Tips for a Day at the Beach


The best and biggest attraction of Virginia Beach is of course our beautiful sandy beach. Virginia Beach boasts 7 miles of coastline beaches from the Croatan neighborhood to the North End, and you are bound to spend several days playing in the waves during your visit! Here are a few tips and reminders to make your beach visits safe and enjoyable.  

1. Watch the Rip Current. Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore.
They generally extend through the surf zone and past the line of breaking waves. If the rip current or water conditions are dangerous there will be red flags at each lifeguard stand on the guarded beaches, or displayed on the four wheeler ATVs driven by the lifeguard patrolling periodically on the unguarded beaches.
  
 Tip: If you get caught in a rip current, remain calm and don’t fight the current. Swim out of the current in a direction parallel to the beach. When out of the current, swim towards shore. If you are unable to swim out of the current float or calmly tread water, when out of the current swim towards shore.
 
 2. Know your swimming ability. The ocean can be unpredictable, even on a calm day.  Don't assume that your kids are safe playing along the shoreline, always keep them in sight. If you are not a strong, comfortable swimmer consider heading for a beach with lifeguards. There are lifeguards on the Virginia Beach Resort Area beach at each block from 1st to 41st Streets, but they are no substitute for watching your children and knowing your own capabilities. The North End beach does not have posted lifeguards; however, they do drive along the beach on four-wheelers to keep an eye out. Learn more about the Virginia Beach Resort Beaches and lifeguards here.
 
Tip: If you're bringing a toddler to the beach, consider bringing along a kiddie pool. You can fill it water and let your child safely play in a contained area. This helps keep track of toys brought to the beach as well!

3. Don’t forget the sunscreen! In the excitement of finally arriving on vacation and getting to the beach, we see many people skip the sunscreen on the first day and end up too sun burnt to enjoy their vacation – don’t let this be you! Be sure to choose the right SPF for your skin type and that it is waterproof so you'll be protected while swimming as well. 
 
Tip: Apply sunscreen before heading to the beach, especially if using the spray types. You won’t have to deal with trying to apply it in the wind and sand, and it will already be set so the kids (of all ages) can head straight for the water.
 
 4. Plan for the day. Bring plenty of water to drink. In addition to the heat, the salt water will make you thirsty. There are several places to get drinks and snacks within walking distance in the Resort Area, but the North End and Croatan beaches are residential areas with no convenience stores within walking distance. Bring along some toys for the kids, don't assume that they will be content swimming or body surfing all day. Have younger kids that need a nap? Bring along their favorite sleep toy and a small tent and they can still get that important rest time without disrupting everyone's day.  
 
Tip: Pack small lunch containers. Bringing lots of foods in individual containers means that if one sandwich goes into the sand all is not lost! Try squeezable fruit packs and small portions of cut-up veggies, chips and other yummies. Pack everything in a cooler and place your cooler behind your chair or under an umbrella to help shield it from the sun.
 
Have some beach tips of your own? Please tell us about them in the comments!



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