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Whether you’re enjoying the Gulf coast’s calm waters and sugar sand, the boardwalk scene in Daytona, scoping the southernmost point or soaking up historic vistas in St. Augustine, Florida’s 1300 mile of coastline have the perfect beach for every type of vacation. These essentials will help keep you cool and comfortable no matter how high the temperatures rise, just don’t forget to re-apply that sunscreen!
If you’re not using sunscreen your first day on the beach, day two will be a miserable affair. Get off to a great start with this two pack of high SPF sunscreen from Neutrogena, which protects skin without clogging pores.
Trudging through hot sand all the way back to a hotel room or walking a boardwalk can be a real drag. Bring your own drinks and snacks with this soft-sided cooler, perfect for all-day adventures. External pockets make the perfect place for storing trash for easy disposal later.
It’s never a bad idea to assume that even on vacation, your children will plop down in front of you and declare they’re bored. Stave off the inevitable with this 18 pack of molds, trowels, buckets, and more. To catch the professionals at work, travel in the off-season; the American Sand Sculpting Championship runs November-December each year.
Building confidence in and around water is key for keeping young kids safe. Swim lessons at an early age help them learn how to stay calm, repeated exposure makes sure they know the rules for behavior around pools, boats, the ocean, or wherever your travels take them. These Puddle Jumper floaties allow for a wide range of motion, which is great for beginning swimmers, and are a significant improvement over older inflatable style arm floats.
Add sunshine to any beach trip with these reusable popsicle molds. Perfect for filling with flavored yogurt or kool-aid, or making OJ pops, you can customize flavors and save on pricy beachside ice cream by making these in a hotel room freezer instead.
This top-notch tent features a double door and double window design for maximum airflow. A perfect way to stave off sunburns or to rest, eat, or nap without being bothered by seagulls. It also makes a great shelter for those brief afternoon showers that are a staple of Florida summers.
A vibrantly colored matched set of towels makes it easy to spy your spot, even while you’re relaxing in the waves. Bringing along a few extra makes it more comfortable to drive home, or have spares for taking a dip in a hotel pool.
Getting kids to wear sunscreen can be a real drag, but you can cover a lot of skin without a fight with a high SPF swim shirt. Fits from 4-14 in a range of colors.
Ride the waves all day with this lightweight and maneuverable board. Adventurous types will love learning trick moves, while less confident swimmers will appreciate having a wrist-leashed flotation device.
If a bag full of sand isn’t on the wishlist for souvenirs to bring home this year, a mesh bag is the only way to go. Shoes drip dry, spills pour through, and sand shakes loose with ease. Dries quickly, so it can keep working overtime, even if you’re on vacation.
Enjoy the ocean breeze with this twin pack of octopus themed kites. With over 13ft of tail it’s a bold, bright toy that’s visible even from far away. Reviewers note that they stay aloft with the strings anchored to a heavy duty shade or umbrella, but aren’t capable of doing tricks or any high skill maneuvers.
If sand and salt tangle and knot your hair, a detangling conditioner could be your new best friend. Vegan, and safe for color treated hair, Sun Bum’s 3 in 1 leave in conditioner protects your hair from damaging UV rays while improving shine and texture. For naturally sun-lightened hair faster, their lightening spray is a must-have.
Traveling during peak season can sometimes mean a crowded beach with too much going on to always keep eyes on your valuables. Keep keys, cards, and more stashed in this decoy brush and avoid advertising how much cash you’re carrying.
They’re stylish and sturdy, with 100% UV protection, but the real show-off feature of these sunglasses is Costa’s support of Ocearch, the leading shark research organization responsible for education and advocacy for sharks in North America. Whether you’re interested in the movements of whales, sharks, or dolphins, if you love the ocean, Ocearch has something to teach you.
Whether you’re looking for full-coverage swim bottoms or just an alternative to a suit plus cover-up, this quick dry skirt with attached bottoms is a great option. It has pockets, which makes it perfect for staying organized, whether you’ll be reading poolside, or enjoying a sunset stroll beside the ocean.
Many beaches in Florida are nesting grounds for sea turtles, which are extremely vulnerable to plastic pollutants like straws. Consider investing in a reusable set, like this pack of easy to clean extra long stainless steel straws.
A local secret for beachgoers is to bring along a gallon of water (usually bought at Publix but we won’t be picky here) and leave it in the car for an end of day rinse before heading home. Nothing feels more comfortable than that sun-warmed water washing off the day’s sand and salt. This solar shower gets the same result, but the five-gallon capacity makes it easy to rinse off the whole family plus all the tools and toys, and it’s endlessly reusable.
Indulge in some relevantly themed beach reading with this novel about growing up in a Florida theme park. A poignant coming of age story that’s unique and evocative, you’ll feel drenched in local culture long before the last page turns.
For those heading towards the beaches surrounding Cape Canaveral, this photo book documents the human face of the moon race, and the thrilling wonder and fear of observing first-hand mankind’s reach towards the most insurmountable challenge ever faced. A great choice for history buffs.