Travel and Leisure — April 16, 2014 at 5:00 am

You Only Live Once Beach Adventures

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If you have only one chance to live it up on a beach adventure, now is your time to break free into the unknown. These adventures are more than just having fun-in-the-sun, these are once in a lifetime opportunities to explore life, live-it-up and step, or dive, deep into adventure. Whether you’ve dreamed of diving with great white sharks, or surfing with the locals, these are the best beach escapades around.

Cage Dive with Great White Sharks
The apex, or beast, of the ocean is the boldest and most daring adventure one could encounter. Head to Fallaron Islands, located west of San Francisco, to stay in state and get eye to eye with the great white between the metal bars. Swim a fin-length away at Isla Guadalupe, one of Mexico’s most popular destinations.

Surf with the Locals
Any beach throughout the states, and the world, offers surf lessons for visitors and locals. To surf like a local, with the locals, head to Huntington Beach in California. Surf schools and camps hit the waves in search to teach the novice new skills and tricks.

Treasure Hunt Under the Sea
Head to Key West with your dive tank to join Atocha Dive Adventures to discover the Spanish galleon. Hunters dive with expert treasure hunters and master divers to explore the sea in search for something shiny. Or head to Sebastian, Florida to dive with Gold Hound Treasure Divers in search for gold sitting at the bottom of the sea.

Scuba Dive Historical Shipwrecks
Adventure divers, put your adrenaline to the test, under the sea, as you glide through tight spaces and tiny corridors of historical shipwrecks. Head to international waters to explore the best wrecks. Explore canon fore and wheelhouse tower on the 330-foot MV Captain Keith Tibbett’s ship in the Cayman Islands. Or explore the military Blackjack B17 Bomber, created by Boeing, resting peacefully in Milne Bay, Papa New Guinea.

Stand up Paddle in Paradise
For those who enjoy more calmer adventures, head to Hawaii or the French Polynesia to SUP the sea, rivers and inlets. SUPing is combines the best of surfing and canoeing, without the hustle of feeling locked into a boat. Freely dangle your feet in Turks and Caicos waters or take a lesson with one of the many local shops.

Windsurf the Waves and the Air
Windsurfing is another popular, yet bold-and-daring, water sport. The best spots are known to have consistent winds and steady waves. The Columbia River Gorge is a year-round windsurfing destination for the young and active and heart. Maui is America’s windsurfing mecca. Dramatic weather, dangerous sharks, and downright awesome waves – Maui has it all.

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