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Confessions Of A Beach Hermit

Updated on July 7, 2017
Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford, Connecticut
Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford, Connecticut | Source

Call Me The "Lone Beacher"

Do you love beaches where you are blanket to blanket? If someone walks past, their feet flick sand on you? Their flying misguided Frisbees clunk you while you are resting? The sound of boomboxes blares in your ear as you smell coconut oil from the people who grease up for the ultimate tan.

If that's your beach nirvana, you will probably never run into me. I have developed strategies to avoid everyone else and, save a few other anti-social people, enjoy a nearly empty beach.

I you like to hear only the sound of the waves, walk along the water; read a book; and be in the soft gentle sun; then read on.

You don't have to be rich to afford your own private beach retreat.

With a few simple strategies you can find your own quiet piece of beach paradise to relax on.

Strategy #1 For Avoiding A Crowd

Height of Season - Height of Day, What do I do?

I travel light to the beach. When no one is looking I lock my purse in the trunk of the car and just take pocket money (more on this later).

Take a light weight blanket, sun tan lotion, cell phone, a large water bottle and a book. Good to go. Then walk all the way to either end of the beach where there is no one else. (Great exercise).

Sometimes this means there is no lifeguard on duty at these ends and swimming is prohibited. Good. It means even less people. If I want to go in the water, I can always get up from the blanket to stretch, take a walk and go where there is a lifeguard station. More good exercise.

People tend to congregate near (1) the lifeguards, so they may swim (2) the bathrooms and concessions (especially important for people with children); and (3) young people tend to congregate where there are other young people to socialize with.

Bluff Point Beach
Bluff Point Beach | Source

Strategy #2 Another Mid-Summer Cure For Crowds - Go off Peak Time

Napatree Beach Rhode Island
Napatree Beach Rhode Island | Source

This strategy was developed by accident. I am really fair and burn easily. A dermatologist, pretty much guaranteed me that if I do sun, I will get skin cancer. That plus the fact that I really don't like super heat. So, I started going to the beach at 3:00 pm. Guess what? Everyone else is leaving at that time.

The sand is still nice and warm under my blanket and against my back. I can sit and read without glare and the sun's rays are gentler after 3:00 pm.

Strategy #3 for "Hermitism" - Go Off Season

Race Point Beach Cape Cod
Race Point Beach Cape Cod | Source

I used to plan the most blissful beach vacations to Cape Cod, Massachusetts in the Autumn. If you have ever been to Cape Cod you know there is one main road toward Provincetown and in the summer it is slow going.

When I was working, my strategy was to ask for the week off after Labor Day. It was easy to get as most people didn't want it. Then, I would head to the Cape. I had the whole beautiful, white duned National Seashore to mostly myself.

I would stroll along for miles with a bag, picking up seashells and washed stones -- great exercise. Then when I was tired, I go back to the blanket and nap on the warm, blanket in the warm but not scorching sun.

The ocean holds its heat pretty far into winter making the shorelines even warmer than inland areas.

My other Cape Cod strategy is to go the weekend after Memorial Day. Yes, everyone heads to the beaches Memorial Day, but then come Tuesday, the kids have to go back to school. For this strategy, I bring a blanket to wrap myself as it might be a little chilly on the shore.

Check and see if your favorite retreat area has an off season. You can usually tell by checking the lodging rates, they often drop to half or more of the usual rate. (Another plus).

The only drawback is some of the restaurants and stores might be closed off season.

Strategy #4 For A Quiet Retreat - Go Where There Is No Swimming Allowed

Harkness Memorial Park, Waterford, CT
Harkness Memorial Park, Waterford, CT | Source

Yes. There are beautiful sandy beaches where there is no swimming allowed. The one in the photo is Harkness Memorial Park, Waterford, CT. It has a beautiful picnic area and lawn for kite flying, and Frisbee throwing and a formal garden to tour. However, the beach area is small. I suspect the State doesn't provide a lifeguard as it's too small to warrant it.

Bingo! I just want a beach for relaxation purposes. Here I will find a few parents with toddlers letting them wade; and I am happy to wade right alongside of them. Then go back to my quiet blanket and read.

A lot of small town beaches fall into this category. Look around and you will find little pocket hole beaches where no swimming means less people.

Okay, so what are the drawbacks?

  1. At the secluded end of the beach there may be no formal restrooms. Plan ahead. Or plan on taking a long walk to one. Some will have port-a-potties. Bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer.
  2. I like to walk the beach. This means my stuff is left alone on the blanket with me maybe a mile away. Again, I recommend locking a purse in your trunk, when no one is looking. You could even do it before getting to the beach to make sure. I don't carry a beach bag. I just put everything in my blanket and fold it so it holds my stuff. I have a personal beach neck wallet.
  3. Isolation could be dangerous. Honestly, I am not that scared at beaches, I don't feel they are a place for criminal activity. Even though isolated, they are open. Still, I don't go where there is totally no one. I can always see someone off in the distance. I feel better when I see more than one person. One person could be an offender, so another person is security. Keep your cell phone with you.

