Sand, Surf, and Sun: Planning the Perfect Beach Date
Ah! The ocean! The summer breezes, golden sands, foamy surf, and hot sun are just the solution to stress, achy muscles, and even the soul. I truly miss the Pacific and my summer trips to the beach, but I’m landlocked here in Colorado with a gorgeous view of the Rockies instead. If you’re like me and you’re landlocked, you can modify this date idea for by the lake (may I recommend Lake McConaughy – the Ocean of the Midwest) or even a river, creek, or pond.
Before You Leave Check-list:
- Sunscreen with an SPF of 30
- Plenty of hydration: water jug and bottles
- Cooler with ice and snacks
- Beach umbrella
- Swim suits
- Flip flops or sandals
- Lightweight swim coverup
- Change of clothes (including underwear)
- Hat and sunglasses
- Picnic blanket
- Beach ball, Frisbee, volleyball & net, pool noodles, or other beach toys
- Reading material
- Portable music and batteries
- Closed toed shoes for the more adventurous rock climbers and tide pool explorers
- Aloe vera gel (just in case of sunburns)
Picking the Perfect Spot
If you’re blessed enough to live along the coastline, you most likely have an abundance of options. Jump on the Internet and check out what others are recommending. Keep in mind what you’re ideal location is. Some questions to ask yourself:
- Are you looking for rocky crags or tidepools to explore?
- Are you wanting to get in some fishing from the shoreline or is playing beach volleyball more your thing?
- Do you want some sweet surfs so you can bring out the boogie or surf boards?
- Do you want a beach that offers some shade or coves closer to the land?
- Do you want picnic tables, bathrooms, and showers readily available?
- Are you hoping for a popular tourist destination or is quiet, cozy beach more up your alley?
- Do you want to drive out along scenic coastline for awhile or do you prefer to be closer to a beach town with restaurants and other attractions close by?
- What time of day do you want to be at the beach?
4 Things to Check Before You Leave
- Check tide times as well if you’re planning to surf the waves or boogie board or check out tidepools.
- Check to see if beach time will cost. Some state beaches and beach neighborhoods charge a parking fee for the day.
- If you’re planning to bring wine or beer, see if the beach has any regulations against alcohol usage.
- Check the local weather forcast for the day.
6 Helpful Hints
- Plan to arrive early in the day. In the summertime, beaches can become crowded fast, and sun-baked beach can reach sweltering temperatures quickly.
- Bring some extra cash with you for cold treats, souvenirs, extra water, parking, etc.
- Plan to leave valuables at home. Don’t wear your expensive jewelry or watch to the beach. Consolidate the bank and credit cards if possible. Only carry as much cash as you need.
- Don’t forget to lock your car when you leave.
- Reapply sunscreen every 2-3 hours especially in the middle of the day to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. There’s nothing like a sunburn to ruin the ending of a romantic date.
- Consume twice as many cups of water as you do alcohol or soda to ensure you stay hydrated.
- Bring plenty of drinks – I recommend a jug of water or a water bottle package kept in a cooler along with some fruit juice bottles (instead of fizzy sodas). This will help keep you hydrated throughout the day.
- A variety of finger sandwiches (PB&J, tunafish, ham, turkey, roast beef, eggsalad, etc)
- Fresh fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, mangoes, strawberries, grapes, balled cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelons, and/or pineapple chunks
- Fresh veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, sliced cucumbers, carrot sticks, celery sticks, and/or cherry tomatoes
- Cubed cheese
- Dipping sauces
- Pretzel sticks
- Trail mix and/or granola bars
- Chocolate covered strawberries
- Berries on a skewer with marshmallows
- Your sweetheart’s favorite candy bar
- Wine, champagne, or sparkling cider
Romantic Ideas to Make Your Beach Date More Special
Sunrise Picnic – Get up and head to the beach before the crack of dawn. Pick a beach that’s easy and safe to get to in the dark. A deserted beach or ocean overlook can be a dramatic setting for romance and a spectacular display of colors. Tell your sweetheart to dress in light layers for added warmth, and pack a blanket to snuggle under together. Bring something hot to drink in a thermos like coffee or hot cocoa with marshmallows. Lay out on the hood of your car or on the cool sand, catch the last of the night’s stars, and watch the sun come up together in the warmth of each other’s arms. Prime location and time for some smooching. May I suggest you bring a basket of breakfast goodies – muffins, bagels, cream cheese and ham spreads, individual yogurt cups, and whole fresh fruit in a mini cooler with your love’s favorite fruit juice.
Childhood Memories – Take the day to relax and have fun like you did when you were kids at the seashore. Play a lively game of tag, splash each other a bit in the waves, join in a game of beach volleyball, or toss a Frisbee or a football around. Pack PB&J sandwiches (or another childhood favorite sandwich), carrot sticks, pre-cut apple slices, string cheese, pretzel sticks, and individual juice boxes for lunch. Build a giant dream house sand castle together. Challenge each other to a sand sculpture contest or bury each other in the sand for fun. Play until dusk. Don’t forget to end the afternoon with a trip to the ice cream stand.
Evening Enchantment – Enchant your loved one by packing a superb dinner picnic. Bring your best dishes, sterling silverware, wine glasses, and cloth napkins. Pack a basket full of breads, deli meats, cheeses, berries on a skewer, and some of your partner’s favorite foods. Feed each other chocolate dipped strawberries or pear slices for dessert. Pick an ideal spot to build a fire and/or bring candles in jars (don’t forget a lighter). Bring some camp chairs for extra comfort. Lie out and watch the sunset. End the night by slow dancing under the stars while embracing your lover. Although the rhythmic sound of the waves crashing against the shore are all you really need for music, you can always bring a portable romantic playlist or turn up a great station on your car stereo.
Light up the night. If you go in the evening, grab a package of glow sticks and play a friendly game of tag on the beach. When you catch your spouse, be sure to kiss in the moonlight. Toss a glow in the dark ball around. Bring along some glow in the dark paint to decorate seashells you find. Purchase a glow in the dark body painting kit and decorate your partner’s body with little designs. Put a glow stick inside a balloon together and let it go with a wish. Chase glow in the dark bubbles on the shore. Wrap a glow stick around the outside of your glass or plastic cup to give your nighttime beverage a little shine. Make cupcakes with glow in the dark frosting for a sweet treat.
Bring a hammock. Find a cool spot beneath the shade of a tree and hang up your hammock to create a little love nest for you and your spouse. Do your devotionals together, read each other the funnies from the newspaper, do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle together, or just fall asleep for an afternoon nap in each other’s arms.
What to Do When You Get Home
End the day by hopping in the shower together for a steamy scrub-down and sexual foreplay. Then hit the sheets together to close the evening on a very good note. ;o)