Beach Etiquette


When I was nine years old, my parents bought our beach house in Nags Head, North Carolina. Since then, we have spent a good amount of our summers there. The highlight was always the Fourth of July. We always have a big group of friends and family down there, which makes for a lot of fun. The only negative thing about the holiday is the mass of people that take over the beach. In a short amount of time, the beach goes from being moderately mellow to complete hooplah. The beaching experience of Fourth of July is not particularly relaxing, or even enjoyable at times, its actually pretty annoying.

There is a term some of local friends taught us: tourons (tourist + moron = tourons). Tourons are people who really just seem to know how to handle themselves on the beach. You know, those people whom don’t seem realize that there are hundreds of others on the same beach. Well on Fourth of July, the tourons take the beach in grand fashion.

Tourons are an annoyance to everyone around them. You may be laughing now, but you probably have more touron tendencies than you realize (thats okay- we all do). My mom and I used to joke about writing a book called “Beach Etiquette,” that would teach people all of the dos and do nots of beaching. But now that I have a blog, why write a book? I can post my tips here! I debated weather or not to actually write this post, because I did not want to come off as snobby. But then I remembered that my email address did used to be “BeachDiva94,” so I figured, why not? It’s time for the Beach Diva to go to work.

Here are some tips for all of you beach-goers to ensure an enjoyable day for yourself, and those around you…

  1. Do NOT smoke on the beach. While many of these tips will be more on the frivolous side, this one is really bothersome to a lot of people. The beach is a windy place, people. Your secondhand smoke blows all up in everybody else’s faces. Not only is this annoying, but its also a health issue. Some people have asthma (cough, me, cough). So please, hold off for a few hours.
  2. Stay in your personal bubble. The beach will be crowded for sure, but that does not mean that we all need to be sitting on top of each other. When you get out and set up camp, take a damn look around! Give people a reasonable amount of space. Oh, and please look around as you are walking down to the ocean. Don’t just trudge through people’s stuff.
  3. Do NOT feed the birds. I feel like this should be an obvious one, something we all learn by age three. But no, every year I always see adults giving the birds their leftovers! Haven’t you all seen Finding Nemo? Birds are always hungry, and they are always annoying. If they know food is around, they WILL. NEVER. LEAVE. And then because of your stupid decision, the birds will be flying, squawking, and pooping on everyone else. Image
  4. Keep your clothes on. This is not as common, but every year I always see somebody half nude tanning on the beach. Look, unless you are visiting a known Nude Beach, please keep everything covered up. Sorry that you won’t get a full body tan, but I mean come on. There are families there. Kids. Or people that just don’t want to look at your ass.
  5. Do NOT surf. Surfing is cool, I wish I could surf. But Fourth of July is NOT the time to surf. The ocean will be filled to the brim with people, more than any other day of the year. Surfing quickly goes from fun to dangerous. As someone who has nearly been ran over by a surfer, please go early in the morning or just wait for another day.
  6. Watch your spraying and flapping. This is probably the most common occurrence on this whole list! As I mentioned before, the beach is a windy place. Therefore, your spray on-screen and sand from your towel will travel quick. Be careful! As I have said multiple times, take a good look around! Do not go spraying your sunscreen or flapping your towel in a crowded area. How would you feel to be showered in Banana Boat with a side of sand? Exactly.
  7. Do NOT fly a kite. I realize that flying kites is sort of a beach pastime, and its a fun activity for the kids. But Fourth of July is just not the time. The beach is far too crowded, and your kite will fall on some unhappy beach-goers. I know the beach is kind of an ideal kite flying location, but realistically, you can fly one anywhere. So please relocate and leave all the sunbathers in peace.

There are many more things I could mention, but these are the basics. Don’t feel bad if you realize that you commit many of these things annually, most of us do. Even the Beach Diva herself is guilty of frequent towel flapping. But if we take these tips to heart and be mindful of our surroundings, I believe we can have a peaceful Fourth of July beach day! It can be done. If you take one thing from this post, I hope it is such:


Here’s to a happy, safe, a touron-free July 4th, everyone! Remember your beach etiquette 😉

xoxo Katie Lou

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