While other parts of the country may be cooling down, Sandbridge Beach often enjoys tropical temperatures well into early fall. Beachgoers look forward to balmy days by the shore, but also crave ways to keep cool. Here are 10 hot ideas for chilling out at the beach.
High-Tech Beach Umbrellas
Gone are the days of tiny, flimsy beach umbrellas that force you to chase the shade around the clock. Large, vented market-style umbrellas that tilt are a good starting point, but we can do you one better. Consider portable cabanas and sand tents that provide high SPF protection and ample space for the whole family. For the ultimate indulgence, check out camp-style beach chairs with built-in personal umbrellas and foot rests. These chairs are portable, designed to be packable, and made of ultra-lightweight material. Plus, they allow you to adjust how much sun you get.
Catch the Breeze
Staying comfortable at Sandbridge Beach starts the minute you hit the sand. Some beachgoers plant their chairs and umbrellas against the sand dunes or near the boardwalk because they don't know if the tide is coming in or going out. If you set up camp right at the waterline, however, you'll be in the best position to catch the cooling sea breezes. Not sure of the tides? Download a smartphone app that tells you when the water will be rising and falling.
Battery-Powered Fans and Misters
Battery-powered personal fans can help you stay chilled out by generating your own breeze. It's even better if the fan has a built-in mister. Check your local beach store or online retailers for a handheld water-misting fan. These cute contraptions look like a small spray bottle with a fan on top. You can also get a USB fan that plugs into your smartphone port, but be sure to keep your mobile device away from water.
Cool Head Beach Pillow
The Cool Head Beach Pillow is an ingenious refillable pillow that helps keep body temperatures down during beach naps. Fill the pillow with water and release as much air as needed to keep your head comfortable. When the water inside the pillow warms up, just empty and refill.
Water fights are so much more fun on hot days. Fill up your super soaker or water blaster and start an old-fashioned water gun fight. Resist the urge to use water balloons — the color and shape of broken balloons is whimsical — but deadly — to fish and turtles.
Stay fueled up, and cooled down, with bite-size cold snacks that are easy to pass and share. Cut watermelon into 1" cubes or use a melon baller to scoop out snack-sized portions. Freeze pineapple slices or grapes for an icy treat that won't melt even if your ice does, and use chilled celery sticks to scoop up salsa or cold hummus.
Water, Water, Water
It's easy to underestimate how much water you need on a steamy day by the ocean. Even if you're just reading, you'll lose moisture sweating. Take along more water than you think you'll need, and be sure to drink it even if you're not thirsty. If you're not normally a water drinker, consider lightly flavored carbonated water in cans, or sliced cucumbers, lemons, and limes in your water bottles to encourage hydration.
Take a Dip
Going for a swim is the best way to cool off on a hot beach day. However, if you're not a swimmer — or don't like swimming in the ocean — wading or sitting in shallow water will help keep you cool. If you are a swimmer, take a dip every 30 minutes, and be sure to reapply sunblock after you get out of the water.
Take a Break
Take a lunch or snack break at one of Sandbridge Beach's local restaurants or at your vacation rental. Relax in the air conditioning for an hour or two, replenish the ice in your cooler, and you'll be ready for another round of fun in the sun.
Take an Extra Cooler
One cooler is good, but two is better. Fill one with your usual ice, drinks, and food, and then put only ice and water in a second, smaller cooler. Use the second cooler to fill your fan/mister, soaker gun, beach pillow and other frosty suggestions on our list for additional cooling effect. Loaded coolers can be heavy, so be sure to invest in one with wheels or use a beach wagon to haul your supplies.Staying chilled out at the beach is important for comfort and safety during your vacation. Pack a big cooler or two, invest in a good umbrella, and plan fun ways to cool off at regular intervals, and you'll enjoy your long, lazy days at Sandbridge Beach.