The weather’s getting warmer, maybe you’re bored of your local bars, and you’re asking yourself, ‘Is the beach a good first date?’ or ‘Is a walk on the beach a good date?’
Of course, it all depends on the beach (not to mention how far you live from it) but in my opinion the beach can be a wonderful first date.
It can also be a wonderful second, third, fourth, or five-hundredth date!
Beaches vary, and so beach dates vary, but whether we’re talking soft white sand or salt-whipped pebbles a first date at the beach is always romantic without being pushy, outdoorsy without being exhausting, and thoughtful without being terrifyingly over the top.
If you have a beach within an hour or so of home, then go ahead and invite your next promising Bumble match on a beach first date! What’s the worst that could happen?
Sandy sandwiches? Wet feet? I’m pretty sure Jaws is mostly fictional, so you’re probably not in any shark-danger.
Why A Beach Date Is A Good First Date
One of my favorite things about beach dates is that they can be whatever you want them to be!
Depending on what you like to do, what your date likes to do, and the sort of beach you happen to live close to, you can plan anything from a first date beach walk, to a romantic beach date with wine and music, to a whole beach date night with food and fizz and stargazing.
If your local beach is wild and rough and ready, then go for a wind-whipped walk. If it’s a sandy beach, you can incorporate a picnic, and if it’s the kind of beach you can swim, surf and bodyboard at then you can go on a full beach-adventure date.
Really, ‘the beach’ is just the venue, it doesn’t actually dictate the date! I mean, some beaches have fancy bars and restaurants right on the sand, some are remote and tucked away, others are home to arcades and claw machines.
In my experience, most people like some aspect of the beach even if it’s just reading a book outdoors, lying on a blanket or taking a walk beside the beach while never getting even slightly close to having wet toes.
My only warning here is that you will find an occasional person who hates the beach. A person who just cannot abide sand, hates being salty, can’t stand a stiff wind, or burns as soon as they stand in the sun.
For that reason, you should definitely check with your date that they’re up for a day (or night) at the beach before you make elaborate plans!
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What Should I Wear On A First Date To The Beach?
What couples do at the beach can vary massively (same goes for potentially-one-day-couples and uh-actually-we-hadn’t-talked-about-that-yet sets of individuals), so there’s no hard and fast rules to beach date outfits.
However, unless by ‘going to the beach’ you mean ‘going to a fancy-ass restaurant very near the beach’, it’s a safe bet not to wear your best clothes, and to dress with at least half an eye on practicality.
If it’s warm (or you’re either brave or stupid) you’ll also want to think about swimwear.
You can wear this under your outfit or as a part of it, but remember that it’ll likely be wet when you leave so maybe you should bring a set of dry shorts/a dry top to change into so you’re not squelching around dripping water onto the passenger seat of your date’s car/the booth in the restaurant you guys decide to go to/onto your date’s fave skirt when she’s changed and you’ve admitted to being incapable of forethought.
What Should A Guy Wear On A Beach Date?
Chances are, if you’re going to the beach you’re going to keep things pretty chill. When I’m by the sea I usually just wear my swim shorts all day.
This is particularly easy to do now I have a pair of these Oakley Patch 16 Beach Shorts because they’re not garish and (key point) they’re not board shorts, so I don’t look like a 12-year-old at a pool party. Top tip – update your swimwear if you’re going on warm-weather beach dates!
On top I’d probably just chuck on a good (read, not stained or holey) t-shirt. If you’re grabbing shorts from Oakley, take a look at their tees too.
Some of them can be a bit over the top logo wise, especially for a date, but I really like these striped SS t-shirts, especially the gray version.
You’ll probably need sunnies too – Sunglass Hut is the best place to look for deals on sunglasses if you can’t find the pair you bought last year.
Finally, I know it’s tempting to just wear flip-flops, but there is something fundamentally unattractive about a dude in a janky old pair of sandals.
Plus, if you’re going for a walk you probably need something more substantial. I really like Nike’s minimal running shoes for walking in the city or wearing at the beach. Take a look at the Air Zoom on Kicks Crew.
For Later, or Less Casual Dates
As I said before, you should definitely remember to bring an outfit to change into once you want to dry off. I really like Public Rec’s All Day Every Day pant, particularly in burgundy or navy.
