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.
Olympic National Park (Washington)
Olympic National Park protects one of the lower 48's longest and most primitive stretches of ocean shoreline, 65 miles of velvety sands, boulder-strewn beaches, and driftwood logs that meet the roots of coastal rain forest. The least crowded section is the 17.3-mile South Coast: Though there are barefoot-friendly parts, bring sturdy shoes to help you rock-hop over starfish-filled tidal pools and climb ladders to the overland passes. Don't forget a hard container to keep raccoons from stealing your food as you camp at the edge of the Pacific. And remember binoculars for the migrating whales, otters, and bald eagles, and the jagged seastacks that break the surf. [$5 for a backcountry permit, camping from $10 a night; nps.gov/olym]
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