Memorial Day is now behind us, and for the better part of the country, that means beach season is finally here (we’re still waiting for the warm weather up here in New England). While I’ve lived within two minutes of the beach for most of my life, I understand that most people aren’t so fortunate. I also realize that not all beaches have quite the same unwritten rules. But whether you’re from the prairie or the coast, East or West, a tourist or a beach bum, everyone can always use a couple reminders about beach etiquette.
Choose Your Spot Carefully
This one really amounts to being mindful of people’s “personal bubbles.” Now, how spaced out people are at the beach depends on the beach itself and the crowd that day (random-Tuesday-crowded and Fourth-of-July-crowded are two very different things), but in general, nobody likes it when you sit on top of them at the beach. Try and avoid plopping your stuff down too close to another group of beach-goers.
Watch Your Volume
The beach can be a lot of fun, and whether it is your music or your voice, sometimes that means getting loud. But remember, a lot of people use the beach to get away from the noisy hustle-and-bustle of everyday life. So while I understand that you need to tell all of your girlfriends about the dude you met at the bars last weekend, most people really don’t care. Just keep your volume in check.
Be Aware of the Wind
In general, one can expect there to be at least a little bit of a breeze on the average beach day. Now, the wind can make things a little tricky. First, if it’s really windy, you should probably ditch the umbrella; nothing shouts “shoobie” quite like umbrella troubles. Then, when you leave, you have to pack up all of your stuff, and the sand is bound to blow somewhere off of your towels, blankets and chairs. Be careful that it isn’t into someone else’s eyes. That’s the worst.
Don’t Feed the Birds
Pretty self-explanatory. I guess if you don’t live by a beach, maybe seagulls seem like they’d be pretty cool. I promise you, they aren’t. If you feed one, they all swarm, and someone will get pooped on. Nobody wants that.
Watch Your Step
Similar to the warning about packing up, just be careful when either walking down to the water or up to your car. Oftentimes, the path away from your chair becomes a maze of bodies and beach chairs, and again, no one likes sand kicked in their face.
This one is for everybody. You should always dress appropriately for the beach so you are comfortable and also have a good time. But there are some things that people really don’t want to see. Just be sure to not expose yourself too much with your beach attire, because while you should be comfortable, no one else should be uncomfortable when you walk by.
Now that the weather is nice, have fun, kick back and enjoy the beach — just try not to offend anyone while you’re at it!