They look pretty smart, so they make sense for a slightly more formal date, and they’re really comfy and warm (but not too warm) – perfect to pull on after a day in and out of the water. If you’re going all out, you could stick a button down on (open) over your t-shirt.
Again, Public Rec has you covered here with their slim-cut Stretch Thermal Button Down. This is a perfect option for a coverup as the sun goes down and things get cooler. The whole outfit will work with your sneakers, so no need to pack a second pair of shoes!
What Should A Girl Wear On A Beach Date?
If you have decided to go casual and beach-ready for your date, then there’s nothing more simple and appropriate than a swimsuit and a beach cover-up. Of course, women’s beach cover ups can really vary in style.
Alternatively, you can just throw on a day dress you don’t mind getting a bit damp and salty over your suit, or a pair of shorts and a tee.
Pre and Post Beach Skincare
Okay, I know I’m always talking about protecting your skin but it’s important okay. Especially if you’re trying to get dates (yes, I know you think this one is the one, but you’re planning your first date, keep some perspective)!
Beyond that, do you know what the trick to great skin is? A great skincare routine, duh. So it’s a good idea to keep it up all the time rather than just when your face actually hurts from sun, sea(salt) and sand.
Allies of Skin can definitely help you out with that – including coming up with a perfect custom routine for you.
What To Bring On A Beach First Date
What you should bring on a beach date depends on both what you’re going to do at the beach, and what kind of beach you’re going to.
Here are a few jumping off points, though with specific advice for a few beach-date scenarios:
For any beach trip, whether it’s alone, with friends or with someone gorgeous you met on Hinge, there are a few essential items you always have to remember.
Firstly, of course, you need a towel or two. This is true whether or not you plan to go in the water as beaches are wet and sandy.
And if that’s news to you, maybe you need to study up a little more before you dip your toe in the sand!
Towels are useful for drying off and for lounging on, so I would even bring a spare. And on a date, don’t bring your ratty bathroom towel! You want a big beach towel, and ideally you want one sans holes or stains.
It might seem like an annoyance to buy a new towel, but it’s hardly a one-use item. If your towels are too busted to be seen by a date, maybe you need new ones anyway?
You can also get really good beach-specific matts or picnic blankets, like this one from ISOPHO which even comes with pegs to hold it down.
Water- and sand-proof, a blanket designed for the beach gives you a good base for a picnic or beach games.
Speaking of picnic, you’ll probably want to bring some food to the beach if you’re going to be there a while (even if there are stores/restaurants near the beach they will probably be limited and expensive if it’s a tourist area) as well as plenty of water.
If you’re going to be at the beach all day (or evening) I would bring a huge two-liter bottle like this one from Mango Jug at a minimum. Finally, don’t forget that sunscreen!
Unless this is a purely after-dark beach visit, you’ll want to protect the skin you moisturized so intensively last night to make sure you looked good for your date.
A Day Date at the Beach
You’ve already packed plenty of water, towels, sunscreen, snacks and maybe a big beach blanket.
If I was spending all day by the sea I would also want a sun umbrella – the sun can be pretty sneaky, and make you feel like crap after a few hours even if it doesn’t seem super bright.
A banging headache is not a good end to a first date, but something like this SunMer parasol can keep you feeling good in the shade all day.
If you want to go all out, or are a super regular beachgoer, then the WINNINGO sun shelter is a step up, and doesn’t need to be shifted about as the sun moves/run after when the wind blows a little too hard.
I always take a Bluetooth speaker with me to the beach. You’ll probably be lounging around and need some tunes!
Plus playing music for one another (whether you have overlapping tastes or are horrified by what your date puts on) can be pretty fun and flirty on a date.
Go for something hardy and waterproof like this one from SONY, which can handle a little bit of sand and sea exposure.
If You’re Sticking to Dry Land
If you’re going to be chilling on the shore all day, why not bring some games with you to the beach? I’m talking volleyball or even a cricket, softball or croquet set if you have one.
Basically any garden or lawn game will work here, so repurpose what you’ve got or have a think about what your favorite outdoor game is and get yourself a decent setup. You’ll be able to use it all summer in the park too, so it’s a worthwhile purchase.
If you prefer to be a little more sedate, bring a pack of cards or a favorite board game. I’m talking anything from my personal slightly-geeky favorite, Ticket to Ride, to Jenga (which I suppose isn’t actually a board game, but you know, same vague category).
