Swimming, suntanning, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, people watching – what do all of these things have in common? They're activities you can do at the beach. Wait, back up. Did we say people watching? Yep, you didn't misread it!
Although people watching isn't necessarily the first thing you think of when planning your beach day, it's inevitably something you'll end up doing. It's great to see a gaggling group of friends having a good time, laughing and splashing each other in the water. We love seeing both young and long-time couples strolling on the beach. When we see children chasing each other in the sand, it's easy to reminisce about the innocence of childhood. Heck, sometimes it's fun to create stories for the people we see around us. People are interesting and unique, so why wouldn't we watch them?
Everyone has engaged in people watching at least once in their life. It could've been on the subway, at the doctor's office, while grocery shopping, on a run in the park, eating at a restaurant, or when your phone died, and you had nothing else to do except check out your surroundings. No matter the place, we've all people watched. Maybe you're thinking, "No, that's creepy, I would never people watch." Nope, sorry, we don't believe you! But that's okay, because people watching is a natural thing that we all do. And as long as you're not rude about it, it's perfectly harmless and even beneficial in fostering your observation skills.
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In a Psychology Today article, it states that "the human body is one of the most critical types of stimuli that affect the way we perceive others…we gain the most information about people, such as their emotional states, by watching their faces, but we also make judgments about them based on their bodily expressions of feeling." It goes on to explain that "our ability to draw conclusions about people from their postures and actions is so basic" that deficits in our people-watching skills can lead to significant problems. While some are more attuned to the art of people watching, such as detectives and writers, it is still an important (and fun) skill that the rest of us should cultivate.
So, where best to hone those skills? The beach, of course! Destin's Emerald Coast is the perfect place to sit back, relax, and do a little people-watching – in a non-creepy way, of course.
People watching at the beach is a blast. Whether you're an active or passive people watcher, there are many fun things about people watching. Like this article says, people are entertaining, and watching them nurtures your curiosity, teaches empathy, and opens your mind.
At the beaches in Destin and on Scenic Highway 30A in South Walton, you'll see a wide variety of people because people come from all around the world to visit this beautiful stretch of coast. You'll notice active folk, who spend their time swimming, biking, running, playing frisbee or volleyball, kayaking, and paddle boarding. There are those with adventurous spirits, and you can find them exploring the skies in a parasail or donning a snorkel to discover the unique world beneath the waves. Others are more content to relax on the beach, some with a book under a colorful beach umbrella and others with a cold cocktail as they soak up the sun. Kids and their families build sandcastles complete with moats and castle turrets. Some kids even like to bury their siblings in the pristine white sand. You might see family picnics, romantic proposals, or friendly beach games. Like you, everyone on the beach is in the process of creating cherished memories.
When not spending time on the sandy shores, there are still ample places to people watch. The picturesque villages of 30A boast restaurants, boutiques, bars, concerts, and festivals that are prime people watching locales. You may catch snippets of conversation that give you a glimpse into the lives of your fellow vacationers. And even if you don't, you can spin interesting stories about their lives in your head. Through people watching, you are able to discern body language and emotion, sharpening your ability to understand and love the human race. Maybe you'll make new friends, or maybe you'll enjoy the simplicity of sharing the beach with such a wide variety of individuals – each with their own stories and experiences.
If people watching is your thing, why not come people watch at the prettiest shoreline in the states? Or, if it's not, we are going to encourage you to give it a try. Put down your phone for a bit, breathe in the fresh air of the coast, and enjoy seeing and learning about the beachgoers that come to the Destin & South Walton. It can be therapeutic and a great way to immerse yourself in human emotions, escaping (if just for a moment) the technological cages we sometimes enclose ourselves in. Are you ready? Book your stay at one of our Gulf-front beach rentals, many of which have balconies that, coincidentally, also serve as great people watching spots!