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Out and About: Beach Trip

From the windy coast of the Pacific Northwest to the sunny sands of Miami Beach, the meeting of land and sea draws an eclectic crowd – from tourists to local surf bums to everyone in between. Beyond the industries it affords (fishing, gift shops, and overpriced food, mostly), the beach draws crowds with it’s soulful beauty and imbues us with wonder at the earth’s mystery and power.

And while just beyond the shore lies a world of chaos and mystery and intrigue, let’s be honest – the real reason most appreciate the edge of the ocean (or a lake or river, for that matter) is because the beach is synonymous with kicking back, letting go, and enjoying guilt-free afternoon libations. Crusty fisherman make for interesting postcards, but soft sand and sun-kissed skin have proven to be the attraction of choice.

And if you’ve made your way to the beach, whether for a Saturday afternoon at the lake or weeklong vacation in Bali, there’s a happy medium between denim-clad DSLR guy and the speedo’d brazilians playing beach pong. Take advantage of the opportunity to channel your inner seafarer with relaxed, stylish, and nautical-inspired classics. There’s no one way to dress, but here are a few things to keep in mind while planning your next sandy excursion.

You don’t need to don a North Shore tank top and floral board shorts to channel your inner Beach Boy. Just wear the same type of stuff you’d wear on a summer weekend (oxford cloth button-downs, t-shirts, shorts), but choose the beachy version. Choose navy and white, horizontal stripes, and boat shoes. (You get the idea.)

Certainly pick up a pair of water-ready trunks if you plan on taking a dip. But when the water temperature drops (or your blood-alcohol level spikes), staying on dry land is recommended. If you’re going for a playful pattern, keep that up top (shirt and/or hat) and go with basic colors like beige, navy, or grey below the waist. It’s also time to give up those shorts that barely merit the name, hitting below your kneecaps. Look for ones that are trim but not leg hugging and are somewhere in the 5.5” – 11” inseam range (depending on your height and the sightliness of your quads). If you have some longer shorts you can’t bear to part with, just cuff ‘em and get some rays on those sun-thirsty thighs.

Pack for Sunset
Unless you’re vacationing on an equatorial island during summer, coastal regions can chill down quite quickly as the sun starts to dip. You don’t want to be forced off the sand because you didn’t come prepared, so bring a bag with a couple of blankets and an extra layer. And if you really want to do it right, save a few brews in the cooler for sundown and enjoy them over a sandpit fire.

  1. Bring some wood and a small axe for cutting kindling (like this one)
  2. Check with the local coast guard (or at least keep your eyes open for signage on the road in) to ensure you won’t get kicked off the beach for lighting things on fire
  3. Build it
  4. Light it (not a certified boy scout? These burner bags from Poler makes starting a fire quick and easy)
  5. Drink beer. Tell stories. Laugh. Repeat.