Last updated: 08:00 PM ET, Thu July 14 2016

Hit These 5 Unique US Beaches This Summer

Features & Advice | Cherese Weekes | July 14, 2016

Hit These 5 Unique US Beaches This Summer

PHOTO: The glass beach at Fort Bragg, California. (Photo courtesy of ThinkStock)

Summer isn’t over, so there’s no time like the present for a trip to the beach!

While many beaches tend to be densely populated with sunbathers, surfers and swimmers during the season, these five offer much more than just miles of yellow sand and ocean. 

Instead, one might find a larger population of bowling ball-size rocks than people or see Mother Nature turn sand green. Not only will these beaches amaze with their striking features, travelers won’t even need a passport.

Hawaii: Papakolea Beach               

A roughly two-mile hike along some of Hawaii’s jagged cliffs brings you to Papakolea Beach. 

From the moment visitors arrive, they become well aware of how this seashore adopted the name, Green Sand Beach. 

Because of a volcanic cone located adjacent to the beach, olivine (a semi-precious stone) is deposited onto the sand giving it a striking olive color. However, don’t be too eager to jump into the ocean to rinse the green sand off of your body because Papakolea Beach’s water is known to be pretty rough.

California: Bowling Ball Beach

You won’t be aiming for a strike at this beach, but prepare to be amazed by the bowling ball-shaped rocks dotting this California coast about three hours up the coast from San Francisco.

These sedimentary rocks, also known as concretions, have existed for centuries thanks to erosion and are best seen when the tide is low. 

Sure, nature lovers are less inclined to sunbathe here, but Bowling Ball Beach is one of the few beaches in the world known for attracting amateur geologists.

Florida: Venice Beach

It is better to be hunting for shark teeth than to have a shark hunting you—especially in a place that was once submerged in shark-infested waters. 

Thankfully, these long-gone sharks created a fun activity for visitors of Venice Beach, Florida who prefer a tooth as a souvenir over a fancy seashell (which can be found here too). Whether digging through sand or diving for fossils, these sharp fangs can be found just about everywhere. What else would you expect from a place dubbed the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World?”

California: Glass Beach

The saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” comes to life at Glass Beach, since this unique destination was once a dumping site!

With the help of weather and erosion, it transformed into a sea of colorful smooth glass that now attracts thousands of visitors who are in awe of the glassy gems washed ashore. 

Although these treasures would make cool souvenirs, collecting them is highly prohibited.

Alaska: Petroglyph Beach

When planning a beach vacation, Alaska may not come first on the list, but maybe it should since it boasts a coastline which also doubles as a historic site. 

For thousands of years, rock carvings resembling animals, eyes and other symbols have decorated Petroglyph Beach. The drawings are believed to be left by the Tlingit tribe’s ancestors, but the reason why remains a mystery. Some think they are of religious significance, while others that they were created as signs to mark fishing grounds. 

Whatever the case may be, many would agree that being around all this art could get any enthusiast’s creative juices flowing. Thankfully, a deck is provided for visitors to make their own imitations on replicas of the drawings.

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