Monday, August 15, 2011

California Livin': The beach

If you missed it, we are moving to California! While I am excited about the move, I have some questions about California living that I need your help to figure out. I'll be posting a topic once a week before the move to hopefully get some answers before we get to California. If you live in California, have lived in California, have moved across the country or just have some awesome insight, I need your help. Today's topic: the beach.

I am not a beach person. I mean, I like going to the beach for a little bit, to walk in the sand and put my feet in the ocean, but that's just about it. I'm really more of a mountain girl. Don't get me wrong, I love the view of the ocean and waves, but the beach is just so... sandy. When I've been to the beach in the past I have gotten sand in my swim suit or clothes, sand in my hair, sand in my ears, and if the wind is blowing, sand in my yummy picnic lunch. Then, when you try to leave you have sand stuck to your body and on your towel and in your beach bag which leads to sand in the car and sand in your house and on and on.

I hate bathing suits and I'm pretty sure Californians would equally hate me in a bathing suit. The idea of  being in public in a skin-tight, skimpy piece of nylon just isn't appealing to me.

Inevitably we will have visitors once we move and surely they will, at some point, want to go to the beach. So, I need your help to tell me how to survive this.

Do you have any tips and tricks for dealing with sand or how to dress comfortably yet modestly? Are there any gadgets or must have items that make beach trips easier or more comfortable? What is proper beach etiquette and are there any unspoken rules for how to behave at the beach? I would love to hear anything you have to share.

P.S. I hear there may be a difference in beaches depending on where you live. If it does matter, we will be living in northern California  :-)

Thanks so much for your help!


  1. I wish I could help you but I LOVE the beach. Love the salt water, the waves, the sand. Everything about it! (Not so much the swimsuit but what girl does?!) =)

  2. Lucky for you, beaches in NoCA aren't all that great for swimming or suntanning most of the year. It's between 50 and 70ish degrees pretty much year round in San Fran, so beach attire involves actually clothing. And I should beat you up for that swimsuit comment!

  3. Just added my comments to your previous post on moving basics, so please check those out too!

    As far as the beach goes, the Pacific isn’t exactly as warm and inviting as a Hawaiian beach, especially the further north you go, so the frequency that you’ll be hanging out there may not be as often as you think. I’m not as familiar with the beaches there as I am with Southern California, but there are often picnic tables at certain beaches that you can have your lunch away from the sand. Also there are often outdoor showers at the public beaches (the popular ones, that have the lifeguard stations in summer) that you can sort of hose yourself off before going home. You just have to shake it out before you put it in the car, and prepare to do a lot of laundry! Remember, you tracked in snow and dirt in Colorado, so it’s a trade off!

    Not everyone will be scantily dressed either. There is often a sea breeze that makes it a little chilly, so you won’t look out of place in a pair of shorts or crops and a tank top or jacket. You see people in bathing suits, and sweat pants and hoodies. One nice thing about many areas of California is that anything goes.

    And nothing says that your visitors are going to want to spend a bunch of time at the beach either. Find a nice restaurant that is on the water, take a stroll on the beach and then take them on a wine tasting tour. Most adults aren’t so anxious to play in the water, unless they want to take up surfing.

    Get a couple of beach mats and/or beach chairs (they look like lawn chairs that don’t have legs and sit right on the ground. You might get a small umbrella, if you are trying to stay out of the sun. Ask around where the good beaches are, and then just go there to observe a few times. You’ll figure out what you need by looking at what the other people bring.

    If there’s beach etiquette, I’m not sure what it would be – don’t play your mariachi music so loud that the people next to you can hear it! :-)

  4. Learn to surf, then you can wear a wet suit and look cool and not have to worry about what else you wear! Half Moon Bay has nice spots for surfing and nice quite beaches. The water is cold and the waves get eventually big.

    At least go watch the mavericks surf comps, take Dave there for a surprise date, he will love it.


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!