61 Fun Holidays for Beach, Ocean, and Coastal Lovers All Year Long

A calendar that says "fun coastal holidays" lying in the sand at the beach, with some dates circled.

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Don’t miss these unofficial national fun holidays that celebrate a love of the coast.

Fun national holidays are unofficial holidays that aren’t officially recognized by the government, but are getting increasingly popular on social media and with people who want something to celebrate in between official holidays. There are hundreds of unofficial national holidays, and they range from totally silly and fun, to serious topics that are trying to get more exposure.

Coastal-themed fun holidays include unique celebrations and observances that add excitement and novelty to our calendars. These fun holidays provide opportunities to be creative, have a laugh, and expand community engagement, making for memorable additions to your yearly calendar. These holidays are for anyone who loves the coast, and can be a fun opportunity for families to learn new things about coastal life together.

Small businesses can leverage fun holidays by creating themed promotions or events that resonate with your target audience and connect with customers in a playful and memorable way. Fun holidays can also be valuable tools for teachers and summer camp counselors to enhance learning experiences, engage students, and promote creativity in the classroom.

Here you’ll find a list of all of the unofficial fun holidays that are related to the beach, the ocean, coastal life, coastal cuisine, and anything related to travel or vacations (because our favorite vacations are beach vacations, am I right?!). So check out the list of fun holidays below and have fun celebrating!

Two manatees in the water.

Fun holidays: Manatee Appreciation Day on the last Wednesday in March.

January Coastal Fun Holidays

Jan. 1: Polar Bear Plunge Day

The Polar Bear Plunge is when participants jump into the cold water of an ocean, lake, or pool. Many people do it just for fun, but some do it to raise money for charity. You can do a search for Polar Bear Plunge + the name of where you live to see if there’s an event local to you.

Second Tuesday in January: National Shop for Travel Day

National Shop for Travel Day is a reminder to start shopping for your vacations this year. You can compare flights, hotels, and the best time of year to travel to your destination, or ask family and friends for recommendations. We hope you’re headed to a beach somewhere!

Jan. 10: National Oysters Rockefeller Day

National Oysters Rockefeller Day is the official day to appreciate and enjoy the dish Oysters Rockefeller, which is baked oysters on the half shell that have been topped with butter, breadcrumbs, and herbs. The dish was created in 1889 by Jules Alciatore at Antoine’s restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Last Tuesday in January: Plan for Vacation Day

Now that you’ve shopped for travel on the second Tuesday in January, it’s time to fully plan your vacations on the last Tuesday in January. Plan for Vacation Day reminds us to plan vacation time for the rest of the year. Take a look at how many vacation days you’re allotted through your job and plan out when you can use them. Whether you’re traveling or taking a staycation, it’s important to take time off to rest and recharge.

February Coastal Fun Holidays

Feb. 10: National Umbrella Day

National Umbrella Day celebrates the invention of the umbrella. Umbrellas play an important role in keeping us dry in the rain, and they also keep us protected from the sun. Of course, our favorite kind of umbrellas are beach umbrellas! If you don’t have a reliable beach umbrella, today is a good reminder to shop for one so you’ll be ready for summer, which will be here before you know it. Another fun kind of umbrella is the miniature paper kind that decorate fruity drinks at beach resorts. If you make a fun drink today, add a paper umbrella to celebrate!

Third Sunday in February: World Whale Day

World Whale Day aims to raise awareness about the protection and conservation of whales and their ocean habitats. This day honors whales and highlights their ecological importance in marine ecosystems. To celebrate you can learn more about whales, through a reading a book or watching a documentary, and learning about how you can contribute to making the ocean a safer place for whales to exist.

Feb. 18: National Crab Stuffed Flounder Day

While the origins of National Crab Stuffed Flounder Day remain elusive, it’s a nice reminder to switch up your meals and try something different — in this case, a delicious crab meat and bread crumb mixture wrapped in flounder. Look up a recipe or find a local restaurant and enjoy.

Feb. 25: National Clam Chowder Day

Enjoy a bowl of clam chowder on National Clam Chowder Day! A traditional New England clam chowder is a cream-based soup containing clams, clam juice, potatoes, bacon drippings, cream, and herbs. There is also Manhattan clam chowder, which uses a tomato base instead of cream.

March Coastal Fun Holidays

Mar. 1: Plan a Solo Vacation Day

Have you ever taken a solo vacation? While vacationing with others is a great way to experience new things together, taking a solo trip is a great way to get reconnected with yourself. If you’re not ready to take a long trip solo, you can consider a solo day trip, like a trip to the beach. Here are 17 Fun Things to Do on a Solo Beach Day.

