*Note: For the sake of this article, “beach camp site” refers to a person’s or group’s spot on the beach. This might be towels and a beach bag, or it may be a 10×10 canopy, wet bar, lounge chairs, DJ, and separate play area for the kiddies.
Part of my brand is all about enjoying our gorgeous North Carolina beaches, and they are here for all people to enjoy, both tourists and locals. As the girls and I were spending a day at the beach today, I thought of how our beaches’ visitors, both local and touring, could make beach-going better for everyone.
A 30- second beach break
(1) Do not play music loudly on the beach. The beach has the best sounds: Crashing waves, cawing seagulls, and happily squealing children. Many of us go to the beach specifically to enjoy these sounds. Your loud music drowns those sounds out. You don’t actually have the right to play your music loudly enough to be disruptive to others. Sure, listen to your music; that’s what earbuds are for. Otherwise, if you wish to look at water while you blast music and get drunk, please do us a favor and do this in your bathtub or backyard pool. There was a group with a serious “let’s party” speaker on the beach today. I ended up moving our beach camp far down the beach until I couldn’t hear their music anymore. Never have I wanted to scatter bread crumbs around someone as much as I wanted to today. This brings me to my next point.
(2) Do not feed the seagulls (aka, beach rats). You may be thinking, Awww, how cute to see little Billy offering his fries to the seagulls! It’s so cool watching them flying around! It may be like you’re in a fun summer movie, but it’s not so fun for those of us around you. Do you know that stuff goes into seagulls, and stuff also comes out of them? Those in the 20-foot radius around you really don’t wish to get pooped on while you’re feeding the birds.
(3) Only smoke in designated smoking areas. Have you smelled the beach lately? It smells of wet salty air, ozone, and a glorious blend that can only be half a dozen different sunscreens. You may enjoy the pungent aroma of your nasty smelling imported cigarettes or cigars, but the rest of us? Not so much. And while we’re at it, please keep your butts off our beaches – your cigarette butts, that is.
(4) Do not litter. Do you love ocean life? Maybe you are big on ocean life because you’re a die-hard conservationist. That’s great! My younger daughter is, too. Maybe, you want to protect ocean life because – let’s face it – shrimp and fish make for good eatin’. Litter on the beaches eventually makes its way to the ocean where it harms and kills ocean life. No butts, no bottles, no cans, no plastic bags. Every beach access has trash cans available, and some also have recycling cans, too.
This simply comes down to, love our beaches and be considerate of others at the same time. There are a lot of little beach etiquette rules; I grew up with them, and they’re pretty common-sense things. Things like, don’t shake your towel out where the sand will blow on other people. Don’t run by people, kicking sand up on them. Watch out when you’re boogie boarding so as not to run into people in the shallows (sometimes unavoidable).
We want everyone to enjoy our fabulous beaches. It would really suck if someone came to one of our beaches, had a horrible time because of inconsiderate beach-goers, and forever after vacationed in Virginia, South Carolina, or Florida. It’s real, folks. People judge beaches by the type of people that plant themselves on them. My parents will never again vacation at this one particular beach because of people that were there one time. I myself avoid a certain beach for a similar reason (that, and the beach is narrow and crowded).
What makes or breaks a beach experience for you? Drop your comments below.