If you need an excuse to lie on the beach later, try a long hike along the nearby coastline to get you sweating even before you collapse under the sun. After all, it's hard not to be motivated by a vista of natural liquid wonder by your side the entire time (and the prospect of submerging yourself in it). From shifting sand dunes down in Georgia to the kale-green forests along New Zealand's Tasman Sea, the views and terrains of these six epic coastal hikes will keep you busy for hours.
Cumberland Island (Georgia)
Backpacking beachcombers never see the same Cumberland Island twice: Shifting sand dunes turn the 17.5-mile-long national seashore into a constantly changing wilderness, where wild horses roam the sea grass, armadillos poke through the palmettos, and turtles nest throughout the summer. Backcountry campsites dot the northbound hike, with Stafford Beach (3.5 miles from the ferry dock) a short walk from the ocean and Brickhill Bluff (10.6 miles) about an hour's walk from the Atlantic. Reserve early, and bring a jar of horseradish – there are oyster beds to explore as the sun dissolves into the western marshes. [camping fee $4 a night; nps.gov/cuis]
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