When this year’s Over the Line tournament took us from no-alcohol despair to booze-is-back bliss, we all realized just how sacred our seaside do’s and don’ts are. Over the next couple of months, most of us will find ourselves on one of San Diego’s many brilliant beaches, partying, playing in the water or just finding some solace in the sand.
Remember people, we live in paradise. Let’s keep it that way.
1. Fire pits: First come, first serve. It sure seems like a simple concept, and yet every year, I’ve watched grown men argue over who reigns as fire king. The truth is, if you want a prime spot for your party, you have to stake it out early. Kind beach-goers might feel inclined to share their zone, racking up some beach karma points. By the way, fires are not allowed between midnight and 5 a.m., and open beach fires are strictly prohibited.
2. Your music is not everyone’s favorite music. We know, you worked hard on that “beach jams” playlist. Really hard. Unfortunately, the entire span of the Mission Boardwalk doesn’t feel the need to hear it, too. Keep your tunes appropriately low and everyone can be friends. Remember, some people visit the beach just to listen to the waves. And at the end of the day, there are always headphones.
3. Personal space matters. A lot. The guy who puts his towel uncomfortably close to an innocent sun-soaker? Don’t be him. The best part about long beaches is that there’s plenty of sand for everyone. Find yours at least 10 feet away from the nearest party, no matter how good their snacks look.
4. Feed the birds only if you want everyone to pass judgment. There are few things as aggravating as flocks of seagulls joining your beach bash because somebody thought, “Hey, that bird could use a Frito.” It’s a rule as old as time: Feed one bird, and the whole feathered-family will join.
5. PDA. Just stop. Teeny bikinis and bronzed bodies can stir up all sorts of summer romance. Unless you’re the only couple on the beach, we’d all appreciate you leave the groping at home.
6. Sand is the worst. I think we can all collectively agree on that. Be a gem and shake your towels downwind. Same goes for clothing, shoes and other belongings.
7. Drinking on the beach is awesome, but also illegal. Luckily, there’s a slew of cozy beach bars along almost all stretches of San Diego sand. Pick your poison and don’t get caught with your own glass bottles near the big blue.
8. Leave the pup at home (most of the time). Dogs are not allowed on most beaches between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., and must be leashed at all other hours. They are free to wag, however, at Dog Beach (adjacent to Ocean Beach), Fiesta Island (Mission Bay), North Beach Dog Run (Coronado) and Del Mar Dog Beach.