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3 Lists to Get You Ready for the Beach

Shifting into leisure mode helps the mind and body relax. However, you don’t want to relax too soon – before you’ve ensured you’re completely prepared. A little advice never hurt, so we’ve come up with a few essential lists to keep you on point before, during and after your day at the beach.

What To Pack

Even after careful planning, that ONE thing you forget can put a little damper on the fun. Therefore, we’ve compiled a friendly reminder of items to bring so that you’re covered for most contingencies.

  • Towels
  • Waterproof sunscreen
  • Lip balm with SPF
  • Hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Umbrella or sun shelter
  • Plastic or metal tumbler (no glass) for cold drinks
  • Insulated jug for drink refills
  • Snacks
  • Small portable bluetooth speaker
  • Watertight pouch for phones or electronics
  • Books or magazines
  • Toys for the kids
  • Small plastic bag for any trash

Family Heading to the Beach in Seaside

Missing an item? We have plenty of fun local merchandise to make sure you’re covered. Items are also available for purchase at our Visitor Center. And if all your gear is starting to pile up, consider a collapsible wagon for toting things back and forth. When perusing your options, read the reviews! Look for one whose wheels roll well on sand, so you don’t feel like a sled dog once you hit the end of the boardwalk.

Beach Access Boardwalk and Yellow Beach Safety Flag

Follow the Flags

While you are setting up on the sand, you’ll want to pay attention to the surf as well. South Walton has a dedicated flag system to keep you informed about the water conditions before you decide to wade in. The following list will get you familiar with the various colors to look for and what they all mean.

  • Double Red Flags: Water Closed to Public
    • Entering the Gulf during double red flag conditions can result in a $500 fine and criminal charges.
  • Red Flag: High Hazard, High Surf and/or Strong Currents
  • Yellow Flag: Medium Hazard, Moderate Surf and/or Currents
  • Green Flag: Low Hazard, Calm Conditions, Exercise Caution
  • Purple Flag: Stinging Marine Life – Man O’ War, Jellyfish, Stingrays

You can even find out the current Gulf conditions before you head to the beach. Just text “SAFETY” to 31279 for an automated update.

Beach Safety Signage

Leave No Trace

It also helps to be prepared for heading home at the end of your glorious day. You’ll want to be sure to leave the beach just as you found it, so here’s a quick checklist to help you make a responsible retreat.

  • Dispose of any trash.
  • Remove all personal items (ones left overnight will be discarded).
  • Fill in any holes you’ve dug.

From May through October, our beaches are precious nesting grounds for endangered sea turtles who need us to keep the beaches #CleanDarkFlat. Here’s how to help protect these species:

  • Prevent all lights from illuminating the beach.
  • Look but don’t touch. Disturbing is a federal and state violation.
  • Don’t leave holes in the sand.
  • Keep the beach clean.

Keeping South Walton’s beaches pristine reduces the impact so that everyone can continue to enjoy them each day. The natural beauty adds another layer to the relaxing experience here, and after a couple visits, being prepared will start to come naturally to you. So start your planning today and pass these lists along to anyone who might need a friendly reminder.

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