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Beach Etiquette Tips 101: Top ways to stay sane on the beach this summer


Beach etiquette tips 101: Top 7 ways to stay sane on the sand this summer


The sand. The waves. The people. The loud music. The garbage. What’s happening?

The beach should be the most relaxing place during the summer. But every beachgoer has experienced behaviors —  from trash thrown in the sand, people not respecting your space and unsupervised children running wild — that can turn it into anything but a day at the beach.

We asked readers on Facebook about their biggest beach-going pet peeves. The top five were litter, music, cigarette butts, space stealers, and unsupervised kids.

In an effort to help all beachgoers brush up on their shore etiquette, we reached out to George Hutchinson III, a New Jersey resident who spent his summers down at the shore. He wrote a book on beach etiquette with the help of his daughter, Elizabeth Ackmann.

“The beach is for all to enjoy,” Ackmann said. “You should have respect for each other and treat it as your home. We’re going there to relax. Respect the beach, respect your beach neighbors, and take care of it.”

Hutchinson and Ackmann’s book,  “Beach Etiquette,” offers 13 helpful tips.

“I was sitting by the water with my wife when kids accidentally splashed me,” Hutchinson said. “No harm, no foul but I turned to my wife and said, ‘I’m going to write a book.’ I thought it’d be nice to write about common courtesy and what you should be doing on the beach.”

So what are some tips for making the beach a relaxing place for everyone?

Carry in, carry out

Pet peeve: “People eating and drinking and then leaving their garbage on the beach!”  — Susan W. on Facebook

It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s not. We’ve all seen people who could easily walk over to a garbage can throw their trash in the sand, but don’t.

It’s not only gross and unsanitary, it can be dangerous. People are walking around the beach with bare feet where things like glass and plastic are easily stepped on.

This goes for cigarette butts too. In New York, smoking is banned on all beaches and boardwalks. As for New Jersey, smoking has been banned on beaches since January.  Those who smoke on the beach will face a $250 fine for a first offense.

Space invasion

Pet peeve: “The beach is great but it drives us nuts when you set up your spot and another group comes and sits right on top of you or worse right in front of you when there are plenty of other spots,” — Eli C. on Facebook

You got up early to get the perfect spot on the beach. It’s near the water, but far enough you don’t get splashed; there’s a good size space between you and your beach neighbor so you don’t bother each other. It’s perfect.

It’s one of Hutchinson’s biggest pet peeves too.

“The spreading,” Hutchinson said. “We love our beach neighbors, but sometimes it’s too close. We’re there to relax and I think people forget to leave room for others.”

According to Hutchinson, five feet is the ideal space between sites.

“The acceptable width from your fellow beachgoer is five feet more or less (preferably more),” according to “Beach Etiquette.” “This will provide plenty of room for everyone to move around comfortably so that all can have a good time.”

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Haddonfield, NJ 08033

Phone: 856-857-1230
Fax: 856-857-1233

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