11863399_10102981987544878_4502392832089887490_nAs summer winds down, you have a few final fleeting weeks to get to the beach. I grew up near Lake Erie, where going to the beach for the afternoon wasn’t really a popular thing. But after experiencing many beaches on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, I became a little more interested in this whole idea of going to the beach. It turns out, there is more to the beach than just lying in the sand all day. Beaches have a long history related to tourism, sport, the economy, the environment, humans interaction with nature.

Boardwalks puzzle me, but as I discovered at Ocean City this summer, plenty of people love them, and there are plenty of them around. If you’re on a mission to visit all the best American boardwalks, start with America’s Boardwalks: From Coney Island to Californiato start making your list.  Boardwalks are full of people, arcade games, dropped french fries (and seagulls swooping after them), and my personal favorite, frozen custard – all of which contribute to the bustling boardwalk atmosphere.

For a little exploration beyond Maryland, try the ebooks on The World’s Beaches, Australian Beach Culturesor closer to home, Beaches of the Delaware Estuary.

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