Florida is, of course, all about the beaches. There really is nothing more wonderful than part of the day spent in the salt air along the water with waves washing over your feet.
The majority of the nation’s people live far away from the shore. For them, a trip to the beach can be a somewhat daunting and expensive undertaking. For Floridians, though, a trip to the beach is a common afternoon event.
In fact, many Floridians have actually reached that place in their lives where they have begun taking the beach for granted. Occasionally, a native will actually utter the phrase, “It might be time for a beach day; it’s been over a year since the last one.” And with that, it’s time to pile in the car and go.
Now, if you are not a Floridian and you plan to visit Florida to go to the beach, there are certain things to keep in mind.
First, God did not create all beaches equally. Some are definitely better than others. Here is a list of what you might consider during the search for your perfect beach.
At the top of the list you need to consider people. There is nothing worse than a crowded beach. Unless you are a very social people-person, in which case, you may well require as many people on the beach as possible.
The next consideration you should give thought to is the question of whether you are a morning person or prefer idyllic evenings. If you like to see the sunrise, plan your stay in Florida on the east coast. That is the side of the state over which the sun rises. You can enjoy some very spectacular views during sunrise, as long as you are able to get out of the rack in time in the morning. This is sometimes a little hard to do, if you are visiting the Miami area and partying late into the evening.
On the other side, the west side or the Gulf of Mexico side, life is a little slower. You can sit on the beach at sunset and enjoy a very calm and beautiful sunset. It is difficult to say which holds more beauty, the sunrise over the Atlantic or the sunset over the Gulf.
This is something else you need to know about the beach. On the Atlantic side, as with the wild party life in Miami, let’s just say the waters of the ocean are more active. In other words, the sea state in the Atlantic is much higher than the Gulf. Along the eastern beaches, you will routinely see waves running three to five feet. On the Gulf side, however, the waters are more like a lake most of the time. The waters along the west coast run three to five inches and occasionally one to two feet.
One more thing to put into the back of your mind as you enjoy Florida beaches is this: on the east coast, rip currents are a little more common. Rip tides are dangerous, but you can deal with them as long as you keep your head. If caught in one, do not try to swim back to the shore; it will just exhaust you until you lose it and the current will not allow you to reach the beach. The rip current is a strong outflow of water draining directly away from the shore. These currents sometimes carry hapless tourists out to sea as far as three miles in a very short time. If you find yourself in a rip, swim parallel to the coastline until you escape the outgoing tide – then you can swim in with little problem.
To safely enjoy the Florida beaches, there are a couple of things you have to do: keep your head if caught in a rip, and bring sun block. Have fun…