Are you heading to a tropical getaway soon? Have you been waiting to escape to the Caribbean Islands for some serious family beach fun? Your kids know the dates all too well regarding your annual family holiday. In fact, they’ve already planned their fun activities to do at the beach. And they’re reminding you daily.
Alright, so you’ve over-packed, navigated the inescapable struggles of travel—getting to and from the airport, dealt with baggage claim, checked into your spacious townhome — and now your family’s ready to hit up the local beach.
But, if you think that spending time at the beach is limited to just swimming, there’s a lot more that you’re missing out baby!
Summer times are great; they afford us the perfect excuse to go have some fun on the beach. Now, at the sound of ‘beach’, I know what crossed your mind; swimming and playing with the water.
Has your beach time been a little boring and you need some fun ideas to get the excitement buggy started once again? If I’m right, then buckle up.
The Bahamas is known for its stellar beaches. With over 2,000 breathtaking islands and cays, and the clearest water on Earth, it’s no wonder visitors come from all around to sink their toes into miles of pure white, and in some places pink, sand.
Many of our beaches have been voted “best in the world” by numerous publications, and it’s not uncommon to find a celebrity or two strolling along our shores. In short, the beaches you’ll find here are the very definition of paradise.
This article will give you even better ideas to help you have a lot more beach fun. Read on to learn about 10 fun activities to do at the beach besides just swimming, that involve everything from just chilling to building sandcastles and horseback riding:
1). Hiking Nature Tour
Explore the road less traveled. Believe it or not, the Caribbean Islands aren’t all about fishing, sunbathing, and snorkeling! These tropical gems, particularly the Bahama Islands are home to hundreds of miles of prime walking and hiking trails, in addition to unspoiled beaches perfect for strolling.
In fact, you can practically walk your way through the islands, discovering the fascinating plants and exotic animals that make the Bahamas an explorer’s dream.
Most beaches have nearby trails where you can take a walk away from the water and enjoy the perfect view of nature. Besides being a great exercise, the water can easily cool you down when slightly exhausted.
If there is a best-kept secret in the Bahamas for folks who love to do their exploring on foot, it probably lies along a winding nature trail, within the tangle of a mangrove swamp, or somewhere on a secluded beach. Some people who come to the islands never stray from the lush resorts and fabulous nightlife—but they have no idea what they’re missing!
The natural attractions of the Out Islands are their finest assets, and you can discover them all…one step at a time on a hiking nature tour.
2). Play at the Beach Club
Only five minutes away from the hub of activity at Port Lucaya Marketplace, Junkanoo Beach Club is located on a beautiful beach with ample parking right at the door. You can experience first-rate snorkeling at a nearby reef, then enjoy some delicious native seafood and a tropical drink at the restaurant and bar.
There are fresh conch salad stations inside and out, where you can see the dish created right before your eyes, and entertainment is provided on weekends. Steps away is a collection of shopping stalls offering local straw creations, collectibles and other souvenirs, in addition to costume jewelry, bags, hats, T-shirts, bathing suits and sundresses.
Free admission and free pickup and return service is available from your accommodations.
How about playing some board games, building sandcastles, tossing beach balls, flying kites, catching a Frisbee, kayaking or just people watching? All these and more is what you can do at the club while at the beach.
3). Organize Your Mini Picnic
A day at the beach can be the perfect retreat; all it needs is the right beach, the right company, the right weather and the right picnic. Of course, there may be many food vendors along popular beaches, but whoever mentioned you cannot pack yourself a great picnic with some delicious sandwiches and fresh fruits? No one! So get your groove on and indulge yourself, friends and family in your own special way.
Lunch, Sand, Sun & Surf…Awesome!
Here are a few tips about planning the perfect picnic for a day at the beach.
- Take lots of finger foods to eliminate carrying tons of plates and cutlery around with you.
- Take plenty of things like apples, berries, grapes, raw veggies with dips, cheese and crackers, sandwiches, wraps, tortilla chips, salsa and hard boiled eggs.