Mar. 9: National Crab Meat Day

Celebrate your love of eating crab on National Crab Meat Day by enjoying crab at home or dining out at your favorite seafood restaurant!

Mar. 12: National Baked Scallops Day

There are so many delicious seafood dishes, and Baked Scallops is one of them. Baked scallops consist of scallops often coated in seasoned breadcrumbs and baked until golden brown. Use National Baked Scallops Day to try a new recipe at home or indulge at a local restaurant.

Last Wednesday in March: Manatee Appreciation Day

Manatees are the gentle giants found in warm coastal waters — in the U.S. you’ll see manatees in Florida. Sadly, their population is decreasing rapidly due to humans polluting the water from agriculture, sewage and urban sources. This has caused their main food source, seagrass, to die off, leaving them with nothing to eat. Another danger to manatees is boating accidents. You can help save the manatees by taking steps to keep our coastal waters clean and by practicing safe boating.

Mar. 29: International Mermaid Day

Mermaids are mythical half-human, half-fish creatures that have captured the imaginations of beachgoers for centuries. Some fun ways to celebrate this holiday are watching a mermaid-themed movie or doing a mermaid-themed craft.

Mar. 30: National Virtual Vacation Day

National Virtual Vacation Day was started by Terrance Talks Travel in 2016. By taking a virtual vacation, you can go on a vacation anytime, anywhere, and without spending any money. Whether through your web browser or using a VR headset, you can go to the beach, climb a mountain, go on a safari, kayak through the bay, and so much more.

Mar. 31: National Clams on the Half Shell Day

Clam lovers, today is your day! Whether you prefer your clams raw, steamed, baked, grilled, or smoked, today is the day to enjoy clams at home or at a restaurant.

April Coastal Fun Holidays

Apr. 3: World Aquatic Animal Day 

World Aquatic Animal Day celebrates all aquatic animals, including marine mammals, amphibians, crustaceans, reptiles, mollusks, aquatic birds, aquatic insects, starfish, and corals. The day was started by the Animal Law Clinic at the Lewis & Clark Law School, who invites everyone to call for action to protect aquatic animals through education, law, policy, and outreach.

Apr. 5: National Read a Road Map Day 

Okay, so National Read a Road Map Day isn’t directly related to coastal life, but the goal is to encourage people to go on an adventure and practice reading a road map. If you’re ever in a place where your GPS or cell phone signal isn’t working, you might need to know how to read a road map to get to your destination. We hope if you’re reading a road map that it leads you to the beach!

Apr. 11: National Submarine Day

On April 11, 1900, the U.S. Navy purchased the USS Holland, its first commissioned submarine (although there were other submarines in use by the navy before this). In honor of National Submarine Day, you can think of something fun to do that’s submarine-related, like visit a submarine, watch one of the many movies involving submarines, draw or color a picture of a submarine, read about submarines, or eat a submarine sandwich.

Apr. 14: National Dolphin Day

National Dolphin Day raises awareness about the need to protect dolphins and their habitats. Sadly, dolphins are at risk of endangerment. You can help them by spreading awareness about the importance of dolphin conservation, such as posting on social media. There are also many organizations you can donate to that are working to help dolphins and their habitats.

Apr. 15: National Titanic Remembrance Day

While this isn’t a “fun” day it’s a day to honor those who lost their lives on April 15, 1912 when the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg as it made its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City, New York, United States. There are many films, documentaries and books if you’d like to learn more about the Titanic.

Apr. 27: Marine Mammal Rescue Day

Marine Mammal Rescue Day recognizes the efforts of the organizations and individuals dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating marine mammals in distress, such as seals, dolphins, and whales. It serves as a reminder of the importance of conservation and stewardship in protecting these animals and their ocean habitats. These organizations rely on financial help, so if you are in the position to do so, today is a great day to make a donation to an organization that works with rescuing marine animals, such as Marine Mammal Care Center and Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program.

May Coastal Fun Holidays

May 10: Mother Ocean Day

We have the South Florida Kayak Fishing Club to thank for starting Mother Ocean Day in 2013. It’s a day to appreciate the significance of our oceans and the vital role they play in sustaining life on Earth. It’s important to preserve our oceans, and today you can participate in activities such as beach cleanups, educational events, and contributing to organizations that work to protect oceans.

May 22: National Maritime Day 

National Maritime Day recognizes one of the United States’ most important industries. Congress declared National Maritime Day in 1933 to commemorate steamship Savannah’s voyage from the U.S. to England, which was the first successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean using steam propulsion. Today, the holiday recognizes the entire maritime industry and those who serve aboard a Merchant Marine ship.