My Safety Method To Protect My Valuables - This is similar to the neck purse I purchased a long time ago

When I walk away from the blanket, I put on a neck purse. I take my car keys, any money I have and my cell phone.

It is extra security to have your cell phone with you, and the last thing you want to do is lose your car keys in the sand.

© 2013 Ellen Gregory

I enjoy being able to hear myself think and sit quietly on a beach

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    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 4 years ago

      I like the variety of both - but tend to like uncrowded beaches best.

    • opatoday profile image

      opatoday 4 years ago

      Quiet beach?

    • profile image

      RoSelou 4 years ago

      I like quiet beach with beautiful scenery, unique landscape, with coconut trees and birds around.

    • CaztyBon profile image

      CaztyBon 4 years ago

      Quiet beach to walk along or sit and read .

    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      I much prefer a quiet walk on the beach with my dog.

    • profile image

      PattyRadford 4 years ago

      I like a quiet beach where there is a whole lot of sand between me and the next person. Pretty hard to find at the most well known beaches on Cape Cod, but I know where to go as I was born here. Quiet spot, good book, the sun sparkling off the ocean as you watch the boats go by in the distance. Nice!

    • DataRet profile image

      DataRet 4 years ago

      I prefer quiet beach

    • Unlimited11-11 profile image

      Tom McHugh 4 years ago from Lake Champlain, Vermont, USA

      a quiet beach

    • HSP Connections profile image

      Peter Messerschmidt 4 years ago from Port Townsend, WA, USA

      I am a lifelong beach comber, and usually prefer to stay a LONG way from the rest of the world... I often end up on places that are remote because the nearest coast access is 3-4 miles away.

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 4 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      Love the sound of the waves & then the feeling you still have after you've floated on them, as if you are still there. Sorelaxing

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 4 years ago

      definitely a quiet beach. it's so rare that it feels special.

    • mcspocky lm profile image

      mcspocky lm 4 years ago

      I like both, but prefer quiet. When I lived in Hawaii I loved taking walks at night in the moonlight along the beach.

    • AmberColleen LM profile image

      AmberColleen LM 4 years ago

      I enjoy both, depending on the day and my mood, but since I'm an introvert, I generally prefer to be on my own or around only a few other people.

    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 4 years ago

      quiet

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 4 years ago from Keller, Texas

      I love to read a book, take in the sunshine and sound of the waves, but most of all, I love to hunt for sea glass.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love a quiet beach.

    • profile image

      Embeegee 4 years ago

      I prefer a quiet beach

    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      I love wandering along a beach.

    • profile image

      MarcellaCarlton 4 years ago

      It is the solitude I crave.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image

      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      A secluded beach all to myself!

    • profile image

      kulla 4 years ago

      I love quiet to tune in to nature

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 4 years ago

      Solitary for me.

    • Shorebirdie profile image

      Shorebirdie 4 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Quiet, for sure. I like to watch beach birds and it's hard to do that with a lot of people around.

    • JackNimble profile image

      JackNimble 4 years ago

      I love a quiet and mostly empty beach where I can revel in the power of nature and the awesomeness of creation! If you are looking for quiet beaches there are some beautiful ones on the Oregon Coast.

    • bethann21 profile image

      bethann21 4 years ago

      Quiet

    • profile image

      poutine 4 years ago

      Give me a deserted beach anytime and I'll be camping there

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 4 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      Quiet, definitely. I'm not comfortable around large crowds in any environment, plus without the distractions, the beach is really a great place to focus one's thoughts.

    • chocochipchip profile image

      chocochipchip 4 years ago

      A quiet one to enjoy myself

    • chocochipchip profile image

      chocochipchip 4 years ago

      A quiet one to enjoy myself

    • Michelllle profile image

      Michelllle 4 years ago

      quiet

    • lewisgirl profile image

      lewisgirl 4 years ago

      I don't like a lot of people either. I go to the beach to get away from it all.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 4 years ago from Vermont

      I love a solitary or sparsely populated beach, especially at the seashore.

    • artdivision1 lm profile image

      artdivision1 lm 4 years ago

      I love quiet, secluded beaches where I can just drift away and contemplate the world. Also it's always a bonus when there's no one likely to hit you by mistake with a ball whilst they're playing beach tennis!

