With summer in full force and temperatures rising, those of us lucky enough to live near a coastline are probably heading to the beach. What better way to spend a summer weekend than at the ocean, cooling off in the frothy waves and toasting under the sun? But depending on which side of the country you’re on, your beach experience is going to be different. If you’re on the east coast you’re more likely to be sipping rose in a tunic; on the west coast it’s Allagash White and distressed jean shorts. We’ve created a beach guide for both coasts, focusing on two of the country’s favorite beaches: Montauk, New York and Venice, California.
EAST COAST: Montauk, NY
What was once a quiet gem of a surf town coveted by locals for its sizeable waves has transformed into the Hamptons hot-spot: the last stop on the Jitney and the place where masses of New York City yuppies flock each weekend. Montauk tends to get overcrowded, but there’s a reason that people cram into tiny share houses to spend weekends there. Montauk is home to some of the widest, most beautiful beaches in the country, and it’s just two hours outside of Manhattan. If you’re heading to “The End” this summer, here’s what to do and bring to Montauk:
Beach bag: Sister Parish Design
Montauk is still the Hamptons, so you want to air on the preppy side. Sister Parish makes stylish beach bags in a variety of pretty prints. The bags are spacious, too, so you can fit all the necessities.
Outfit essential: Boobypack
If you haven’t heard of Boobypack, you need to catch up on Shark Tank. A Boobypack is a “fanny pack for your rack”, and a must-have for a weekend in Montauk. Wear it to the beach, wear it swimming, wear it jogging, wear it to the bar, wear it everywhere. And never worry about carrying a purse, because all your stuff zips neatly into the Boobypack’s side pocket.
SPF: Banana Boat Dark Tanning Oil Spray SPF 4
Because the office job has you shielded from the sun five days a week. Gotta take advantage and work for that tan.
Beach cover-up: Tideline Tunics
These adorable printed tunics are an easy way to stay stylish – just throw one over your bathing suit.
Sunglasses: Alue Optics
An independent, New-England based line of handmade sunglasses with incredibly clear polarized lenses.
Sandals: Her Own Two Feet
Wear cute, super-comfortable flip-flops while supporting a cause – each pair sold gives a job and a scholarship to an impoverished woman in Pakistan.
Swimsuit (guys): Villebrequins are so Southampton…go with Chubbies.
The Hamptons were famously “low on rose” last summer, so make sure you stock up on Whispering Angel ahead of time. Bring some to sip out of paper cups on the beach. Rose all day, babay.
Beach snack: Hummus and carrots.
Because you’re being healthy and helping your boyfriend avoid the dad-bod.
Easier beach activity: Backgammon
Dice in one hand, rose in the other.
Harder beach activity: Surfing.
Montauk is known for its waves. If you surf, you’ve come to the right place.
Dinner: Dave’s Grill.
It’s a pricier menu, but the seafood is exceptionally bomb.
After dinner: Ruschmeyer’s
This is a great alternative to Memory Motel if you want to avoid a mosh pit of drunk people grinding. Instead, hit up Ruschmeyer’s, sip craft cocktails and play cool games like ping-pong in The Magic Garden.
Live music: The Surf Lodge
Even though it’s always jam-packed and you might have to wait in line forever, go anyway. The Surf Lodge is a magical place to hear live music outside while watching the sunset over Fort Pond. They have a sweet 2015 lineup, too.
Local spot: Whalebone Creative
Whalebone Creative is a lifestyle brand and store inspired by the original Montauk culture and the people who surrounded it. This unique brand creates boldly designed tees, caps and accessories.
- Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix) – Omi
- I Don’t Fuck With Classics (Big Sean x The Knocks)
- Tongue Tied (Gigamesh Remix) – Grouplove
- Million Voices – Otto Knows
- Often (Kygo Remix) – The Weeknd
- All Eyes on You – St. Lucia
- Wake Me Up – Avici
- The Wire – Haim
- N.E. – Yeasayer
- You Make Loving Fun – Fleetwood Mac
- Thinking Out Loud (Alex Adair remix) – Ed Sheeran
- Old Thing Back (feat. Ja Rule and Ralph Tresvant) – Matoma & The Notorious B.I.G.