- Avoid taking sandwiches with mayonnaise filling which can soon go a bit off in the sunshine.
- Take a tent or some sort of umbrella for shade – you’ll be thankful of a little shade after just ten minutes baking in the hot sun.
- Take plenty of wipes – moist baby wipes as they can help to clean your hands before you start eating to avoid sand in your sandwiches and help to clean you up after you’ve finished your picnic.
- Portable desserts – cookies and / or brownies are a great option. If you take something which has frosting this could soon melt in the scorching sunshine.
- Don’t forget your drinks – water and plenty of it to keep you well hydrated on your beach day
- If you freeze a few bottles of water before your trip it will stay cool and refreshing for much longer when it is under the glare of the sun.
- A nice blanket or table cloth to prevent everything from getting covered in sand. Table cloths actually make a much lighter, more washable option than a heavy blanket.
- Put your drinks and perishables in a cooler – it will help to keep them cool much longer and free from sand.
- Sun protection – Take plenty of sun cream using your first dose a good half hour before you hit the beach. Also remember a beach hat, sunglasses and flip flops, particularly if you are heading for a stony beach.
- Line the trunk of your vehicle with a towel or plastic sheet to prevent it from getting full of sand when you are packing up after the day at the beach.
4). Horseback Riding
That doesn’t sound like something you can do on the beach, right? I know. But don’t forget…you’re vacationing in paradise. It’s okay to feed your eyes away from the sun for a while before you get back to the water. With that said, let’s visit Pine Tree Stables, the only stable on Grand Bahama island.
It is located midway between the International Bazaar and Port Lucaya Marketplace (10-15 minutes by taxi from all the major hotels). Their friendly guides and reliable trail horses provide a two-hour trail ride that is the “ultimate ecotour” of Grand Bahama Island.
It takes you through several of the island’s ecosystems: along tree-lined trails through endangered Pine Forest, past orange groves on the “castle” grounds the “wetlands” of the deciduous Rocky Coppice and wetland, along the beach and into the ocean.
Do bear in mind that you will get wet! The return trip will take you through the streets of a local community. It’s a great idea to bring your camera, as there are plenty of photo opportunities.
Please note: * No experience necessary * Walk or jog only * Minimum rider age 8 years * No doubling-up * Rider weight limit 200 lbs * Long trousers and trainers recommended * Reservations required $75 per person. * Trail rides go every day (except Monday) at 9 am and 11.30 am.
5). Biking Shore Excursion
Oh yea… cycling nature tour – this one is a family favorite. If you are the adventurous type, then welcome to CocoNutz Cruisers, a motorized bicycling tour company located in Freeport, Grand Bahama. Surely, this is definitely something to try!
Join CocoNutz Cruisers for our unforgettable BANANA BAY TOUR (3.5 Hours minimum) and experience an exciting motorized bicycle view of Grand Bahama’s secluded beaches and other highlights all while being informed of our Bahamian history and culture.
The tours traditionally depart at 10 am from the Port Lucaya Market Place area to the picturesque seaside Banana Bay restaurant.
Along the way encounter a bit of our Bahamian culture with a live conch demonstration, take a peek at the dolphins and view some of the island’s affluent coastal homes, before retiring to the beach for swimming, lunch and relaxation. You’ll also take photos of the entire tour which will be emailed to you.
At CocoNutz Cruisers, its all about YOU! The option for smaller groups allows for more intimate interactions and personal attention. Come take an exciting and informative ride off the beaten path with CocoNutz Cruisers.
6). Swim with the Dolphins
Freeport, Bahamas is home to one of the globe’s premiere dolphin facilities, located on Sanctuary Bay as part of the Underwater Explorer Society’s scuba diving and dolphin programs.
It’s true that travelers from all over the world come to Freeport to take advantage of the beautiful beaches, luxurious all-inclusive resorts, and excellent shopping.
Yet, Islanders encourage all guests to take a few hours to visit the UNEXSO Dolphin Center in Freeport, Grand Bahama to experience a truly unforgettable program with their dolphins. The dolphin facility spans over nine acres and is located a short ferry ride from Port Lucaya.
