I love to swim. Not really so much in pools, although on a hot day, I will definitely jump in. I really prefer a decently warm natural body of water. Sandy beaches help, but I’m not against a rock pool or jump off a boat in the middle of a lake. This Summer was all about jumping in different bodies of water, so it was very difficult to narrow it down to three. Tell me in the comments where your favorite three are so I can go check them out!
3. Matareva Beach in Samoa
Samoa was beautiful, but I chose to stay and sit on the beach most days, and any time I wasn’t driving around the beautiful island and seeing all of its hidden gems, I was usually in the ocean, floating with the waves, watching the sun set in a beautiful show of colors.
Above me the clouds lit up the sky in every color you could imagine, below me the water reflecting the clouds and making them dance in shimmering streaks across the horizon, meeting with stillness.
It was hard to not feel a sense of calmness looking out at the ocean at night, and waking to the sound of waves crashing on the horizon was a better alarm clock than the heat of the sun. By the end of sunrise, you’re already forced into your swimsuit, knowing that after breakfast, you’ll probably go sit in the little still tide pool around the corner while it lasts.
2. The Endless Beaches of the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area
BWCWA is one giant playground for those who like jumping into bodies of water. Although the water temperature doesn’t get super warm, the sun and the energy you exert getting to your swimming spot will warm you up enough that you will want to jump in either way.
The sunsets in the Upper North Woods of Minnesota are top notch, and if you have the energy to stay up, the Milky Way is bound to make an appearance. Let your eyes adjust to the darkness by turning off all lights and letting your fire burn low. You may even get the chance to see some shooting stars, and if you’re lucky, the Northern Lights.
After a long week of canoeing your way through the Boundary Waters, the best way to enjoy the water is to throw on your life jacket and simply float. Let your body relax in the water, you’ll deserve the relaxation.
1. Western Michigan, Lake Michigan
I thought long and hard about which beach would deserve to be on this list, and honestly I will probably expand this list over time to include some other killer places in Fiji, New Zealand and Australia. I couldn’t stop thinking about the beaches where I grew up. The sandy places that reminded me there was still a little slice of paradise in the Midwest.
I remember going down to the beach almost every night to watch the sunset. Always seeing at least a few a colors and some pretty lights on the pier, or we would watch the boats coming in through the channel and, if the waves were big, try not to get splashed by the waves hitting the docks. I remember spending hot summer days running up the dunes, trying not to burn our feet on the hot sand, and then running down them as fast as we could, trying not to fall as we ran all the way to the water to finally cool down again.
As an adult, I have been back many times, and even in Winter, the lake is frozen into the most beautiful ice and sand sculpture nature can create. The dunes seem smaller, but the sand is still as soft as I recall, and I don’t think Lake Michigan will ever change.
To see more awesome photos of Michigan, check out a locals photography by clicking below: