For most people, the beach is a haven from the stress of daily life. It’s easy to feel carefree at the beach when your feet are buried in soft, warm sand and your life’s soundtrack becomes the ambient sounds of waves ebbing and flowing. However, the beach is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some beachgoers may want to spend only a few hours on the coastline before moving on to an entirely different environment or activity. Other visitors may want to relax on the sand all day, but can't because of inclement weather such as excessive heat or rain.

Taking a day trip from the beach is a great way to explore the local area and take a break from the hot sun, especially if you are sensitive to the heat or traveling with the elderly. And it's always good to have a backup plan for a fun day in case you get unexpected storms. Here are a few ideas for you to have up your sleeve!

8 Easy Day Trips To Take From The Beach

1. Explore the downtown area

Downtowns tend to contrast the casual, leisurely mood of the beach with a loud, hustle and bustle atmosphere. Consequently, downtown areas offer plenty of fantastic things to do such as investigate a variety of shops, enroll in a dance or DJing course, or complete a pub crawl. Some beaches are only a few blocks away from a downtown. For example, Santa Monica Beach is only a mile away from Downtown and 3rd Street Promenade, the heart of the city.

2. Wander around a museum

On days with unpleasant weather, museums provide a refuge from the extreme heat or cold of the outdoors. Numerous beaches are situated in proximity to world-class museums, aquariums, and lighthouses with a visitor center. For example, Glass Beach at Fort Bragg, California is a 10-minute drive from the International Sea Glass Museum.

3. Go to the theater

The theater is another wonderful place to spend the day indoors. From big-budget movies to thoughtful plays and beautiful dance performances, theaters feature great entertainment for people of all ages. Most cities make an effort to promote performance arts and community events.

4. Hang out at a shopping center

Stroll through walkways, casually window shop, or just sit and engage in people-watching. With free admission and an abundance of stores to visit, shopping centers are great spots to linger on a rainy day. Knock out all of your souvenir shopping, back-to-school shopping, and even come home with a few new outfits!

5. Become immersed at a local festival

Festivals give cities a unique flavor that attracts visitors from near and far. With a multitude of diverse events such as Renaissance Fairs, cultural celebrations, and music festivals, there’s bound to be at least one or two festivals happening at a beach near you.

6. Play at the park

Compared to simple tan-colored sand and blue water, green parks accented with vibrant flowers and multi-colored playground equipment may look much more exciting! At the park, you'll also have the opportunity to hike, picnic (without the mess associated with sand), and lie in the shade under enormous trees. When planning your next trip, check out state parks, too - a nature getaway and a river or lake swim is a fun alternative to the beach.

7. Embark on a ferry or short cruise

Just off the coast of many beaches are islands that are ideal for exploring. You can set off on a small adventure by using a boat service. For example, Boston Harbor Cruises offers ferries that take beachgoers to islands situated close by. There are also dedicated dolphin and whale watching cruises that provide priceless photo ops.

8. Visit an amusement park

Adrenaline junkies may quickly grow tired of spending the day at a mundane, predictable beach. That’s where amusement parks come in with their array of daunting roller coasters and other thrilling rides.

This article was written by Justina Tran.