Whether you live minutes from the beach or landlocked in the desert, vacation is the perfect time to further indulge your passions—or expand your horizons—by incorporating water sports. With activities like sailing, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, scuba diving, water-skiing, and sno
rkeling, there’s something for everyone out on the water. <br><br>When it comes to surfing, destinations like Oahu in Hawaii, Jeffreys Bay in South Africa, and the Gold Coast in Australia are a few of the best places to catch waves. Meanwhile, the Caribbean shores off the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, and the Virgin Islands (among other isles) or locales like Corfu, Greece, or the Azores across the Atlantic offer impressive snorkeling and scuba diving destinations. If you haven’t taken up sailing yet, a visit to Bermuda, Santa Catalina Island (near Los Angeles), or Key West might change your mind. <br><br>Or you can opt to swim with fascinating marine life. Tonga is known for swimming opportunities with humpback whales. Jump in with the whale sharks that gather off the coasts of Madagascar, Mexico, or Mozambique, or seek out schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks in the waters surrounding the Galápagos Islands. If you’re really looking to get your adrenaline pumping, you can go cage diving with great whites in South Africa (be sure to sign up for an excursion with a responsible outfitter). <br><br>But you don’t necessarily have to make it to the sea to splash around. You can partake in most water sports, including sailing, jet-skiing, water-skiing, or stand-up paddleboarding, on lakes, which can be as worthy of a visit as the Pacific Ocean or Mediterranean Sea. (Some people even surf on the Great Lakes!) Destinations like Lake Como in Italy, Lake Baikal in Siberia, Lake Moraine in Banff, and Lake Tahoe on the California–Nevada border are well worth a visit for water sports fans, too. <br><br>And with diversions like paddleboards and water bikes gaining in popularity, you never know what kind of water toys will emerge next. So whatever you choose to do, it’s time to slather on the sunscreen and dive right in . . .