May 23: World Turtle Day 

According to WorldTurtleDay.org, which is run by American Tortoise Rescue, World Turtle Day “was created as a yearly observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.” Since 1990, American Tortoise Rescue has placed about 4,000 tortoises and turtles in caring homes. On the website you can download turtle coloring pages, donate to help their efforts, and learn more about what you can do to help protect turtles, like “never buy a turtle or tortoise from a pet shop, as it increases demand from the wild.” If you’re looking for a unique gift or have a group who wants to make a donation, you can even sponsor a rescued turtle.

May 27: National Sunscreen Day

National Sunscreen Day exists as a reminder to make sure you’re properly protecting yourself from the sun. Not protecting yourself from the sun’s rays can lead to painful burns, wrinkles, and even skin cancer. For top-rated sunscreen recommendations, check out this list of The Best Sunscreen for Your Beach Days.

Wednesday After Memorial Day: National Flip Flop Day

National Flip Flop Day was started by Tropical Smoothie Cafe to encourage people to get into the spirit of summer by wearing flip flops! They also give away free smoothies today, so check their website to see if there’s a location near you. Even if there isn’t a location near you, you can still participate by wearing your flip flops! If you’re in need of a new pair of flip flops, check out The 12 Best Flip Flops and Sandals for Women That You Need for Your Beach Days This Summer.

Someone shown standing barefoot at the beach from the knees down.

Fun holidays: National Go Barefoot Day on June 1st.

June Coastal Fun Holidays

Jun. 1: National Go Barefoot Day

Go Barefoot Day exists to encourage people to donate footwear that can then be distributed to underprivileged people in need of shoes. So grab some shoes from your closet that you don’t wear, drop them off at a local donation center, and then go enjoy a barefoot walk along the beach.

Jun. 1: World Reef Awareness Day

Reefs are incredible and beautiful ecosystems that live under the surface of the ocean and act as a protective barrier for our coastal areas. Sadly, reefs are at risk due to climate change, and at least 25 species of coral are threatened or endangered. Today is a day to celebrate the important role reefs play and to raise awareness about protecting them.

First Saturday in June: National Trails Day

National Trails Day is a day to appreciate hiking trails around our country! Of course, our favorite trails are coastal trails along our oceans, bays, and waterfront areas, but we appreciate all trails. There are trails available to everyone to hike for free, year-round, and many of them are maintained by volunteers. Today you can grab a trash bag and clean up as you walk along a trail, beach, or waterfront area; sign up for a trail service project; contact your Member of Congress to let them know how important it is that everyone can enjoy the outdoors by increasing equitable access on trails and public lands; or donate to the American Hiking Society to help build and maintain trails.

Jun. 8: World Ocean Day

As stated at WorldOceanDay.org, “World Ocean Day belongs to all groups and individuals, collectively, everywhere. It’s about how we can create a better future with an abundant ocean and a stable climate, by working together.” On their website you can find events near you, get resources to hold your own event, download coloring pages and guides for children, and much more. And if you’d like to bring your love of the ocean into your home, check out Ocean-Inspired Coastal Wall Art You’ll Love.

Third Saturday in June: International Surfing Day

International Surfing Day is a worldwide celebration of the sport of surfing. The day celebrates surfing, the surfing lifestyle, and the protection and sustainability of ocean resources. In honor of the day, there are events all over the country hosting beach cleanups, surfing lessons, environmental education, and more. If you’d like to learn more about surfing or bring some of the beauty of surfing into your home, check out these beautiful surfing coffee table books.

Jun. 21: National Daylight Appreciation Day

National Daylight Appreciation Day falls on the longest day of the year — the day we will experience the longest period of sunlight, also known as the Summer Solstice. Daylight has many benefits, including boosting your mood and mental health. Make sure to get outside, even for a quick walk, so you can enjoy the daylight. Sounds like a good day for a walk on the beach!

First Day of Summer: National Seashell Day

National Seashell Day is celebrated on the first day of summer in the U.S. as a way to appreciate the beauty of seashells found along our beaches. It’s a fun way to connect with nature and appreciate how cool seashells are, as well as the animals who build and inhabit them. To shell-elebrate this fun holiday you can walk the beach collecting shells, identify shells, paint shells, or do another fun shell craft.

Jun. 27: National Sunglasses Day

Started by The Vision Council, National Sunglasses Day is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. While you probably reach for a pair of sunglasses to shield your eyes from the bright sun, or as a fashion statement, they also help to prevent damage such as decreased vision caused by cataracts and macular degeneration.

July Coastal Fun Holidays

Jul. 3: National Fried Clam Day

Fried clams are a timeless seafood classic that evoke memories of seaside dining and summer gatherings. The recipe was created on July 3, 1916 by Chubby and Bessie Woodman. To make fried clams, you dip shucked clams in milk, then in a flour/corn mixture, and fry them in oil. The best place to get fried clams is a roadside seafood shack, like Woodman’s in Essex, MA, where they were created.

Jul. 3: National Stay Out of the Sun Day

National Stay Out of the Sun Day reminds us that we need to take precautions to keep our skin protected from the sun’s harmful rays, which can cause serious health problems. You can protect yourself by using sunscreen, hats, beach umbrellas, and UPF sun protective clothing when you’re going to be outside. Sun damage can lead to wrinkles, sun spots, and even skin cancer. If you have sun spots on your face that you want to get rid of, check out these products.

Jul. 5: National Bikini Day

National Bikini Day celebrates the anniversary of bikinis — also known as two-piece bathing suits — being invented. Whether you prefer wearing a two-piece or a one-piece bathing suit, today is a day to hit the beach or pool!

Jul. 10: National Piña Colada Day

National Piña Colada Day celebrates everyone’s favorite beachside frozen drink. Piña Coladas are made with frozen pineapple, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, lime, ice, and rum — although they’re just as good without the rum if you’d prefer a mocktail.
If you decide to celebrate, please drink responsibly.

Jul. 14: Shark Awareness Day

Shark Awareness Day exists to raise awareness about shark conservation. Sharks have a scary reputation due to how they’ve been portrayed in movies, but in reality humans pose more of a danger to sharks than sharks do to humans. Sharks play an important role in the health of ocean ecosystems, but it is only through our action, education, and protection that they will continue to survive.

Third Sunday in July: National Ice Cream Day

National Ice Cream Day, which falls during National Ice Cream Month, celebrates a favorite summer treat: ice cream! These fun holidays for ice cream were started in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan. Participating is easy — enjoy some ice cream by yourself or with someone else! If possible, this is a great day to support a local independently owned ice cream shop.

Jul. 19: National Daiquiri Day

National Daiquiri Day is a celebration dedicated to this classic cocktail, a refreshing blend of rum, lime juice, and sugar or simple syrup, that was invented in Cuba in the late 1800’s.
If you decide to celebrate, please drink responsibly.

August Coastal Fun Holidays

First Saturday in August: National Sandcastle Day

When was the last time you built a sandcastle? Today is a day to enjoy digging in the sand and building an amazing sandcastle by yourself, with your children, or with friends. And check out these 16 Essential Beach Toys to Keep Your Kids Entertained All Day, including some cool sandcastle building kits.

Aug. 3: National Watermelon Day

National Watermelon Day celebrates a favorite summertime snack! It also makes for one of the best beach snacks. See more of the best beach food ideas by clicking here.

Aug. 5: National Oyster Day

If you love oysters you won’t want to miss National Oyster Day. Whether you enjoy your oysters raw, cooked, or both, take some time to enjoy this delicious delicacy today.

Aug. 7: National Lighthouse Day

National Lighthouse Day is a day to celebrate these iconic structures that have guided sailors and symbolized safety for centuries. According to the American Lighthouse Foundation, “it was on this day in 1789, that Congress approved an Act for the establishment and support of lighthouse, beacons, buoys and public piers.” Many lighthouse grounds are open to the public today, so search online to see if there are any lighthouse events happening in your area.

Aug. 10: National S’mores Day

National S’mores Day celebrates this favorite campfire dessert. Although you can make s’mores in your own backyard, our favorite place to make s’mores is an evening at the beach!*
*In designated areas where beach campfires are allowed.

Aug. 11: Play in the Sand Day

Play in the Sand Day is for both children and adults to get out in the sand and play. Use your imagination and create a sand castle, create a sand sculpture, or dig your toes in the sand. If you’re headed to the beach with children, check out these 16 Essential Beach Toys to Keep Your Kids Entertained All Day.

Aug. 16: National Rum Day

National Rum Day celebrates rum, a liquor distilled from sugar, that brings to mind pirates and fruity cocktails on the beach.
If you decide to celebrate, please drink responsibly.

Aug. 30: National Beach Day

While we consider every day a beach day, National Beach Day is the official celebration of all beaches. It’s a day to embrace the surf, sand, and coastal ambiance, and to enjoy recreation and relaxation at the beach. If you need the perfect caption for your beach photos check out 150+ Best Beach Instagram Captions and Quotes.

Beach rocks.

