In last week’s issue of New York, Bianca Buchanan, a dental hygienist who has been visiting different New York beaches weekly every summer for the past 16 years, shared her recommendations on the city’s best — from the best beach for swimming if you’re afraid of waves (it’s in Staten Island, apparently) to the quietest stretch of the Rockaways (the low 60s, where, if you go during the week, you may see only five other people). In all her years of beachgoing, Buchanan has not only discovered the best local stretches of sand, but also the best things to bring with you when you’re planning on spending a day in the sun — including an extremely light tent and a brightly colored flag (so your friends can find you when there’s no cell phone service). Below, she shares her 11 beach essentials.
Everyone has a Sport-Brella for a tent, but I prefer portable canopies from a brand called Neso. They look like a tarp held down at the corners by sandbags (which you fill with sand when you get to the beach). It’s great in the wind, and keeps you cool underneath. And when the sandbags are empty, each tent weighs just four pounds.
I don’t have a chair, but having one is a pro move. My friend has this awesome one that folds up really well, despite the fact that it’s very large. It also has a hole for your head like one you’d see on a massage table, so you can lay on your stomach and tan. And it has a strap so you can carry it around.
A flag is a very smart thing to have, so your friends can find you even if there’s no cell service. You can just say, “Come find me, I’m at the purple flag.” Senior beachgoers always have flags. This one comes in several other colors (some of which are less expensive) if purple’s not your thing.
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