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What Draws People to Beaches?

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I’m currently on my family vacation in San Diego (and Carlsbad), and we have gone to 2 beaches over the last 2 days : Pacific State Beach and the Carlsbad State Beach. During this time I have had the opportunity to observe a large number other beach-goers and asked myself the question “what is it that draws people to beaches in droves?”

People love the beach. Bottom line. Some would literally live at the beach if they could. Being the curious sort of fellow I am, I just ask the question. Being a Realtor, it’s like asking the question “Why are beach-front homes so much more expensive than regular homes?”

The answer to this question lies in the attitudes and beliefs people hold towards being physically close to the water.

Perhaps there are restorative properties in beaches. Being close to the water may bring people back to a subconscious state of what it was like in their mother’s womb surrounded by water. There is comfort and wholeness in being close to or in the water, that cannot be duplicated in any other fashion.

Beaches calm us down and help us relax. In my experience the main reason people do things is because of the way it makes them feel. Think about it – we avoid pain and gravitate towards pleasure. This could be a blog post all by itself. People want more of things that bring them pleasure. Being at the beach relaxing and just being is a state people like to experience. Think about it – have you ever seen a stressed-out person hanging out at the beach?

Carlsbad State Beach, CA

Beaches give us perspective.  Going to a beach helps people see that they are part of a bigger picture and there is so much out there in the world. Vast , expansive oceans and lakes permit us see infinite and limitless possibility. At home most of us are surrounded by houses, buildings,  trees,  hills, mountains, and so on. There is always something to break up the horizon. I’m not stating this as a judgment, just as a fact. You can only see so far until the horizon is broken up by one of these things. Not so with beaches and oceans. They expand so far than it appears that you could literally see forever.

Beaches can be both powerful and frightening. Watching ocean waves immediately makes you realize how frail we human beings are in nature. An ocean can literally wipe out entire geographic areas, and topple massive ships. I believe there is some kind of deference people have towards large bodies of water, that they understand the  potential ramifications of beaches and oceans, and as a result find a deep respect for them.

Beaches are life. Specifically the body of water the beach extends to. The ocean’s ecosystem has so many different kinds of life, and I believe that at a subconscious level that essence of life seeps deeply into us.  Beaches are also life in that waves ebb and flow towards them, and regardless of what is happening around the beach, they will do so until the end of time. Life doesn’t stop until we do, much like the waves of the ocean.

Beaches have  a spiritual element to them. Being at a beach, sitting in front of such an awesome (and I don’t use that word lightly) creation helps people feel connected to God, or whatever higher entity they ascribe to. There’s something to be said for being alone, or with someone close to you, on a beach, and just feeling that connection, that draw, towards something bigger than yourself. A deeper level of satisfaction is achieved, and a sweeping sense of awe overwhelms your soul.

What do YOU think draws people to beaches? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.