Living near the coast means a day at the beach is within reach. Fortunately, the Emerald Coast boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. You can enjoy the white sand beaches and warm Gulf water even more if you take a few steps to prepare ahead of time. So try these seven summer beach hacks to ensure your trip is stress-free and fun.
1. Pack Some Shade
Whether the sky is clear or overcast, don’t rely on sunscreen alone. A wicked sunburn can creep up on you and send you packing early. In addition, the hottest days of summer can make even the beach a toasty destination. You can bring a canopy, beach umbrella, or pop-up shade to keep your cool and save your skin.
2. Speaking of Sunscreen
Protect your skin and make it easier to stay all day with a good, waterproof sunscreen. The Gulf gets bathwater warm in the summer. Thus, you’ll likely be in and out of the water all day. Choose a higher SPF that is waterproof, and reapply, if need be, to ensure you protect your skin from sunburn.
3. Protective Clothing Helps
When you’re not in the water, you might want to use a lightweight coverup as an additional barrier against the sun. A large-brimmed hat can protect your face, ears, and neck from the bright sun.
4. The Sand Will Reflect the Sun
The beach sand is so white that you can get a sunburn from the light reflecting off the sand. Even if you’re relaxing on a towel, use sunscreen or cover the backs of your legs so you don’t discover sunburn surprises later. Extra tip: put sunscreen on your feet. Yep, your feet.
5. Sand-free Zone
Try the neat trick of bringing a fitted sheet to the beach. You can prop some of your stuff in each corner to keep the sides up and most beach sand out.
6. Bring Food and Beverages
Many of the beaches available do not have any snack stands or restaurants within easy walking distance. Pack a cooler with more than enough water to stay hydrated. Remember, the water can be balmy, as high as 85℉, and you’ll lose fluids. Dehydration can creep up out of nowhere. Pack lots of snacks so you’re not sent home early by tummy rumbles.
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7. Know Where to Go
The most popular beaches can get crowded, and parking may be difficult. But many of the beaches along the coast are quiet, secluded gems if you’re patient enough to drive a little further. However, keep in mind that the roads trailing along the coast are one lane in either direction. Ensure you have plenty of gas and snacks, and use the restroom if there are a lot of other beachgoers on the road.
There are so many beautiful spots along the coast. You can find your little slice of paradise and enjoy the whole day with the right snacks and company. Be sure to park alongside the road or in a designated lot, which is usually free, and don’t disturb the dunes that protect against hurricanes. Have fun and stay safe!
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