Binz (Ostseebad Binz)
The beach - The long curving white sand beach at Binz extends for miles, almost farther than the eye can see. Tiny little waves lap on the beach - the clear shallow water is perfect for little kids. They can dig in the sand, paddle with water wings, wade in the water, or bounce on the beach trampoline. Bigger kids will enjoy pedaling around on an aqua bike (water bike with these big inflated tires). Spending a day at the beach? Rent a bright red or white "Strandkorb," rattan beach chairs, where you can pile all your stuff.
While strolling along the tree lined promenade, be sure to try an ice cream or delicious crepe. Stop to watch the street performers, perhaps some stilt walkers dressed in flamenco costumes, strumming on a guitar, tooting a saxophone and playing the accordion. At the Kurplatz, there's frequent music and entertainment at the small concert shell.
Go for a bike ride - The countryside around Binz is ideal for bike rides. There are well-maintained bike paths through the forests, fields and little towns. And best of all, it's practically level! Take a lovely morning bike ride around the Schmachter See, a small lake on the edges of town.
For a longer ride, explore some of the charming little towns south of Binz. At Sellin, take the little funicular down to the beach and pier below. Around Baabe, you'll bike down country lanes, past wooly sheep and duck ponds, through woods where people may be stopping to pick blueberries. From Gohren, follow the bike paths through the forest to Thiessow, the southern tip of Rugen. Along the way, there are cafes next to the beach, where you can stop for cake and ice cream. Tip: For a shorter round trip, put your bikes on the train (Rasender Roland) to Gohren, then bike back to Binz.
To rent bikes, ask at your hotel or Ferienwohnung to arrange for bikes (kid's bikes are available), or there's a bike shop near the train station.
Boat trip - Pick up a boat at the pier for a trip the chalk cliffs, Kreiderfelsen. On this 2 1/2 hour ride, the boat chugs north along the coast of Rugen. Once you reach National Park Jasmund, the dramatic white chalk cliffs, topped with a fringe of dark green trees are in full view. The highlight of the trip is the impressive "Kings Chair" (Konigsstuhl) rock formation - a stone avalanche of soft vanilla ice cream, flowing into the blue ocean.
Go for a hike in the woods - Take a hike through the woods from Binz to Sellin. The forest seems right out of a Grimm's fairy-tale - dark leafy trees, dense ferns and lacey white flowers, birds warbling in the trees, chubby glossy slugs having a "slug-fest" along the path (when was the last time you saw some really nice slugs?). Start on the trail at the eastern edge of Binz, or take the Rasender Roland train from Binz to Sellin and hike back.

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