“She sells sea-shells on the sea-shore.
The shells she sells are sea-shells, I’m sure.
For if she sells sea-shells on the sea-shore, then I’m sure she sells sea-shore shells.”
This silly tongue-twister has been one of my favorite rhymes since childhood, and also serves as the model of one of my dream jobs. I’m still trying to figure out how to make a living as a beach bum… In the meantime, I feel very blessed to call the coast of Southern California my home, and I do my best to take advantage of my proximity to the water as often as I possibly can. We’re incredibly lucky this year to be enjoying a beautiful Indian Summer, but if you’re starting to get tired of your old beach blanket and trashy mag routine, here are some of our favorite beachside activities to keep you enjoying the sea and sand as this heatwave sticks around…
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
Have you been down to the beach lately and noticed people standing up on really big surfboards, paddling around, and wondered what on earth they were doing? Resurrected by famed big-wave riders Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama, Stand Up Paddling (S.U.P. for short) is an emerging global water sport with a Hawaiian heritage, and it’s here to stay. SUPing offers a full-body ‘core’ workout like you wouldn’t believe. And, even better, you’re on the water! Stand up paddling can be done on practically any body of water: a lake, river, stream, fish pond, wave pool…you name it, you can SUP it.
You guessed it! Take the concept of our first suggestion and just add some downward dog and warrior poses! “Sun salutation” will take on a whole new meaning for you while practicing under the open sky as lapping waves below your Stand Up Paddleboard provide relaxing acoustics. Keep your eyes open during bridge pose to get an extremely rare view of the water above and the sky below!
A coastal hike that mixes big ocean views and a chance to explore tide pools makes for a perfect day. Throw in a shipwreck, and it’s officially the coolest day. Ever. Malaga Cove Trail in Palos Verdes Estates is a favorite. As you head out on this trail, veer left toward the bluffs and you’ll be able to rock-hop to find tide pools (best at low tide) scattered along the teal water’s edge. As the bluff curves back inland, you’ll be challenged to scramble over cannonball-size boulders…all completely worth it as soon as you witness the breath-taking view that sweeps from the Santa Monica Mountains out to Santa Monica Bay, with the Channel Islands on the horizon. Make sure to check a tide table before you head out so that you can hit the tide pools at a low tide.
If you start hearing the haunting Jaws theme on repeat the second you hear the word “shark,” just chill, and take a deep breath. Snorkeling with leopard sharks at La Jolla Shores is actually tame, and much closer to a Disneyland Finding Nemo adventure. Leopard sharks do measure six feet long, but their tiny little mouths are only two inches across, which greatly reduces their potential for a horror-flick-worthy-bite. Towards the southern end of La Jolla Shores beach is a fantastic spot to view Leopard Sharks. They like to hang out in the warm, calm shallows to help incubate their young, and even if you just wade in a bit you can get a decent look. Snorkeling is the best way to observe these beauties up close and personal, and several local companies offer snorkel gear rentals as well as guided tours.
Regardless of the new adventure that you choose, it’s a good idea to check the weather report before heading out, and a tide table or the current tide conditions if you’re venturing nearing the water. It’s also key to remember to pack the essentials: SPF, water, healthy snacks, swimsuit, towel, and a camera. Have fun out there and GET SALTY!