Beaches are suddenly inundated with shovels and boogie boards, lifeguards are on duty, the sun is shining, and the sand is finally warm between your toes — it’s summer at last! What better place to spend your effulgent summer days than the beach? As a year-round resident of Cape Cod, I have had the pleasure of learning the ins and outs of what it takes to be an expert beachgoer. I’ve spent more days than I can count wading in crystal clear waters and lounging on sun-swept shores. The only difficult aspect of a beach day is deciding what to bring. Here’s my advice:
1. PROTECT YOURSELF — The first and probably most essential item on any beach list is sunscreen. Too many people go without it. Although the beach is often a sanctuary for sun worshipers, let’s be honest, it doesn’t always love us back. Try Sawyer’s Stay-Put Sunscreen. A staple for adventurers braving the elements in all conditions, it is mineral based which makes it long lasting and great for people with sensitive skin. And it can be clipped right on your beach bag for easy access.
2. STAY COOL — With the first days of summer behind us, there are now inexpensive coolers lining the shelves of every grocery store. They hold more than meets the eye. Some as small as a beach bag can hold up to four or five meals. Here’s a clever and useful cooler for all of my fellow Hufflepuffs out there! It even has a pocket for your wand — that is, if you dare to do magic outside of school.
3. SIT PRETTY — Depending on how long you’re planning to stay, it may be a good idea to bring a beach chair, as towels often tend to become impractical once you decide to get comfortable or even nap. It’s always nice to recline your chair and doze off for an hour or two. Try the Big Kahuna Beach Chair — a vivacious, fun place to relax that caters to the needs of book lovers everywhere with its handy pocket to place your most treasured novels. If you don’t feel like lugging a chair and prefer the compact ease provided by a towel, try this DIY project to create an easily portable beach towel blanket with pillow — you will surely be one of the most creative sunbathers to hit the beach this summer!
4. ACCESSORIZE — Chances are that you can spot the serious beachgoer by their stylish and functional sun hat. Not only do they look the part of sunbathing extraordinaire, but they avoid waking up with a crimson forehead and eyelids. Try this cute monogrammed sun hat for an individualized take on the summer must-wear accessory.
5. BEACH READS — Nothing beats a late afternoon basking in the sun with a book in hand. There are two new novels that I have deemed especially beach worthy. The first, She Rises by Kate Worsley, is a breathtaking love story that tells the tale of a young maid and her thrilling, dangerous adventures at a naval port in Harwich, England. Similarly, Beatriz William’s love story, A Hundred Summers, is an electrifying novel about betrayal and the dark secrets that consume an oceanfront community. These are the perfect seaside love stories — engrossing and addictive. Just be sure to look up from the page every once in a while as the tide may come for your chair!
6. TOTES NECESSARY — This may seem like an obvious one, but you can’t manage all of the essentials without the perfect beach bag to hold them. This would ideally be bright, colorful, and large enough to hold everything. Book lovers can show their literary allegiance with these tote bags by Out of Print Clothing.
7. SUMMER SOUNDTRACK — I’d recommend leaving the radio behind unless you are toting some headphones or have emerged from an eighties surf movie. Yet, a soundtrack can really compliment a lazy beach day. Try protecting your iPhone or iPod in a water and sand proof case by Lifeproof. The sleek design and heavy-duty protection offered by the case allows you to rest easy, rock on, and respect your fellow beachgoers. After all, there’s nothing more annoying than someone who takes it upon themself to provide the entire beach with a hip-hop concert or a makeshift country fest. There are people that want to know what happens to Nick and Lily in A Hundred Summers without Kanye interfering!