Summer is often filled with days of lying in the sun underneath cool sand, jumping into the ocean and tossing a volleyball with friends. Whether you’re traveling far distances to tropical beaches, or spending time at a beach near home, The Eagle has compiled a list of essentials for your perfect beach day.
Beaches near the DMV
If you’re staying on campus or in the DMV area this summer, The Eagle has plenty of nearby beaches for you to visit.
With great views of the Chesapeake Bay, Rocky Point Park and Beach is only an hour from the city. If you’re looking for a more adventurous weekend, Assateague Island National Seashore is only a two hour drive from campus and known for its horses, campsites and bike trails. Known for its historic charm, Lewes is a quaint oceanside town next to Cape Henlopen State Park with great biking trails and campsites.
For those seeking freshwater, Cunningham Falls State Park is the perfect choice and an hour outside of the city, with a beach and hiking trails as well as camping. Last, if you’re looking to stay in the city, check out Fletchers Cove Boathouse which rents out rowboats, paddle boards, kayaks, canoes and bikes.
Moving on from location options, no beach day is enjoyable without good food as an accompaniment. A smart way to ensure that your food stays fresh throughout the day is to bring a small cooler with you for storage.
For the food itself, the best meals are ones that will refresh you from the heat and withstand being outside for long hours. Watermelon feta salad is a great example of a simple recipe that complements the summer weather. For a larger meal, consider bringing a pasta salad that will fill up hungry stomachs such as All Recipes’ Greek pasta salad.
Finally, for drinks, remember to bring water. Stainless steel vacuum insulated water bottles like HydroFlasks will keep any beverage cool for several hours. For more exciting drinks, sparkling sodas like San Pellegrino are refreshing as well.
It’s always handy to bring a few games to the beach if lounging isn’t your scene. Two fun games that can be easily carried and set up anywhere are Spikeball and badminton. For some summer nostalgia, it can be fun to bring buckets and shovels as well, or to throw a deck of cards in your bag for a break from more physical beach activities.
If you plan on spending the entire day at the beach it’s smart to bring a beach umbrella, or a beach tent with you — both can be found at stores like Walmart or online at Amazon.
Another recommendation is to bring a beach blanket instead of a towel, and buying locally can support artists and businesses near the beach. In addition, it can be helpful to bring a cover-up to wear over your bathing suit or a change of clothes for the end of the day.
Lastly, one of the most essential items to bring to the beach is sunscreen. Although people with lighter skin tones may be more prone to UVB sun damage, it’s important that all people wear sunscreen to protect themselves from UVB and UVA sun damage which is associated with wrinkles, discoloration and skin cancer. Affordable sunscreens can be found at most drugstores and department stores, and many brands make sheer and clear sunscreens that are friendly for darker skin tones.
It’s recommended that the ingredients of the sunscreen you purchase are compatible and safe for coral reefs in the area you will be traveling to as well. For example, locations such as Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands have banned sunscreens containing chemical ingredients like oxybenzone, octinoxate and octocrylene.
With this kit of Eagle essentials and our list of location recommendations, we hope you will be boat captain-ready for a summer filled with fantastic beach days.