Beach Etiquette 101

Atlantic City, NJ
Atlantic City, NJ | Source

Minding Your Manners at the Beach

Is it really that time again? Is it time for another lesson in etiquette? Even more so, is it time to discuss the beach? Considering it is about 100 degrees outside as I write this, I think now is the perfect time for Beach Etiquette 101.

You might ask yourself, "Do I really need a lesson in beach etiquette?" The answer is probably going to be: "Yes!" If you go to a public beach, then you should follow some simple rules. If you have your own private beach, then A) no, most of these rules will not apply to you, and B) when can I come over?

Before heading to the beach this summer, let's examine the activities and sights we do or don't want to see while you are there.

Don't Pretend You are Drowning

Oh, how funny! You swim out far into the ocean and then you pretend you are being sucked under. You flail about and almost give the lifeguard a heart attack. The lifeguard swims out to save you only to find that you were joking. Funny, huh?

No, you are a jerk. You just scared your friends, family, random people on the beach, seagulls, crabs, etc. The lifeguard has every right to smack you and throw you back in.

By the way, pretending you are being attacked by a shark - also not funny!

It's a Beach, Not a Night Club

I love some jamming music as much as the next person. You know what I do not love - your jamming music. Keep the music down. It is a public beach and no one wants to hear the new Lady Gaga CD ten times, even if that Judas song is really catchy.

Give Me Some Space!

Do you know what is really creepy? It is when you are laying on the beach on your beach towel, and someone you do not know decides to lay their beach towel down directly beside you and start talking to you. Ummm... have we met somewhere before or are you a total weirdo? Oh OK, total weirdo. Great.

You want to always give people plenty of space on the beach if you do not know them. I would say a good rule is about 10 feet between groups. If the beach is especially packed that day, perhaps even 5 feet is acceptable. However, striking up that conversation is still a little strange unless you begin with, "Hey, crowded beach, huh?" or something like that. If the person looks interested, continue the conversation. If not, keep it quiet, Chatty Cathy.

Also, if you have an umbrella and it is enormous, don't block anyone's sun. Yes, we should all be more cautious out in the sun, I know. However, some of us really do want a tan and we want our sun. Don't block my sun, or it is going to get ugly between us.

Birds at Ocean City, MD
Birds at Ocean City, MD | Source

Don't Feed the Birds

Trust me, I love birds. They are beautiful, graceful animals - except at the beach . For some reason, birds turn into psychotic and plotting creatures at the beach. It always starts the same: an adorable bird comes by you and you have some fries left from lunch. Why not give the cute bird a fry? Oh, how the bird loves eating that fry!

But then (enter the scary music!) Tweety calls over all his bird friends and the riot begins. Soon, it looks like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcook movie. You and everyone in your area is being attacked. As if that is not bad enough, the bird poop bombs begin and it is an total bird vs. human war. My friend, there are no winners in that war. Just don't feed the birds.

Save It for the Motel Room

Oh, the beach can be so romantic! Who doesn't enjoy a nice long walk along the water while holding hands with their sweetheart? What could be wrong with maybe getting a little make out action going while at the beach? Who would even notice?

Probably the one hundred other people still on the beach would notice. So don't get too frisky. No one wants to see you making out (or doing more!) on the beach... I take that back... some creeps probably do want to see it, but still, go back to the motel if you want to get too romantic. I know you are barely clothed and there is some temptation, but don't do it in public unless you want to see a YouTube video pop up that evening starring you and your partner.

Time to Pack it Up

Well, much like the beach visit, all good things must come to an end. It is time for me to say farewell. Hey, perhaps it is even time for me to plan my own beach vacation or, at least, fantasize about going on my own beach trip.

I hope you've had some fun reading about beach etiquette. I also hope it has opened your eyes to proper beach manners. Most of all, I hope you get to use everything I've taught you and you get to go to the beach this summer. Enjoy!

Ocean City, MD
Ocean City, MD | Source

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Comments 24 comments

Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Nice tips for the in Va Beach.....we actually have some laws that enforce beach etiquette.....police can give you a ticket for loud music, driving on the strip(area where all the hotels are located) than once an water guns.....I don't think they have a law about pretending to drown...but the city board will probably get that always you have posted a funny hub....voted up and funny.

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Wow, those are a lot of rules. I do believe Ocean City in Maryland has the same rule about driving down the main street repeatedly. What is it about the beach that makes people want to drive down one main over and over again? You would think the beach or the pool would be more fun. Thanks for the comment and the vote up!

kittythedreamer 5 years ago

another one to add: don't shake out your sand-filled towel downwind from me! But I do have to say, people that feed the birds are the MOST annoying ever!