The dolphins live like they would in their natural environment, complete with plenty of space to swim, roam and play. The dolphin programs offered at the Freeport Dolphin center range from a shallow water encounter to an open ocean swim out in the sea!
7). Kayak & Nature Tour
Kayaking is a great water sport. Get out on the water and really have yourself an adventure instead of just being lazy. Be sure to follow your guide, though, so you don’t get yourself into any trouble. Other related activities would be water-skiing, kite-surfing, Jet Ski racing, etc.
Enjoy a full guided 90-minute tour with moderate paddling in a safe Eco-environment and no dangerous creatures. Tour operators use wide, stable, two-man kayaks, easy in and out with a third seat available for infants.
The tour is suitable for all ages and beginners are also welcomed. There is ample time for swimming and beach combing. Afterward, relax and have lunch on a private, shady beach. A guided nature walk and visit to caves is also available.
8). Beach Volleyball
With flawless weather nearly year-round, outdoor activities are very popular while visiting the Bahamas. After golfing on world class golf courses, playing tennis, and horseback riding and your preference is more towards beach sports, then consider getting the family together for beach volleyball.
9). Just Chilling & Reading A Good Book
Why are you on the beach? To relax, right? Now, what better way to relax than to have some interesting pages of a best selling book or magazines to flip through? Relax yourself under a shady umbrella and go through that book/magazine, while enjoying the warm tropical beach breeze.
10). Swimming with The Famous Pigs of The Bahamas
The Bahamas is the ‘Official Home of the Swimming Pigs’. Visitors to the islands are happily embracing the unique and special experience of swimming with the pigs on the uninhabited island of Big Major Cay, (The Exumas) which is home to these special creatures and affectionately called “Pig Beach”.
The swimming pigs join the vast selection of aquatic activities already popular with visitors to The Bahamas, from snorkeling with tropical fish and sea turtles to shark and eel sightings to scuba diving.
The family of pigs, dubbed ‘adorable’ by tourists, locals and media alike, have become incredibly popular. They live freely on the sandy beaches, and after basking in the sun for hours, they swim in the surf. The pigs, though feral, are exceptionally friendly, running from under the shade of the almond trees to greet visitors that bring them treats.
They are also fed by the crews of passing yachts and vessels. The swimming pigs are truly a sight to behold and have become so popular that they have inspired a children’s book, “The Secret of Pig’s Island,” by Jennifer R. Nolan, and a song by children’s author Sandra Boynton.
It is unknown how the pigs originally came to live on Big Major Cay, as they aren’t native and the island itself is uninhabited.Popular lore suggests that the pigs were dropped off by a group of sailors who wanted to come back and cook them, or that there was a nearby shipwreck and the pigs swam to safety.
However it was that they came to be, there are now approximately 20 pigs and piglets surviving easily on Big Major Cay, partly because the island is blessed with three freshwater springs, and partly due to the generosity of visiting Bahamians and tourists.
We’ve already introduced thousands of visitors to ‘Pig Beach’, and we look forward to welcoming thousands more in the years to come. These animals are now as much a Bahamian experience as any other that visitors may discover while visiting The Bahamas.”
Wrapping Up: 10 Fun Activities To Do At The Beach
There’s a lot to do on a Caribbean Vacation in The Out Islands of The Bahamas. All of the activities highlighted above revolve around the beach. Either you just chill and relax at the beach, swim in the warm, clear, blue-turquoise water or you explore the beautiful marine life by snorkeling or diving.
You can take a guided boat tour or rent a boat and sail around the many islands by yourself. Fishing is another very popular way to spend the time on the ocean.
Enjoy your trip to the beach and please send us a postcard to tell us about your family’s creative beach activities. Better yet, save a stamp and leave us a comment below.
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Questions: Are you a beach lover with interesting activities up your sleeves? Do you have any fun and active games for kids to play on the beach to add to our list? Let us know in the comments section below.