called a parasol) and read a great novel or some other fun activity and people watch!  Or maybe lay out of 15 minutes then go for a walk with plenty of sun lotion on with plenty of SPF protection!  Make sure you get a safe sunscreen lotion (I heard not all sunscreens are that good for your skin!)
  • Flying A Kite:  We buy a cheap kite every year.  After getting the kite up in the air, my son always buries the kite handle in the sand and just lets the kite fly high above…  It always amazes me that the kite doesn’t rip the kite handle out of the sand.  It’s a quick fun thing to do.
  • Sand crabbing: We use plastic shovels and buckets to dig Sand Crabs (also called Sand Mole Crabs) out of the ocean’s edge when the tide is going out.  My kids are still a bit afraid of them, but still get excited when the sand crabs are uncovered.

There are many other fun things to do at the beach, but I need to go to bed so that I can go on a dolphin sightseeing tour tomorrow.

Do you have a favorite free fun thing that I may have missed?  If so, please do tell!


15 Responses to Free Things To Do At The Beach, Or Close To Free

  1. I love the beach. I wish it wasn’t so expensive to vacation there, but I there is nothing better than ocean waves and all the ocean has to offer. (As long as the sharks and jellyfish stay away.)

    Regarding shark teeth, I thought they were at all beaches on the ocean when I was younger. However, when I went to Florida I learned that only certain beaches are known for them. I know there is a certain contraption you can use to try to sift through the sand to find them.

  2. I loved sand crabbing and flying kites! We also fed the seagulls and built little sand mazes for the hermit crabs and faster crabs we found. Note to your kids, don’t try keeping the crabs as pets – they die and stink every time…

  3. I haven’t body surfed in quite a few years, but I do remember loving it. Digging for sand scrabs and collecting shells is also great. I like how you included flying a kite, a great activity for kids and adults.

    Thanks for including my link; biking is my favorite!

  4. @Everyday Tips
    We’ve learned that if you ask for a discount on a house rental, sometimes they will cave in on the price. Especially if you go with the same house you went with in a prior year.

    I think you are right about florida. I know that there are shark teeth down here though, this is where my friend’s parents get them.

  5. @Budgeting in the Fun Stuff
    Some great additional ideas you have there!

    I especially like the idea of a crab maze!!!

    In the past, I’ve learned the hard way that sand crabs don’t live long in a bucket of water and sand 🙁

  6. @Little House
    I loved body surfing as a kid… I would do it for hours! But now I’m too heavy to go far, so I just enjoy watching the kids do it…

    You would love the biking trails!!! Heck I love them and I don’t bike much…

  7. We love the beach and have beautiful ones here at home. (Just that the water temp rarely gets out of the 60s).

    You listed my favorite activity which is laying under a big umbrella reading a book and digging my toes in the sand. Heaven!

  8. @Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer
    Yep, it’s a good time! This trip rained more than it typically does for us… But we still had a good time.

    60 degrees sounds a bit cold for me (brrr), but at least the beach sounds great! While I like to swim in the ocean, it’s not a biggy like it use to be when I was a kid…

  9. @Financial Samurai
    Both great activities!!!

    I can’t babe watch as much anymore without getting hit by my wife, my arm has been bruised enough over the years.

    As for mini football and diving into the water, my son loves doing that! His uncle would throw it, and he would catch it for what seemed like hours (maybe 30 minutes per instance) throughout the day.

  10. Your comment was posted as spam on my blog… not quite sure why?

    And the beach is one of my favorite places! I live in New England, so the water is COLD, but even just laying in the sand and watching the waves come in is a completely relaxing experience, and is something I love to do when I go to the beach.

  11. @Matt Davis
    Yeah, a couple of other bloggers emailed me about that! I think some site that I posted a comment on must have thought my comment was spam, and flagged me as such. Either that, or I was too cheerful in one of my post and akismet flagged me that way…

    At least in New England you don’t have Palmetto Bugs, so that’s one positive! I live by the Great Lakes, but it’s not quite the same (but close)…