Make the most of your Outer Banks vacation (and help other people do the same!) with these beach etiquette pro-tips. If you have others, feel free to share in the comments (but be nice!).
1. Shake, shake, shake it out...
With the beach comes sand. It’s sort of a given. But be careful: when you shake your towel out, check which way the wind is blowing. When you’re walking in flip flops, be mindful of all the sand that gets flipped up on the flop. When you’re playing in it, remember this number 1 for beach etiquette! No one wants to get inadvertently sandblasted, especially if they just slathered on the sunscreen! Yuck.
2. Litterbugs = losers.
Did you know that the Outer Banks is considered pristine by most environmentalists? It’s not going to stay that way if we don’t pick up our trash.
- Cigarette butts can take up to ten years to decompose.
- One gram of dog poop contains 23 million fecal bacteria.
- Balloons are some of the worst pollutants, and incredibly dangerous to wildlife.
- A plastic bottle tossed into the ocean in 1986 would still be decomposing in 2436.
3. Seriously, they’re on a very special diet.
If you feed them, they will come. Nothing ruins a peaceful day at the beach like a flock of angry seagulls fighting you for your potato chips. And did you know that just one apple can make a wild horse sick or even kill them? Please don’t feed the wildlife!
4. A little to the left. A little more to the left. Keep going.
There are over 100 miles of shoreline on the Outer Banks. Why you gotta set up camp right next to me? If the beach isn’t crowded, spread out!
5. There’s no Kiss Cam here.
That being said, you’re still in public and we can still see you. Our kids can see you. Our poor, innocent dogs can see you. Keep the private stuff private.
6. It’s too hot for earmuffs.
And while we’re at, just remember that the Outer Banks is a destination for tens of thousands of families every summer. Be respectful of little ears and don’t cuss like a sailor when there are families camped out within hearing distance.
7. Rated T for Turn That Sh*t Down.
Headphones! Or if you want to play music that everyone in your group can hear, what about making a playlist just for the beach? Popular songs that everyone knows the words to are way more fun than death metal, and probably won’t annoy everyone else around you either.
8. A hole lotta trouble.
Dude, people literally die from digging holes in the sand. It just happened in Florida and it’s incredibly tragic and preventable. Holes left on the beach are also very dangerous to wildlife, especially sea turtles that come to shore at night to lay their eggs.
9. Don’t leave the canopy. Or anything else.
Everyone is pleasantly broiled and it’s time to wrap things up and go back to the house in search of some aloe and a cold beverage. But first…pick up your stuff! Even if you’ve rented a beachfront house and can see your canopy and chairs from the living room window, it’s important to bring it all in at the end of the day. It’s more than just beach etiquette, as most OBX towns will actually trash stuff that’s left on the beach overnight, and it can be dangerous to wildlife and people who walk at dusk or dawn.