Glow In The Dark Beaches. Really!

 Something off the SYFI Channel?   Nope.

And after a short description of this phenomenon we’re going to find out where these beautiful beaches are and hotels within walking distance. .You don’t need to make a trip halfway around the world. There are plenty of locations you can experience this occurrence. Luckily, most of them are lovely vacation destinations.

Its Called Bioluminescence

The glow is caused by plankton, there are other species as well that display this ability.  There are over 1,500 types of fish  that luminesce—not including other creatures like jellyfish, sea stars and certain types of sharks. Most luminescent creatures live in a warm water environment, a few live on land. Can anyone say fireflies, also railroad worms and even the millipede.

Bioluminescence is light produced by a chemical reaction within a living thing.

Every reaction requires two chemicals,


An organic substance, present in luminescent organisms such as fireflies, that produces light when oxidized by the action of the enzyme luciferase.
“the host organism must possess luciferin, a molecule that reacts with oxygen to create light”

and  Luciferase

Luciferase is a generic term for the class of oxidative enzymes that produce bioluminescence, and is usually distinguished from a photoprotein. 

Luciferin is the chemical that actually produces the light and determines what color it will be.

If that was a bit to much to chew on and you want to know more heres a link.

What causes Bioluminescence?


Those colors and their brightness can vary greatly depending on the type of animal and where it lives, but most marine creatures tend to be somewhere on the blue-green spectrum. Some of them emit light continuously, while some only shimmer when disturbed.

All of them glow for very specific reasons, although it’s not the same for every creature. For some, its to hunt prey. For others, to find mates. And yet others use it as a defense mechanism.

These neon lights are so amazing that some travelers plan their entire vacations around the bioluminescent high season.

In October and September you can experience Bioluminescence in San Diego on the beaches of La Jolla and Torrey Pines 

La Jolla

Torrey Pines 

Best Value and Closest Hotels near by –

Inn By The Sea La Jolla     Click For Info

Inn By The Sea La Jolla    Click For Info  



La Valencia La Jolla.  Click for Info

Next Stop       Manasquan Beach, New Jersey, 

Where the Manasquan River and the Atlantic Ocean meet, Manasquan is a popular family tourist destination. Manasquan has a long sandy beach that proudly takes up a mile of the popular vacation destination The Jersey Shore. The sand is sleek and world class. The downtown is loaded with restaurants that will suit everyone. Nicely scattered shopping as well.  The most curious attraction “Bioluminescence” occurs during low tide with a dark sky present and just a trace of a crescent moon. Jersey’s blue and gold glowing waters are caused by algea  The algae puts on quite a show of eerie glowing gold and blue colors every time the water is disturbed. Sometimes even red. This is best viewed June thru September.
Inn on Main Hotel, Manasquan.   Click For Info
Inn on Main Hotel, Manasquan.   Click For Info
Lets make a stop in Jamaica

Luminous Lagoon, Jamaica

Its twice as nice when a beautiful place already, is kissed by nature. Luminous Lagoon. There are three tiny organisms creating this beautiful display. The coast can glow blue, green, or red every time it’s disturbed. The warm water rich in nutrients encourages the growth of these tiny algaeor. This spectacular colorful display attracts thousands of tourists, vacationers, students, business travelers, even the locals love swimming  among the stars.
Hotels on The Lagoon
Check Out This Value – As Low as $68 a Night
Look What $54 A Night Gets You

As long as we have no rules on our journey, Lets go back to the US where they filmed one of my favorite movies Goonies. Washington State.

Thinking back when this motion picture came out, we were so young thinking how we were the personalities in the film and which caricature we were most connected too. I just smile. 

San Juan Island, Washington State

Far away from warm tropical waters  San Juan Island has its own attractions – spectacular surrounding landscape, pebbled beaches, pods of passing orcas, and one of the largest lavender farms in the country. You wouldn’t expect to see bioluminescence in these waters but surprisingly, the waters around San Juan Island are are loaded with spectacular bioluminescence. The constant tidal exchange brings water rich in nutrients, this is a great condition for the growth of bioluminescent algae. This type of bioluminescence shines it’s brightest right before the sun sets when the algae accumulates in the shallow bay. The species of organisms that create bioluminescence in the San Juan waters are dinoflagellates known as Noctiluca.

The best way to experience this event is with the help of-“BIOLUMINESCENCE KAYAKING SAN JUAN ISLANDS”

San Juan Islands Original Bioluminescence 4 Hour Kayak Tour
Ages 12 and Up / Best May Thru September

 Leading the way this small and very knowledgeable company created the  Tour 7 years ago. When you read about bioluminescence paddling on San Juan Island, you are reading about Discovery Sea Kayaks. They have the most experience on the water at night, with a great caring staff and all the tips to keep you safe..

The San Juan Islands of Washington State have significant tidal exchanges that create swift currents and ocean upwellings. These upwellings yield highly nutrient rich bodies of water, creating an environment with a wide diversity of microorganisms. The bioluminescent creatures thrive here, creating their own light. The best part is your are kayaking at night in the ocean. How fun does that sound! 

Their link will be posted after we find a few great places to stay.


Bird Rock Hotel, Friday Harbor.   Click For Info

Lets Go To Puerto Rico

Mosquito Bay

Mosquito Bay, better known as Bioluminescent Bay,  is a tranquil, warm, shallow bay on the southern shore of the Puerto Rico island .
The bay is world famous for its extreme bioluminescence, it may just produce the brightest lights in the world.  Kayak to the middle of the bay and watch the of light  with every paddle of your oar.
The Vieques Guesthouse. $94 Per Night.  Click For Info

Australia’s largest network of inland waterways are formed by Gippsland Lake. The waterways are famous for many reasons, swimming, canoeing, fan boating, snorkeling and scuba, dolphin watching, paddle boating or simply a relaxing day on her shores. Or join a tour to see some rare glowing algae. It started in Australia in 2006  when bush fires, and torrential rains washed too much organic matter into the lakes, causing a massive algae bloom.  Now when the waters are disturbed at night a wonderful blueish light appears. This s a year round event. 


Mosquito Lagoon is located in the heart of Florida. The Lagoon is part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and the Indian River Lagoon system, between Ponce de León Inlet and the north end of Merritt Island. The lagoon runs right through the city of New Smyrna Beach,  next to the Canaveral National Seashore and the Kennedy Space Center. The area offers boat rides, kayaking, swimming, tubbing and various other types of water activities. You can also hire tour guides to take you out at night and be amazed by the bright blue and green lights that fire up with every disruption of the water.  Also kayak creating your own light show as you splash through the lagoon. They don’t recommend swimming alone in the evening hours due to alligator activity. This is a beautiful area in Florida

I truly hope you take advantage of this wonderful experience no matter which location you decide to visit. We will be doing San Diego in September, the temperature will  in the upper 80s and low 90s. If you’ve ever experienced luminescence and have photos. Please Share! We would love to see them.
Happy Travels!

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