- Fancy – Iggy Azalea
- Girls Chase Boys – Ingrid Michaelson
WEST COAST: Venice Beach, CA
No local Angeleno goes too long without a trip to Venice beach no matter where you live in the LA area. Although tourists are quickly catching on to its “cool” due to some commercial shops springing up along Abbot Kinney, Venice has yet to lose its authentic beach culture. Thanks to the fun and gritty iconic boardwalk, Venice will never lose its edge with hustling street performers and die-hard locals committed to its beach. No matter how gentrified it becomes, Venice beach is a place of refuge for anyone and everyone. Whether you choose to partake in the tribal dance rituals, pet a three-headed turtle, groove with the disco-dancing rollerbladers, stumble upon a Nike commercial courtside, every visit to Venice is guaranteed to be a unique experience. In order to be best equipped for your venture to California’s coolest beach, here are a few essentials we recommend.
Beach bag: Vaalbara Designs
A Los Angeles based bag company that uses fabrics collected around the world. The bags are handmade locally – feel the authentic LA love with these cool Baja-style totes.
Outfit essential: Sunny Lion headphones
These ear buds are the new California craze and yes, they are headphones that will complete your outfit. They’re tangle-free and come in colorful woven patterns. When it’s time to tune-out for a beach siesta, go for a run along the shore or just stroll the boardwalk, you’ll need your Sunny Lions.
SPF: Coppertone SPF 30
The local Angelenos get enough sun as it is, so stay protected to avoid any comparisons to the Jersey reality stars or the boys at Muscle Beach.
Beach cover-up: Mostly anything goes, but avoid the preppy patterned tunics.
Sunglasses: Boardwalk sunnies
Keep it casual with a cheap boardwalk pair. Leave your illest-ever pair at home—not worth the risk at this carnival of a beach.
Because they don’t discriminate.
Swimsuit (girls): KIINI Swim
These gorgeous crocheted bikinis are all handmade and come in a variety of bold color combinations. Wear one and exude the bohemian vibe.
Swimsuit (guys): Doesn’t matter…Cali dudes are relaxed, man. Throw on some board shorts and call it a day.
Drink: Whiskey. Because Hank Moody would do it.
Beach snack: Have’a chips or vendor fruit with a dash of chili powder.
When in California.
Easier beach activity: Kadima
Paddle in one hand, beer in the other.
Harder beach activity: Volleyball. Channel your Walsh/May volleyball skills and just try to get the ball over the net.
Dinner: Oscars Cerveteca
This place serves the Baja fish tacos in the area. Wash ‘em down with a crisp Allagash White.
After dinner: Roosterfish
If the Otheroom seems to be too dark and crowded for your high-energy group, run across Abbott Kinney to check out Roosterfish. It’s the only gay bar in Venice, but open to all. Play some music on the jukebox and play a few rounds of pool.
Live music: Townhouse
Best not to linger on first floor as it turns into a bit of a crowded frat scene – but if you pay the cover to cruise downstairs, you’re guaranteed to see some great live music (and potentially burlesque dancers).
Local spot: Dogtown Coffee
Hit up this local coffee shop for your daily dose of caffeine. Try the dirty chai or iced salted caramel latte, or the acai bowl if you need something more filling. Let go of the local pretense and get into the Jay Adams spirit. Embrace the vintage surf graphics and wooden plaques of Alta boards – Dogtown’s aesthetic pays homage to the local surf and skate culture.
- California Soul – Marlena Shaw/Diplo
- Good Times – Jamie XX, Justin Beiber/skrillex/Diplo
- Sunshine -Atmosphere
- Every Morning -Sugar Ray
- Left Hand Free – Alt-J
- Feel the Love – Rudimental
- Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones
- Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Remix to Ignition – R Kelly
- Shoop – Salt N Pepper
- Hotel California – The Eagles
- Walking on Broken Glass – Annie Lennox
- Doin Time – Sublime
- You Can’t Always get What You Want – The Rolling Stones (Californication theme song, duh)