It’s nearing the end of summer and beaches are more packed than ever!
There are so many state mandates and additional sanitization protocols that many attractions have closed their doors until the oppressive precautions are lifted.
So with theme parks and cruises not a desirable option, everyone is looking for the feel of sand between their toes.
Maybe you’re one of those families who’s always packed up for the beach every summer, or maybe you’re the family that heads out for a spontaneous weekend at your favorite sunny destination.
Either way, you’ll be surprised to see that post-pandemic shores are flooded with eager travelers looking to get a little color on their pale, quarantined skin.
However, despite standing room only among the sand and waves, taking your family to the beach in 2020 may still be the best option.
Where to go.
Rehoboth Beach in Delaware is great for families looking to find a reasonably priced vacation with all the fun one can have in a getaway.
While popular oceanfront resorts like the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel have all the amenities you’d want, you’re still going to be paying pre-pandemic prices – after all, it’s only a few steps from room to water.
But if you’re willing to give up watching the sunrise over the Atlantic from your balcony, then you can get a less expensive hotel like the American Inn and Suites only a couple miles away.
Take a stroll down the one-mile boardwalk and stop for some of Thrasher’s famous boardwalk fries with all the grease and flavor anyone could desire.
Or walk Rehoboth Avenue where you’ll find boutiques for the luxurious shopper right next to those kitschy beach shops the kids love.
Parking is mainly meter parking, but there’s always a spot to be found – it just may be a few blocks away, so bring a wagon.
Where to eat.
If you aren’t completely stuffed from Thrasher’s amazing boardwalk fries, walk right up to Ocean 14 and enjoy a refreshing cocktail straight from a pineapple over the sound of a live band with the salty breeze on your face. It will make you forget all about that stifling mask you’re required to wear on the way back to your vehicle.
Or, if you want to get away from the crowds and enjoy something a little less beachy, head to Crust and Craft on Coastal Hwy where you can try nearly a hundred craft brews, including the award-winning Back & Forth Pale Ale from 2SP Brewing Company, and brick-oven pizza.
No way to go wrong with that combo!
What to expect while at the beach.
This visit may be different in that most states have mandates that require visitors and residents alike to wear masks while in any public place.
While you can get away with not wearing one walking down the sidewalk (although you will be the only one), shops make it clear that you are not welcome inside without one.
Also, restaurants have longer wait times because they are distance seating – which means empty tables taunt hungry guests.
The shore will be crowded and a space to sprawl your blanket and sand toys will be tight. So pack light and try to spend more time closer to the water where active play is encouraged.
Signs indicate you should keep at least 6 feet between you and other beach goers, but this is obviously not followed, nor enforced.
Just keep watch for the paranoid family in their masks and gloves staring you down in hopes you won’t set up camp close enough to sneeze on them.
Still, all in all, the beach is likely one of the safest places to visit, crowds or not.
The CDC recommends children play outside for their “physical and mental health” making the beach the perfect place to get all that pent-up energy out.
Peter Chin-Hong, a San Francisco infectious disease doctor, has found “in the lab the UV rays in sunlight can kill the virus and also the heat kills the virus,” reports ABC News.
Soaking in the rays is not only a summer staple, but could help prevent contracting COVID-19.
Any popular beach along the coast will likely have more visitors than usual, but the mighty ocean is always ready to take on whatever you throw at it.
So enjoy a little time outside in the thrilling waves before the summer ends and another kind of wave sweeps the nation.