When many people think of summer, they think of beaches. More specifically, they think of beaches along the coast with endless blue ocean and golden sand. But the idyllic scenery of ocean beaches often ignores the fact that they can be crowded and dirty, not to mention expensive depending on where you live.
Luckily, an ocean beach isn’t your only option if you want to be near water this summer. Lake beaches are often overlooked but can be just as amazing.
1. Less Crowded
This depends on the beach, but often, lake beaches don’t draw the same crowds that ocean beaches do, especially if there are many lakes in your area.
There are less likely to be boardwalks and other tourist traps, though of course there are exceptions. This also means that lake beaches are often less expensive than ocean beaches.
2. More Shade
Many lake beaches are surrounded by trees that help keep lake beaches much cooler than their ocean counterparts. Vegetation doesn’t reflect nearly as much heat as sand. This can make lake beaches a bit safer because there’s less risk of heatstroke. Though be mindful that even if lake beaches can be cooler, think about how strong the sun is.
3. Amazing Views
An endless expanse of ocean might be impressive, but it gets boring after a while. Studies show that looking at green vegetation has many health benefits. It lowers heart rate and blood pressure and makes it easier to focus.
Humans naturally feel more at home when they’re surrounded by greens. Also, the presence of mountains and trees signals our brains of plenty of shelter, helping us to feel even more at ease.
4. Less Extreme Weather
The ocean can quickly turn deadly, with tides, storms, and tsunamis. While lakes have their fair share of danger, they aren’t big enough to generate such massive storms.
Some lakes (like the Great Lakes) can chill the air and can cause early snow or fog, but they don’t create hurricanes. And while lakes do have tides, they aren’t nearly as extreme as ocean tides. However, it’s still important to avoid lakes if there’s thunderstorms in the area as they can conduct electricity like all bodies of water.
5. Local History
Many lakes have stories. By going to a lake beach, you might be able to learn and be a part of it.
Some lake beaches use their profits to help preserve the local environment. Others boast historical significance or local legends. For instance, Lake Champlain in Vermont is famous for allegedly having its own answer to the Loch Ness Monster, Champ.
6. Swimming, Fishing, and Boating
Fishing and boating on the ocean can be very difficult, but on a lake, things are more relaxing.
You can row or kayak in the calmer waters. It might also be easier to find fish because of the calmer and shallower water. There are (usually) no sharks to worry about. And in smaller lakes, there’s no risk of rip currents because the waves don’t break along the shoreline.
It’s important to exercise caution whenever you swim, especially in a large body of water. Lakes still have wildlife and other dangers, but so does the ocean.
Overall, lake beaches are calmer, more peaceful destinations than oceans. They are far from a second-best option.