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5 tips to avoid beach crowds during a summer plagued by a pandemic and social distancing

It's August and COVID-19 is still out and about, lurking around. Keeping six feet away and wearing face masks is a must nowadays to help curb the spread of the virus. With restrictions in place and not much to do this summer, I've been keeping it safe by sticking to outdoor activities like picnics in the park, and I recently started going back to the beach. 

At first, I was side-eyeing beaches in New Jersey but soon realized there are ways to enjoy a much safer trip by the ocean. 

Here's how to avoid big beach crowds, plus tips to practice social distancing while there. 

1. Choose to attend a less popular beach

If you can, choose the less popular beaches in your area, preferably ones without boardwalks and/or restaurants around. For example, in New Jersey, you won't catch me at Seaside Heights this summer which is a magnet for tourists. Instead, you can find me at Sandy Hook where there's multiple beach areas and no boardwalk or restaurants nearby which in turn means fewer crowds. 

2. Arrive early (or late)

Arrive early (before 7 AM) to beat those who want to sleep in. Also, going to the beach late (after peak hours) works best as families start tapering off around sunset. Just beware of times when lifeguards are off duty (usually at 6 p.m.) and proceed with caution if you decide to swim. Going super early or late also works in your favor to avoid the intense sun during the middle of the day.

3. Avoid weekends

Weekend crowds anywhere – at restaurants, food stores, malls - are thee absolute worst, especially during the summer months. If you're only available to go to the beach during the weekend, then try Tip #2. 

4. Avoid peak season

This one ties into Tip #3. In addition to weekends, holidays and peak season beach days are just as crazy. Beaches tend to be less crowded after Labor Day weekend when kids are back in school and vacationers are back at work. Crowded beach months are usually in July and August. 

5. Sit away from the water

Most people set up their beach area near the ocean for a good view of the waves and easy access to and from the water. Do the opposite. Sit further back and away from the ocean to distance yourself from the crowds near the water. If a section is roped off, sit next to the ropes to ensure no one will be on the other side to you. Not only will you create some space but you’ll also get some extra steps in when you take a dip in the ocean.

RELATED: My quarantini pick: How to make a Ruby Relaxer

Social distancing pro tip

CREATE YOUR OWN SPACE!

Looking for the ultimate social distancing hack anywhere on the beach? A beach windscreen will work great – and it’s not just for blocking wind. Using a 20ft beach windscreen privacy screen while on the sand is like building your own fort when you were a kid. Create your own space and privacy by putting up this long divide around you to make your own space on the beach. 

-- Here's a suggested beach windscreen that I included on my Amazon storefront. Or this one will do. 

-- An oversized beach blanket will also create some social distancing space on the sand for you. 

-- Check out more of my Amazon summer must-haves here 

Do you have any more tips to avoid big crowds at the beach? Please share in the comments below!
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