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Yes, that is so true! I did not even think about that one. Haha... the people that feed the birds are so annoying. I have to admit, I did it once long ago. I learned my lesson the hard way and never made that mistake again. Those birds are vicious at the beach. Thanks for the comment!

Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Jeannieinabottle, what fun! Why do people want to plonk themselves so close to you on a beach? I always seem to get the 'nutter' next to me! pushing all your buttons, really made me laugh!

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Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Yes, there are some real nuts out there. I guess people are lonely, but that is no reason to start a random conversation with someone who is obviously not interested. Sometimes headphones and reading a book won't get rid of people!

Thank you for reading and for the comment. I am glad I could make you laugh.

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Husky1970 5 years ago

Great hub and so timely as we are experiencing our first real heat wave here on MV. You have obviously spent some time on the beach. You have "Beach Etiquette" nailed. Most beach goers would completely agree with you.

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Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Yes, it is now officially 100 degrees in Maryland. I keep reminding myself that anything is better than snow, but 100 degrees in June is a bit much. Thank you for your comment!

Sunshine625 5 years ago

Great hub!! I enjoyed it!! Here in FL at Daytona Beach you never know what to expect, it's kind of like a shopping trip to Walmart....enough said. Voted up!! :)

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Yes, I've heard that about Daytona Beach. I've been as far as Virginia Beach when it comes to beaches. Myrtle Beach and Daytona Beach are on my list of beaches to visit someday. Thanks for the comment and the vote!

Sapphireid profile image

Sapphireid 5 years ago from San Diego, CA

Hi Jeannieinabottle,

; )

Looks like you're a community activist like me. Good job with your Beach Etiquette 101!

Respectfully w/ Blessings,


Sunshine625 5 years ago

Hi jeannie! I just seen your hub on Twitter and wanted to say you go girl! I said it once and saying it again...great hub!! :)

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Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

Hopefully I'm signed in this time! :))

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Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Sapphireid - Yes, someone has to step up and try to better things for all of us at the beach. :-) Thank you for the comment!

Sunshine625 - Thank you for the compliment! I did not even realize this was on Twitter until you mentioned it.

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

Hubpages posts random hubs to their Twitter feed. It's always fun to see your hub on there :-)

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Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

I never thought of that. I knew Hubpages posted hubs on Facebook and I knew my hubs have been featured on there before. You would think I would have thought they would do the same on Twitter, but I guess I just don't ever think about Twitter. Thanks for letting me know!

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada


Good, good rules that, had I read them last year...would have led me to less embarrassment. I almost never feed the birds but I always keep some dog treats with me and I lavishly dispense them to any hound that will have them. Soon...we have an army of sand-kicking dogs looking for the next goodies. Not as gross as bird poop...still annoying, however.

We accomplished our first beach trip of the season last Sunday...per your list...I did pretty good...except for the aforementioned dog invasion.



Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 4 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

These are definitely some common-sense rules that I imagine quite a number of people haven't the sense for. Too bad it is likely those people who wouldn't read this hub.

Voted up, useful and interesting.

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thomas, I am sorry you were attacked on the beach by dogs. Who knew they could be just as aggressive as beach birds? I am glad you were able to take a trip to the beach though. Thanks for stopping by my hub! :-)

Phil, you are so right. The very people that need to read this hub probably won't. At least the rest of us can have a good laugh. Thanks for the votes!

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I agree- especially with the too close thing- some families get close and I feel like I'm with them instead of next to them. And the same goes for grope happy couples who need to wait for their DND sign to get posted! Great hub!

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thanks so much! Yes, sometimes there is too much "closeness" at the beach. First of all, if you think about the fact that everyone is walking around barely clothed, it makes it even weirder when people want to be too close and too friendly. Creepy! And the overly touchy couples are just gross. At least wait until it's dark or something.

WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

I live in a beach town in Florida, so it is always that time of year again. I am taking this to the chamber of commerce to see if we can make this into billboards to display in front of all of the public beaches.

Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

When we are in a beach we must not be a nuisance to others. Your hub has excellent pointers to enjoy and let others enjoy in the beach.

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

WD Curry 111 - It would be so crazy awesome if the chamber of commerce did post this. Hahaha... Thanks!

Vellur - Yes, I am hoping to have some "normal" polite fun on the beach this year. I hope this helps people.

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    Jeannie InABottle (Jeannieinabottle)1,160 Followers
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