5 Items You Need for the Perfect Florida Beach Day
I’m an avid beachgoer—I typically go a couple of times a month. Which is more than most Florida residents.
It’s funny. If you ask someone who’s lived in Florida more than a year or two when the last time was that they went to the beach was and the answer they give you is surprising. Some of them haven’t gone at all in the past year. But most go only a few times a year, less than 10. That’s less than once a month!
But because I go so frequently, I’ve discovered there are certain items that you need to have the perfect beach day.
Item #1: Sunblock
Florida is called the Sunshine state for a reason… you will get burnt without sunblock. Especially if you’re planning on spending the day at the beach. I personally don’t use anything under 70 SPF, but that’s because I’m fairly sensitive to the sun. Most people can get away with a 50 SPF sunblock though.
Also, make sure you get the lotion and NOT the spray. What I've discovered is that you will have lines where the spray was that didn’t burn and everywhere else that wasn’t in the direct line will burn. A LOT. Maybe I'm putting it on wrong, but I swear that stop is evil haha.
My favorite sunblock is Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant with SPF 100+. Now this is overkill for most people, but if you’ve got sensitive skin or just want to play is safe, I highly recommend it.
Otherwise, Neutrogena also has a SPF 55 sunblock that should do the trick for most people.
I swear by Neutrogena because it actually works and it doesn't leave your skin all oily and gross feeling. However, I'm on the hunt for a reef safe sunblock that's good for sensitive skin, so if you know one, share the recommendations!
Item #2: Shade (Canopy or Umbrella)
The second most important item on your perfect Florida beach day list should be some sort of shade.
When it’s just me and one other person, I opt for an umbrella with UV protection. That way, it’s easy to carry and easy to set up. (Don’t forget your anchor or your umbrella WILL blow away. Yes… I’ve had to chase an umbrella or two…)
If you’ve got a group of people going, a canopy is perfect! You can comfortable fit about 6 people under a 10x10 canopy. You’ll have plenty of shaded space to set up your chairs and coolers.
Item #3: Cooler
Now let’s be real, if you’re going to spend all day or even more than an hour or two at the beach, you’re probably going to get hungry, but you’re definitely going to get thirsty. After all, you’re out in the sun, working up a sweat!
I’ve got my own list of favorite snacks and drinks to bring to the beach, but as long as you’ve got a good cooler, you’ve got a lot of options!
When I pick one for the beach, I choose a cooler on wheels. A lot of beaches don’t have close parking so rather than lug a hefty cooler around, I opt to pull it behind me with minimal effort.
Keep in mind, you don't have to shell out a ton of money for the cooler either. You can get a decent one for under $50.
Item #4: Sunglasses
On top of the sunblock and the shade, you’re still going to want to provide yourself with a little extra protection. Grab a good pair of sunglasses and save your eyes the strain.
I destroy sunglasses so I don't shell out for the expensive ones and lose them regularly. So I just pick up a cheap pair from Walmart or Amazon usually—like these sunglasses. Make sure they have UV protection though! The sun can cause some major damage to your peepers. Plus it helps so you don’t have to squint through the brightness all day long!
Item #5: Towels
My last must-have for the beach is a good towel!
At some point, you’re going to need one, either to sit on or to dry yourself off with. A lot of people recommend microfiber and maybe I’m the odd one out on this, but I don’t feel like I get dry with a microfiber towel. It feels like it just moves the water around.
I tend to pick cotton towels with some extra length to make sure I’ve got plenty of dry space! Plus, there are lots of different colors and designs to choose from so everyone can get a beach towel they like.
Now this goes without saying… There are a ton — A TON — of other items you can bring to the beach. Are they necessary? Not really. Are they helpful and fun? Definitely!
If you want to know what else I recommend bringing to the beach, you can check out my full list. (Coming Soon!) Otherwise, keep your carrying load light and enjoy a day by the shore!