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Six Water-Based Activities For Your Next Seaside Vacation

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So, you've decided on spending spring break or summer vacation at the beach. Whether you're staying at a luxury beach resort such as Sands Resorts or summer cottage, there's no reason to limit yourself to lying around in the sun or pampering yourself at the spa. If you love the water, there are several ways to get involved in water activities, for sport or leisure. Everything from kayak tours to whale watching and dolphin excursions can be scheduled into your agenda, if you're up for the adventure.

Plan Ahead and Do It Right

You may have booked your accommodations in advance, but don't stop there. You'll want to plan activities that will make your vacation time at the beach most enjoyable and memorable. Here are six fun and exciting water-based activities for singles, couples and families to enjoy:

1. Swim With the Dolphins

Visit a dolphin research center, where you can get up close and personal with these fascinating mammals of the sea. You and your family may swim in shallow water, while touching and interacting with the dolphins. Enjoy a dorsal fin ride and have a family portrait taken to capture and cherish the memories.

Some programs include half-hour sessions for kids with experienced trainers. Most programs will include an educational session that is highly informative and enlightening for all ages. You might discover another fun option that features "dolphin painting" on canvas. This interactive program involves holding the canvas up to a trained dolphin and allowing the animal to "paint" with colors of your choice. Often referred to as a "Dolphin Designs" program, advanced reservations are recommended.

2. Catch a Wave (and a Surfing Lesson or Two)

If you've ever wanted to ride the waves like a pro, why not make it happen during your next beach vacation? Surfing instruction may include one-on-one private hourly lessons or an exciting stay at a full-fledged surfing camp. Tutoring is individualized for personal preference, age and skill levels. This option is available for adults as well as children.

3. Book a Jet Skiing Tour

Ride a jet ski down the shoreline and thrill to the open water adventure. Your rental may include your jet ski and private tour instructor. If you're a newbie, choose a jet ski with a brake for easy stops. Some jet skis are meant to accommodate two or three people, making it ideal for couples. There typically will be total weight restrictions, so you should inquire about that beforehand.

4. Schedule a Kayak Day Tour

Whether you're a an experienced paddler or a novice, a kayak tour will enable you to explore the water environment like never before. Everything will be provided, from paddles and life-jacket, to experienced instructor. Options often include single, double or triple kayak. As you paddle along, it's a great way to sight-see, as you view nesting birds along the riverbanks, and manatees and dolphins in their natural habitats.

5. Take the Kids to a Water Park

Every family vacation should include thrilling water park fun for the kids. Most seaside resorts will feature water parks for all ages. Many have fantasy themes for the little ones, including pirate and treasure island layouts. Surf simulators may be available as well.

What should you look for in a kid-friendly water park? Water slides, water canons and waterfall pools are exciting attractions. Toddler pools are other options.

6. Enjoy a Dinner Cruise

Imagine dinner and dancing with your partner, as you sail aboard a cruise ship at sunset. Enjoy a full-bar and seafood menu, while cruising the open waters of the Atlantic or Pacific. It's a romantic way to cap off your vacation, or meet new people along the way.

Final Considerations for Your Trip

As another option for your beach vacation, you might want to choose an all-inclusive package. Designed to meet your preference and needs, this would include accommodations and lodging, as well as a specific tour package or water sport. Remember to plan in advance and book early.