The do’s and don’ts of throwing a successful beach party aren’t always as serious as whether or not you’ll be breaking the law. It’s also useful to know how to pack the perfect picnic basket, what common household item makes for the best-ever beach blanket for a large group, and what summery music will get the party going (and keep it going).
Though it seems like nothing goes better together than your toes in the sand and an ice cold beer in your hand, drinking is actually illegal on most public beaches — it’s a violation of open container laws. These 10 beaches, however, will allow you to drink.
If your beach is one of the wonderful ones that allow alcohol (or if you just don’t care about breaking the law — no judgment), then you’ll need some refreshing, delicious summertime cocktails. We recommend sipping on a Fresh and Fruity Sangria, Blackberry Lemon Smash, or Spiked Peach Herbal Sweet Tea. If you want to (or need to) be more inconspicuous about your day drinking, consider these Boozy Fruit Skewers.
Drinking in the sun is more dangerous than you think. Not only will you become dehydrated more quickly in the direct heat, but those who consume alcohol on the beach are more likely to suffer severe sun damage to their skin. First, drunk people are less likely to reapply sunscreen. Second, alcohol weakens the body’s immune system, meaning your skin’s defenses are down and more susceptible to dangerous UV rays.
You’re going to want to purchase a picnic basket that’s more sturdy and useful than it is stylish. Inside, be sure to have some durable paper or plastic plates, disposable silverware, plastic tumblers or disposable plastic cups, and paper napkins. You’ll also want to make sure you have supplies for cooking and preparing food, such as a steak knife, corkscrew, serving spoons, and tongs. And, of course, you can’t forget the garbage bags.
No party would be complete without music! Fill your playlist with current, upbeat hits and plenty of nostalgic songs of the summer. As a starting point, we recommend Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito,” DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One,” The Revivalist’s “Wish I Knew You,” and favorite summer hits like “California Gurls,” “Crazy in Love,” and “Umbrella.”
You certainly don’t want to forget your sunscreen for a day at the beach. In the long run, UV rays can cause irreversible skin damage, and in the short term, a sunburn can really ruin a good day. If you’re hosting, be sure to supply some SPF for your guests.
The beach is bound to get hot quickly, especially if you’re camping out all day. Don’t forget to keep cool with a spot in the shade or some beach umbrellas. And be sure to supply your guests with plenty of ice-cold water to keep them hydrated and feeling good.
You could spend all day sitting directly in the sand, but that wouldn’t be particularly comfortable. To have a beach blanket that’s big enough for all your food and friends, we offer this life hack: an old bedsheet. Spread out a king size sheet and enjoy.
Think beyond the Frisbee and football on your beach day. Set up games for your guests, like cornhole, ladder golf, or bocce ball for some extra fun in the sun.
Like grills and alcohol, most beaches don’t allow you to have a bonfire on the shore. But if you’re one of the lucky beachgoers who is allowed to do this, follow a few safety rules. Dig a pit for the wood, about 2 feet deep. If you can find rocks, circle your pit with them for extra protection. Build your fire with dry wood and twigs to avoid a smoky, unpleasant burn. Using a fire starter or matches, light the fire. After the bonfire has gone out, be sure to douse it with plenty of water, getting rid of any heat. Bury the ashes with sand to keep the beach looking clean.
You can go through all the planning in the world, but sometimes Mother Nature just isn’t playing along. Be sure to have a backup plan for your beach day bash. Consider one of the 25 best beach bars in the country to get your fill of sand and surf when the sun isn’t out to play.