The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Five fun activities for summer beach getaways

Many people across the country choose to spend their vacation relaxing on the beach. Whether someone is an annual beachgoer, or traveling to the coast for the first time, the beach has many fun activities for them to look forward to.
Shaely Odean
Attendees play pickleball during the 7th annual Downtown Iowa City Block Party on Saturday, June 22, 2024.

It’s summertime, which means that plenty of people across the country are packing up their things and heading to the beach!

Beach vacations are incredibly popular these days, as many people look forward to relaxing in the sun or cooling off in the waves. Whether someone is an annual beachgoer or is traveling to the coast for the first time, there are tons of fun activities in which they can take part.

Building sandcastles

Almost anything can be built with a sharp mind, clear focus, and lots of sand. Ever since beach vacations came into existence, children and adults alike have used their imaginations to craft a whole new world from the sand between their toes.

There are even those who take it a step further and create games in the sand by building structures, digging holes, or drawing lines. All that is needed is a little ocean water to pack the sand together and keep it firm.

Tired of waiting until winter to build a snowman? Try building one in the sand instead!


In addition to simply playing in the water, many beaches also allow guests to buy or rent surfboards, paddle boards, and other sorts of water sporting equipment.

While the idea of surfing may seem scary at first, the thrill of riding a wave into shore is well worth the practice and patience it takes to stand up on a surfboard. Plus, those who gravitate towards the sport may find themselves eager to try out new tricks as they become more balanced and comfortable in the water.

However, even those who aren’t exactly pro-surfers can still enjoy coasting into shore and feeling the push and pull of waves below them.

Seafood buffets

Get ready for some crab legs and fried shrimp because attending a seafood buffet is one beach activity that can’t be missed.

While there are seafood buffets all across the country, nothing compares to the feeling of eating at one while being only a few short miles from the beach. Come hungry and leave full after filling several plates with mouthwatering, all-you-can-eat seafood.

And make sure to leave some room for dessert, as many buffets also offer a selection of cake and ice cream options once the main course is at its end.


While it is certainly fun to relax on the sand all day, going out to different stores and pop-up shops located in beach towns can also be rewarding. Stores at the beach offer a wide variety of different sundresses, hats, and other merch that could be useful when enjoying a hot summer day.

There are also local restaurants and drink shops, where guests can stop to sample some of the best-tasting treats the beach has to offer. Pina colada, anyone?

Tennis and pickleball

When staying at a beach resort, it is often not difficult to find a tennis court somewhere close by. Also, in recent years, the sport of pickleball has erupted in popularity, causing many recreational facilities to either build new pickleball courts or draw pickleball lines onto existing tennis courts.

Regardless of which sport one chooses, partaking in either can double as both a fun workout and a family-friendly game.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Riley Dunn
Riley Dunn, Arts Reporter
Riley Dunn is a first-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in English and Creative Writing and Journalism and Mass Communications. Prior to her time at the DI, Riley interned for Swimming World Magazine.
Shaely Odean
Shaely Odean, Photojournalist
Shaely Odean is a transfer student at the University of Iowa, currently in her third year. She is pursuing double majors in Journalism and Strategic Communications, as well as Sustainability Sciences. Shaely works as a photojournalist for The Daily Iowan, and her passion lies in environmental issues. Before joining the University of Iowa, she attended Kirkwood Community College, where she served as the photo editor for the Kirkwood Communique.