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15 Beach Towns You Must Visit This Summer

15 Beach Towns You Must Visit This Summer

Summer is just around the corner and we all know that there is no time like the present to fulfill your sense of wanderlust. There are many places in America and all around the world that will be a great experience for you to enjoy with some friends or family this summer. Whether you are trying to just take a step back and relax for a bit or if you are trying to get out there and meet new people, all you have to do is look and there will be a place that will fit just what you have in mind.

Alameda

    1. Alameda, CA

    Alameda is a little town placed perfectly in between San Francisco and Oakland. Here you will find many things to do from enjoying all kinds of food, to seeing a bit of history. There are lots of opportunities to shop and catch a movie at the Alameda Theater just off Park Street. Before you shop, stop by Ole’s or Jim’s for breakfast. You can check out Crab Cove, the USS Hornet, the Alameda Museum. After you can enjoy some lunch ranging from  amazing seafood at Hang Ten Boiler to German dishes at Speiskammer. After, stop by for some ice cream at Tucker’s or swing by Tapioca Express for some delicious desserts.

    Atlantic City

      2. Atlantic City, NJ

      Atlantic city is like the Vegas of the East Coast. You can enjoy the boardwalk shops and salt water taffy or you can step into a casino and try your luck at the slots. It is also the home of the Miss America Pageant. There is a Ripley’s Museum you can visit if you don’t like the rides on the dock. If you are looking for something more relaxing or calm, there is the Atlantic City Museum as well as several spas in the area.

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      Chincoteague

        3. Chincoteague Island, VA

        This is an interesting beach town. Whether it be the wild ponies that inhabit the beach or the nature tours on bicycle, there is always something to do. The food is great and ranges from pizza to steak. There are boat tours visitors can go on as well to see the neighboring island of Assateague, which is a wild life reserve.

        Gearhart

          4. Gearhart, OR

          With the golfing, its seaside aquarium, and the seals that need to be fed, there is a lot to do in this town. There is also a chance to see gray whales migrating in the winter and spring. Volunteers help visitors spot whales and share fun facts about these unique animals. The Lewis and Clark National Historical Park and Young River Falls aren’t too far either.

          Gulf Shores

            5. Gulf Shores, AL

            Gulf Shores is a nice little beach town with lots of fun activities at places like the Zipline and Arial Adventure Park or the Alabama Golf Coast Zoo. There is also shopping and scuba diving. If you’re looking for a place to relax with just a splash of adventure, you’ve found it here.

            Long Beach

              6. Long Beach, NY

              Long Beach is a more crowded than your average beach town but for good reason. With so many great waves to surf, the John F. Kennedy Memorial, the Holocaust Memorial, and the Long Beach Historical Museum, it’s not hard to overlook the amount of people. Of course, there are many little shops and great food as well.

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              Monterey

                7. Monterrey, CA

                This is a place to sit back and relax with plenty of spas to unwind at, whales to watch, and cool trinkets to buy. The Mission Basilica and the Monterrey Bay Aquarium are must-sees.

                Polson

                  8. Polson, MT

                  Polson is a little town located near Flathead Lake. It is a place to go to when you want to get away from your busy life. Things are a little slower paced than in the city but that doesn’t mean Polson’s not a place to check out. Even though this is not a beach town with an ocean, Flathead Lake is a large body of water that it has it’s own lake monster! Many people go here to jet ski, swim, and fish despite the local myth. If you drive a little bit further, you can check out Kerr Dam and Glacier Brewing Co. Try your luck at the Kwtaknuk casino and pay a visit to the Flathead Ford Museum as well.

                  Rehoboth

                    9. Rehoboth, DE

                    Between Jungle Jim’s FunLand and the boardwalk, there isn’t a dull moment in Rehoboth. If you do want to relax, there are spas and bike tours you can take to enjoy the scenery and weather.

                    Rockport

                      10. Rockport, TX

                      Rockport is a wonderful and beautiful place to visit on vacation. The locals are warm and welcoming and can point you to some fun things to do around the area. There is a large population of whooping cranes that attracts birdwatchers. You can go on boat tours and check out the Texas Maritime Museum.

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                      Rugen

                        11. Rügen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

                        Rugen is a large island just off the coast of the Baltic Sea. It is a little far to travel, but the popular German destination is worth it. You might want to book in advance however, just to avoid situations like not having a room in a different country. Travel websites like Trip4Real offer tours from island locals. You can see many historical spots on the island on a steam train tour and enjoy some authentic German food at one of the bed and breakfast places around the island. And don’t forget to try some German beer at the Globetrotter Bar! This is a perfect little island to soak up the sun.

                        Santa Cruz

                          12. Santa Cruz, CA

                          Santa Cruz has many interesting things to do all year. You can visit the Mystery Spot and defy some gravity and the laws of physics on a walking tour or you can walk through the Redwoods and enjoy a slice of what nature has to offer. There is a boardwalk that you can shop for specialty items and rides for you to try out. If boardwalks aren’t your thing, give Capitola Village or Ano Nuevo State Park a shot.

                          St Petersburg

                            13. St. Petersburg, FL

                            To start off your beach adventure, explore the walking mural before you go on a sea life safari. If you are wanting to spend a day inside, there is the Armed Forces museum located in the area as well.

                            Tybee Island

                              14. Tybee Island, GA

                              Tybee Island has a Lighthouse Museum that will fascinate you with beautiful photographs and fun facts about lighthouses. There is also fishing, jet skiing, and the Gallery by the Sea if museums aren’t your thing.

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                              Wilmington

                                15. Wilmington, NC

                                If you have seen the movie “Safe Haven,” then you probably have seen Wilmington.  What you didn’t see is that you can visit the USS North Carolina or the Arlie Gardens. The boardwalk and shoreline are amazing to see at sunset and is a very romantic place to get away to. For those that aren’t there to enjoy long walks on the beach, there are also ghost and vampire tours to check out. After enjoying a bit of a adrenaline rush, you can take a step back and go to the railroad museum and the cotton exchange to add to your vault of knowledge. In addition, Wilmington boasts a sea turtle camp. Need I say more?

                                Featured photo credit: Jump!- Daniel Oh via flickr.com

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                                Margielyn Musser

                                Event And Volunteer Coordinator / World Traveler

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                                Last Updated on July 8, 2020

                                18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                                18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                                The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

                                1. Understand Yourself Better

                                Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

                                Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

                                2. Keep Track of Small Changes

                                I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

                                Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

                                3. Become Aware of What Matters

                                As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

                                You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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                                4. Boost Creativity

                                The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

                                When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

                                You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

                                5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

                                A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

                                Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

                                6. Process Life Experiences

                                When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

                                Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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                                7. Stress Relief

                                In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

                                Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

                                8. Provide Direction

                                Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

                                One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

                                9. Solve Problems

                                Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

                                Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

                                When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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                                10. Find Relief From Fighting

                                Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

                                Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

                                11. Find Meaning in Life

                                Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

                                12. Allow Yourself to Focus

                                Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

                                13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

                                When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

                                14. Let the Past Go

                                I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

                                15. Allow Freedom

                                Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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                                16. Enhance Your Career

                                Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

                                Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

                                17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

                                All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

                                18. Catalog Your Life for Others

                                No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

                                We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

                                Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

                                Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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