Beach Season Is Here

What you need to know before you head back to the beach.

When you live on the coast, there is no better way to spend a hot, sunny day than on the beach.  The warm sand between your toes and cool breeze carrying that unforgettable briny smell off the ocean is just ultimate relaxation – assuming you don’t mind sand making its way into cracks and crevices you didn’t know you had.

With one week of spring under our belts the beach weather is already here. Over in Charleston, SC, with temperatures Monday topping out at a mild 83-degrees, I joined the Spring Break crowd out on Folly Beach for my first beach day of 2016. Admittedly, I was a bit rusty.

Don’t make the same mistakes I did. Here are some reminders to help make your return to the beach a success:


“Thanks, mom.” I hear your sarcastic cries already. But listen: You’ve likely just spent the majority of the past 6 months either indoors, or outside bundled up in clothing. Your skin ain’t ready for the piercing UVB rays of the almighty sun. You may welcome the sunburn for your “base tan,” but you sure as hell won’t welcome skin cancer. Sunscreen was not along for the ride on my impromptu beach trip, and it only took an hour for my shoulders to turn crimson. No, you don’t have to bathe in SPF 100.  A nice SPF 30 (60 for the ultra pale) will help reduce the chance of sunburn today, and ensure that you aren’t too burnt to get back out there tomorrow.

Bottled water

You go to the beach because it’s hot, and it will still be hot once you get there. Don’t let that ocean breeze fool you: You’re gonna work up a mean sweat. Throw a couple bottles of water in that alcohol-packed cooler AND DRINK THEM. There is nothing worse than heading home after your perfect, relaxing beach day only to get punched in the face by dehydration and spending the rest of your night with your brain on fire.

Location of nearest shaved ice stand

A must. After a long day in the sun, a cup of shaved ice drenched in teeth-staining delicious syrup will be your best friend. Find the location of this ice-laden paradise before you hit the beach so you already know where to go when you walk off it.

Things to keep you busy

Sometimes you just wanna throw your towel down and layout for hours, maybe take a quick dip here and there to cool off. No problem. For those of us that get bored easily, we need something to keep us distracted. A book is always a good go-to for those who like to break a mental sweat, too (Looking at you, Dwight Goodman). Then there is music. Bring a small portable speaker or boombox and keep your phone in a bag. What you don’t want is your phone to overheat in the sun while attempting to blow out its tiny speaker with the latest Top 40 hit. A bocce set, ladder golf, football or soccer ball always work too.

What else is around?

You’re guaranteed to find two things at the beach  – The sand and the ocean. But look a little further and you may find plenty of other activities to maximize your fun in the sun. Piers offer a great spot to walk out over the ocean for killer views, and are a prime location for fishing (if allowed). Does your beach have volleyball nets? What about surfboard/paddleboard/bicycle rentals? Don’t forget to scout out the nearby restaurants and bars so you won’t have to cut your beach day short on account of hunger.

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