How The Beach Became a Vacation Spot

While a beach vacation seems like a no-brainer these days, it wasn’t always the case. For an incredibly long time (antiquity to the 18th century) the seashore was a place of danger. The coast was known as where natural disasters and shipwrecks occurred; lives were lost. Classic myths were synonymous with the wrath and power of the ocean. But somehow, around the mid-18th century, Europeans started believing in the benefits of fresh air, exercise and bathing in the sea. Soon, swimming in the ocean was used as a treatment for anything and everything: “melancholy, rickets, leprosy, gout, impotence, tubercular infections, menstrual problems and ‘hysteria.'” Eventually, the power of the ocean was seen as a beautiful thing, rather than a frightening one. Read more at Smithsonian.