Beach Etiquette – Keep Your Day at the Beach Civilized

Girls on a beach-day out chatting and sunbathing
Going to the beach should be a fun experience, but some people leave their manners at home. Being in such close quarters with others requires a certain level of consideration to keep the experience fun for all.

Beach Etiquette - Keep Your Day At the Beach Civilized

A day at the beach is a summer tradition, but beaches can often be crowded and hectic. Small lapses in courtesy can change a leisurely day into an annoying experience. Keeping alert to your beach etiquette can help to make the experience pleasant for your family and for everyone sharing the sand around you.

Parasols and beach loungers with a kite flying at the beach


Finding parking spaces in crowded lots can be a challenge for beach-goers. Closely following someone leaving the beach in you car is considered rude. However, you can watch from a respectful distance to see if the spot will be available. When the parking lot is full, it is considered very bad manners to stand at your car for a long period of time, brushing off sand and dressing up after leaving the beach. 

Do as much of your clean up in the restroom/shower area before going to your car to allow a quick exit so that others can have the parking space. One nice custom in metered lots is handing over the ticket with remaining parking time on it if you leave early. This small kindness can make a beach day a gratifying experience for beach-goers, and hopefully, they will pay the kindness forward to someone else.

Tractor Parked at the Beach

Changing Areas/Showers

Nothing is more annoying than waiting for someone to free up a changing stall or shower. If you have need of these facilities, utilize them as efficiently as possible so that others do not have to delay their beach experience to suit your needs. Finish packing your beach bag after you leave the area to create faster access to these areas.

Rustic Beach Shower Unit

Creating Your Space in the Sand

A good rule of thumb for marking out your “territory” on the sand is to allow at least the height of two adults between your area and your neighbor. However, on some beaches on holiday weekends, the boundaries may become reduced. Try to leave at five feet between towel or beach chair areas. Of course, this proximity means that you must be particularly vigilant about dusting sand around, iPod noise or other annoyances.

Noise Levels

The rule about modulating your music players also applies to voice levels. Being next to a very loud and disruptive group on the beach can change a pleasant day into a nerve-wracking ordeal. You can still have fun with family and friends with your voice moderated to a lower level. If necessary for conversation and beach play, move away from crowded areas so that you don’t disrupt quieter beach-goers.

Beautiful Girl in Black Bikini sitting on Beach in front of rock wall


Although the beach is a place where skimpy clothing is allowed, be aware that you will be sharing the area with families with small children. Keep you uncovered sunbathing for more remote areas, and be aware that certain positions of your body may reveal more than you intend. This small courtesy can make being at the beach a more civilized experience for everyone.

Children playing with buckets and spades on a sandy beach

Sand Spray

Sand is everywhere on the beach and can even get into areas you never intended. Especially on crowded beaches, be aware of the amount of sand spray your movements create for other people. Avoid running close to people lying on crowded beaches that can be showered with sand as you pass. Do not shake out towels when you are leaving, an action that can sprinkle sand on neighbors, their food and their possessions. Do your shaking out in more open areas off the beach.

Foot Showers

Foot showers are provided to beach-goers to help with clean up before re-entering your vehicle. A line can quickly form around the shower as people try to remove every trace of sand. Children, in particular, often use these showers as another opportunity for water fun. Rinse off and leave as quickly as possible to avoid inconveniencing others, and teach your children the same courteous behavior.


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