The locals or in my case, scha-local (a former shoobie that now pays taxes in NJ) usually avoid the popular touristy beaches. Why? Because many of the shoobies (tourists) do not have the best beach etiquette.
For some reason at the touristy beaches, everyone enjoys sitting right on top of one another. Kids are kicking sand at strangers. You can’t hear the music because too many portable stereos are playing at the same time. I can repeat Sally’s life story, and I don’t even know Sally… It’s awful.
So please allow this beach bum to enlighten you.
Proper Beach Etiquette 101:
- Bring headphones, or sit far enough away from other people so they don’t have to listen to ‘your’ music. I am sure you have awesome taste in beach tunes, but so does everyone else on the beach. Most of us don’t go there for the DJ competition. Sometimes I like to read a book, or listen to the waves. I’m not a fan of Ja Rule interrupting my peaceful time.
- Don’t shake your towel near other people. I mean come on. Common sense. Know which way the wind is blowing. Excuse yourself, and go to an area where you’re not surrounded by people before you shake your towel. Shaking downwind from others is always the way to go! The same goes for your clothes, blankets, shoes, etc.
- I’m not Marsha. Throw your football somewhere else. Sorry, but not sorry. The beach is HUGE. Find an open space to toss your football or frisbee around. You want to play soccer or wiffle ball instead? I love them both, but I don’t love getting smacked by a ball I didn’t see coming, or getting sand kicked up on me as you run by. Play nice or go home.
- Don’t feed the seagulls, they’re vultures. They are ruthless and if you feed them they think I am going to feed them, and I know better. The last thing I want on a beautiful beach day is to be stalked by those maniacs. I don’t even like sharing my food with my fiance let alone a bird. PLEASE, you’re not doing anyone any favors. They eat PLENTY. The seagulls in New Jersey are obese, they don’t need anymore ‘people’ food. Besides, If they want it bad enough they will take it from you, trust me. Don’t invite them into our zone.
- Throw your trash out. This is huge! The beach is one of the best places on earth to visit. Don’t ruin it by being lazy. You pass about 15 trash cans on your way out, take your trash with you. Make it easy on yourself and bring a plastic bag or two with you to the beach. That way you can load up the trash and easily get rid of it all at the end of the day.
- If you dig a big hole with the kids, it would be really cool if you filled it back up before you left. It’s just called being courteous.
- Spacing… This is almost as big as throwing out your own trash. Please leave enough space between you and your neighbors. If we can hear each others conversations, and we are strangers, we are sitting too close. Again, there is SO much beach for you, your friends, and/or your family to take advantage of. Setting up your umbrella in my direct sunlight = NOT cool. Usually our group sits near the beach exit, far in the back so we don’t have to worry about people sitting right on top of us. Just use your best judgement.
- Smoking. I’m not particularly a fan, but if you are, just know where to do it. Again take note where the wind is blowing and try to avoid blowing your smoke in other people’s faces.
How about you? What are your beach etiquette rules?