By Brittni Henderson
Freshly manicured toes are peeking out of the front of a pair of sandals, sundresses are flowing majestically in the wind like a flag, out of office replies are popping up in every inbox—summer has finally arrived. For months we endure the frigid temperatures, inconvenient snow shoveling, and short days of winter just to, hopefully, be able to spend a few days basking in a beautiful summer sun. Yes, sometimes our sticky, sweaty short-clad legs feel glued to the leather seats of our cars or we have moments reminiscent of the scene in Wizard of Oz when the Wicked Witch gets rained on (“I’M MELTING!!”)—but at the end of the day, who doesn’t love a New England summer?
While visiting one of the many of beaches Rhode Island has to offer may not be the summer activity of choice for some, it’s definitely one of the most popular. When it comes to a perfect beach day, there are many different tips that The Smithfield Times social media friends shared to ensure that your next trip is as perfect as can be. After some investigation, our friends on Facebook came through. Here are some of their DO and DON’T suggestions, as well as some provided the old-fashioned way (word of mouth for all of you tech-savvy readers).
DO: Leave early! You’ll hopefully avoid some major beach traffic, especially on weekends.
DON’T: Take the road most frequently traveled. There are tons of back roads to utilize in the Ocean State. Do some research and try a scenic route new to you. You might find some new sights along the way!
DO: Bring your family, friends, and pets (as long as furry friends are allowed) for a day full of memories.
DON’T: Leave children or animals unattended, especially in hot vehicles. It seems like it should go without saying, but there are far too many upsetting headlines on the topic these days. Also, befriend the lifeguard in the chair closest to you just in case. There are typically protocols in place if someone in your party goes missing.
DO: Take a solitary stroll down the shoreline for a bit. Explore what the beach you’re visiting offers. There may be hole in the wall shops or restaurants you’ve never seen, landmarks that are hidden from sight, or you simply want to get centered in your own mind for a few minutes.
DON’T: Get lost! If you wander too far away from the protected swim area, you could also risk losing the assistance of a lifeguard and/or beach manager to help you find your way back. Remember to stay hydrated on these walks and bring a snack if you know you’ll be gone for a while.
DO: Bring a good book! Or in some cases, your favorite magazine, crossword puzzle, or other relaxing, non-technological device. In this hectic life, it can sometimes be hard to find the time to do these relaxing activities. With the restful sound of the waves crashing against the shore, this will be the perfect time!
DON’T: Worry about the pages of your favorite novel getting a little sandy or water-logged—it adds character!
DO: Wear sun block! Also, pack a hat and umbrella if they’re accessible. Sun-kissed skin is nice but dealing with the initial, and potentially future, repercussions of a burn can be painful. Also, many beaches offer free skin cancer screening on certain days throughout the summer, so educate yourself on what’s safe for your skin!
DON’T: Forget to ask a friend to rub some SPF on your back, too. No one wants uneven or painful sunburn!
DO: Bring snacks! A cooler full of ice-cold water bottles, sandwiches, and other personal favorites is a great way to save some money. If you’re up for it, support a local restaurant to refuel.
DON’T: Litter! Many beaches in the state have a “carry in, carry out” policy, so you might have to take any trash you accumulate home with you. Always check with beach staff if you’re unsure of your beach’s policy.
DO: Have fun! As JoEllen Hockenbrough said on our Facebook page, “Every now and then, do a cartwheel and feel like a kid again!” Pack a ball to throw around, go for a swim, or do something invigorating—we’ve been waiting months for this!
DON’T: Disrespect your neighbors in the process. Find a secluded or less-densely populated area of the beach for your games if possible. Your idea of fun may intrude on someone else’s. Also have beachside manners!
What are your favorite activities to do in the summer? Share yours with us on Facebook! Happy Summer!!