How are the beaches in Hawaii? Take a look yourself

I’m sure many of you have a pretty picture of a tropical island or cozy beach hanging up in your office. But here’s a thought: what if you could be there, just for a moment (virtually of course).

You see, recently a batch of “surf-cam” sites have popped up that hosts streaming videos of various beaches across the states–and around the world–taken by cameras set up on everything from hidden bushes to lamp-posts.

Two are particularly well-developed: WaveWatch and Surfline. Sure, you might not be a surfer, but this kind of service is a great way to kick back and daydream a little about the tropical lifestyle. WaveWatch is a very addictive site; you can actually control the video-cams and have a look around the beaches (which are surprisingly empty. At Surfline, you can’t control the cams, but they have more locales (several in Bali, a couple in Europe and Peru, etc).