Fun holidays: Collect Rocks Day on September 16th.

September Coastal Fun Holidays

Sep. 2: National Coconut Day

National Coconut Day celebrates everything having to do with coconuts, a delicious fruit. You can celebrate by eating something with coconut, drinking coconut water or a piña colada, listening to songs about coconuts, or using coconut products. Make sure to check out our list of the best coconut beauty products!

Sep. 16: Collect Rocks Day

Collect Rocks Day was created to show appreciation for geology and anyone who enjoys collecting rocks. This is a great excuse to take a long walk on the beach and see what interesting rocks you can find!

Third Saturday in September: International Coastal Cleanup Day

Coastal Cleanup Day is dedicated to preserving and protecting our beaches, oceans, and waterways. Volunteers go out on their own or through an organized group to pick up trash from beaches, lakeshores, and riverbeds, which promotes environmental conservation and the protection of marine ecosystems. Participation is easy — just grab a garbage bag and gloves, and walk your local coast picking up trash.

Sep. 19: International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Ahoy! Talk Like a Pirate Day was created in 1995 by John Baur and Mark Summers. This day is a way to be silly and have fun by talking like a pirate. You can also watch one of your favorite pirate movies, like Hook or Pirates of the Caribbean. Arrr!

Sep. 25: National Lobster Day

Celebrate your appreciation of this culinary delicacy at your favorite restaurant or at home. Lobster dipped in butter, lobster bisque soup, a lobster roll, or lobster salad are just a few ways to enjoy National Lobster Day.
Editor’s Note: National Lobster Day is alternatively celebrated on June 15th, but we recognize the date of September 25th as it’s at the height of lobster harvesting season.

October Coastal Fun Holidays

Oct. 2: National Fried Scallops Day

October is National Seafood Month, and it kicks off with National Fried Scallops Day. Today is a day to enjoy a delicious meal of fried scallops. Head to your favorite seafood restaurant, or if you enjoy cooking, pick up some scallops and make them at home.

Oct. 4: World Animal Day

World Animal Day brings awareness to the importance of improving animal welfare and respecting and appreciating all animals. This includes all of our favorite coastal and sea creatures.

Oct. 8: World Octopus Day

World Octopus Day celebrates these unique and fascinating sea creatures. Octopuses are believed to be highly intelligent and even pre-date dinosaurs. Today is a day to promote education and appreciation for these marine animals and raise awareness about conservation efforts to protect their habitats.

Oct. 19: National Seafood Bisque Day

Seafood Bisque is a creamy soup typically made with crab, lobster, crayfish, and shrimp. Today is a good excuse to make some! You can easily find a recipe with a quick online search.

November Coastal Fun Holidays

Nov. 3: World Jellyfish Day

World Jellyfish Day celebrates the unique marine animal. Jellyfish have been around for more than 500 million years! What a fun excuse to draw or paint a jellyfish picture or visit some at your local aquarium.

Nov. 17: National Take a Hike Day

On National Take a Hike Day we’re thinking about our favorite coastal hikes! There’s nothing like a breathtaking coastal view from above. What are your favorite coastal hikes? Let us know in the comments.

December Coastal Fun Holidays

Dec. 15: National Wear Your Pearls Day

As the last of our coastal fun holidays for the year, Wear Your Pearls Day is a depression and anxiety awareness campaign started by DeAnna Bookert. “I wear pearls as a reminder that I have purpose and value.” Oysters form pearls in response to an irritant, such as a grain of sand, entering their shell. It’s a reminder that something unexpected can grow into something beautiful.

Pin This List of Coastal Fun Holidays

Pin this graphic on Pinterest, or bookmark this page, so you can continue to refer back to these fun holidays. And don’t forget to follow Stars & Anchor on Pinterest for more beach and coastal lifestyle inspiration.

A graphic that reads, "a full list of fun coastal holidays to celebrate this year" with an image of a calendar in the sand.

A full list of coastal fun holidays to celebrate this year.

With so many options for celebrating fun holidays, there is definitely something for everyone!

If you love to cook seafood, are looking for new activities for kids, need motivation to book your next vacation, or are looking for exciting social media post ideas, there are a lot of great options for you in this list based on coastal fun holidays.

Coastal fun holidays are a way to add excitement and joy in our lives. By celebrating fun holidays, you can embrace your creativity and spontaneity and encourage others to do so as well. Overall, coastal fun holidays serve as a reminder to appreciate the little joys in life and your love of coastal living.

Do you know of any coastal fun holidays that should be on this list? Did you learn about any new fun holidays you’re excited to celebrate? Let us know in the comments.

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