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      No, I like my beaches, and my woodlands to be peopled more sparsely so I can enjoy nature and some solitude.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 4 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I always avoid crowds if I can.

    • EllieHarper profile image

      EllieHarper 4 years ago

      Definitely a quiet beach so I can enjoy my book in peace.

    • CampingmanNW profile image

      CampingmanNW 4 years ago

      I'm with you, quietly and in a pleasant place.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 4 years ago

      There are still a few beaches in my area that I don't have to share with anyone. They are my choices. Sand and solitude, that's my choice.

    • Tim Bader profile image

      Tim Bader 4 years ago from Surrey, UK

      I hate beaches with too many people on them - just us would be fine!

    • profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago

      quiet, please.

    • profile image

      EmergencyPrepar 4 years ago

      Yes, we go to the less crowded beaches when we can. We enjoy the smell of the salt water and sand and the warmth of the sun. We are in SW Florida. I don't like tripping over people.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      I always go out of my way to find a remote stretch of beach that I can have to myself. Well, just me and the beach critters.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      I like the quiet, unless it's a group function, and then I like the crowded scene.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I used to live by a small lake that had a lovely, sparsely populated beach.. it was Heaven on earth. There was a flat rock I loved to sit on and meditate by myself.

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 4 years ago from Houston

      I am so with you. I take a lot of time fighting the perfect beach spot--usually quite isolated.

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 4 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      I live about 15 to 20 minutes from the North Sea beaches and I never go there on holidays or in summer. Then you can walk on heads. If I go, I go in between seasons or in winter, when there's hardly anybody there.

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 4 years ago from Guatemala

      I love being the only person on the beach. I used to live on an island and I would go to the most remote beaches to sit and think.

    • profile image

      hmommers 4 years ago

      Quiet!! By miles (literally ;) )

    • WebMarketingPro2 profile image

      WebMarketingPro2 4 years ago

      I too prefer my beaches on the quiet side, so I tend to visit them off season (or pick beaches that don't draw big crowds...

    • profile image

      gin001 4 years ago

      Definitely prefer a quiet beach. Early morning is my favorite time to go walking on the beach, before it gets too hot.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Quiet. We spend time at New Smyrna Beach, Florida on our annual vacation trip. We love to just listen to the waves as we walk the beach.

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 4 years ago

      Quiet for me. A beach is somewhere to go to really appreciate living.

    • profile image

      anntag 4 years ago

      My favourite thing to do is go for a long walk on a quiet beach.

    • Aibrean82 profile image

      Aibrean82 4 years ago

      Definitely a quiet beach. I love hearing the sound of the waves!

    • Victor243 profile image

      Victor 4 years ago from Vietnam

      i fell better when i stand on the sand on the beach, felling the wind from the sea

      i prefer quiet beach

    • profile image

      trishafly 4 years ago

      Quiet beaches, hands down. That's why I plan most of my vacations in the off season. And then I like to walk shortly after sunrise.

    • alternative-help profile image

      alternative-help 4 years ago

      Oh most definitely quiet. I want to hear the waves, feel the peace and collect my thoughts. When I was younger, that was a different story :)

    • ukprowriter profile image

      ukprowriter 4 years ago

      I like the feeling of peace and tranquility

    • Hammocksaustralia profile image

      Hammocksaustralia 4 years ago

      Quiet Beach

    • hovirag profile image

      hovirag 4 years ago

      I prefer quiet beach - I need space so don't feel good if the whole beach is full of blankets and people - this doesn't mean I don't like being among people!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I like a quiet beach where I can hear the waves and myself think.

    • profile image

      webscribbler 4 years ago

      A quiet beach is for me. While I do enjoy watching families play in the surf, I don't like having to worry if one of them is going to land in my lap. A quiet walk down the beach, just enjoying the breeze and searching for treasures washed up on shore is my idea of the perfect day.

      I just don't get how anyone can enjoy the beach when the sand is virtually covered by blankets and you can extend your arm and touch the next family.

      Your idea for going after holidays works at other hot destinations too. We had almost no waiting for rides when we went to Disney World, the week after Easter. Sure, we missed the parade and other festivities but we didn't have to wait 2-3 hours to get on each ride either.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Quiet and calm are always the best...that's why I love going to the beach in the winter!

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 4 years ago from U.S.

      My husband and I much prefer quiet beaches where we can walk and relax without being cheek to jowl with other beach-goers. We're not much for baking in the sun on a crowded beach, but we enjoy looking for shells or exploring tidal pools (when we can get to the ocean), or just wandering up and down the beach.

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 4 years ago

      I'm more for the quiet beaches for my solitude and meditation. I don't mind the people watching at busier beaches once in a great while.