There’s nothing quite like the beach. That’s why millions of Americans gather their inflatables, beach towels, bathing suits, sunscreen, goggles and scuba gear each year to visit oceans from coast to coast, contributing
more than $140 billion to the economy each year. What is it about the water and waves that attract so many people to beaches worldwide? Take a look.
This aerial shot features bright, colorful umbrellas dotting a beautiful beach, a contrast to the soft blue hue of the water.
Dinesh Boaz, Spain, 2022
Relaxing on the beach while listening to the calming sounds of the waves is one option. Playtime in the ocean, allowing the waves to overtake you, is another.
Mary Smist, North Carolina, 2009
The ocean can seem endless, but the same can’t be said for this shoreline. Beachgoers meet the challenge of finding spots in the sand to anchor their umbrellas.
Marissa Bognanno, Italy, 2008
A small, naturally camouflaged
crab tosses sand in the air while creating a burrow near the shore.
Hikkaduwa Liyanage Prasantha Vinod, Sri Lanka, 2021
A lone beachgoer appears miniscule against a backdrop of vast turquoise skies, cotton ball clouds and picturesque mountain ranges.
Jose Valderrama, California, 2021
A steady surfer watches as a wave knocks another headfirst off his board.
Phạm Văn Thành, Vietnam, 2011
Facing the horizon, a young boy could be pondering what type of splash he’s going to make upon the world.
Kristine Ghia Malicay, the Philippines, 2019
With these coin-operated binoculars, beachgoers can see miles of ocean—or focus on wonders closer to shore, like a small shipwreck.
Ed Katrusik, New Jersey, 2008
In this panoramic view taken from a beach chair, the shoreline seems to be smiling.
Richard Burke, Mexico, 2017
A family flips out over the beauty of the public beach at Long Bay, Jamaica.
Siri Thompson, Jamaica, 2022
This Volkswagen van is packed to the brim with beach chairs, ready to be sold to beachgoers looking to relax on the sand.
Caroline Gutman, Brazil, 2013
At sunset, a surfer with his board at the ready looks out onto the dimly lit waters of the Pacific.
Eugene Reshetov, California, 2021
A couple shares a colorful, striped beach towel as the two walk along the Riegelmann Boardwalk at Coney Island.
Forrest Walker, New York, 2018
A little girl with incredible resolve refused to let a few waves topple her castle for good. She built and rebuilt her creations as the waters repeatedly destroyed them.
Yuri Budilnikov, Indonesia, 2019
This unattended lifeguard station is one of scores that dot the shorelines from New York to California, where this one overlooks scenic Huntington Beach.
Jason Shannon, California, 2009