If you really want to get to know one another, you could play something a little more revealing like Wavelength, which will help you work out how similarly (or otherwise) you think!
Really, anything that works with two players is a possibility, though do think about how many tiny essential parts the game has and whether they’re likely to get lost in the sand.
Finally, it might sound antisocial but you could bring books or Kindles. Either you could finish a walk or game and spend some time reading side by side, maybe sipping cool beers and eating snacks, or you could bring favorite books and read bits of them to one another.
Sappy, maybe, but a person’s favorite book reveals a lot about them. In fact, there are a few favorite book possibilities that would have me running into the sea and swimming to the next beach…
If You’re a Water Baby
If you love the water, obviously wear your swimming gear. You could also bring body boards or even floaties and floating pool beds, or pool noodles to be silly with in the water.
Just make sure you’ll both be having fun – if your date hates the sea, maybe just have a little splash and come back out to socialize.
Speaking of which, the sea will tire you out after a while! At which point it’s even more important to make sure you have the shade, blanket space, tunes, water and snacks I talked about earlier.
Keep the whole day in mind while you’re packing, not just the bit of it you’ll spend playing about in the sea, as things can go south quick if you end up salty, tired, thirsty and burning!
A Date at the Beach at Night
If you’re planning a beach date at night you might want to bring some outdoor lights, and maybe a blanket and even a hot drink if the temperature drops where you are.
If it’s legal on the beach you’re going to (or you think you can get away with it… wait, I didn’t say that, don’t break the law!) then you could also think about investing in a portable fire pit like this amazingly easy to transport collapsible pit from Suchdeco.
With a fire going, you could do the whole marshmallows thing, or just sip wine and look at the stars!
Either way, a roaring campfire adds a bit of drama to your evening, not to mention warmth. Though hopefully not too much drama and warmth – that sounds like a forest fire.
Beach Date ideas
Calm down. I’ve got your covered for beach date ideas.
Romantic Beach Date Ideas
Here are a few ideas for romantic dates at the beach, hopefully encompassing whatever ‘romantic’ means to you.
Of course, all beaches are different so you may have to tweak these ideas slightly depending on what’s local to you.
If you have a quiet beach nearby – be it a rocky nature reserve or a sweep of golden sand – taking a date there in the evening to watch the sun go down can be a great date (or part of a great date).
This can just be a shortstop, or you can sit on the beach with wine, music and a blanket.
If you’re going that route, make it extra impressive with some special vino from FirstLeaf Wine Club. It’s stuff you wouldn’t find in the grocery store, so maybe you can marvel at the range of colors in the sky as you discuss tasting notes!
Answer me this: has a beach walk first date ever not ended hand in hand?
Okay, the answer is probably yes because not everyone is going to get on, but if there’s any spark at all the romance of a stroll on the beach is bound to bring it to the surface.
A beach walk can just be half an hour barefoot in the sand, or you might find a great cliff-trail hike along the seafront. Look up your options before date day, make a plan, and make sure everyone knows if this is going to be a hike situation!
No one wants to suddenly realize the walk they’re on is 6 miles long when they’re wearing flipflops.
A picnic on the beach could be an all day thing, or you could combine it with sunset, bring some tea-lights or fairy lights, and have dinner on the beach.
An old fashioned picnic hamper really amps up the romance factor, and even comes with wine glasses for that great bottle you’re bringing from your FirstLeaf box.
Equally, you could just bring some easy to handle food like fancy sandwiches and drink your wine out of mugs, it just depends on how much you want to push the boat out.
A bonfire is kind of a crossover between ‘romantic’ and ‘fun’. You can make it romantic with soft music, a fancy picnic, and some fizzy wine, or you can light a fire and cook hotdogs over it after a day of messing about in the sea!
Just make sure you know the rules are for fires at the beach you choose, because getting an embarrassing earful from a cop or beach warden won’t make the best impression on your date.
Fun Beach Date Ideas
Keeping things fun and light on the first date is often a good idea. It lets you get to know one another without the pressure or expectation of overtly romantic gestures, but often leaves room to roll into a bit of romance later.
Here are some fun beach date ideas that should leave plenty of room for laughing, joking, conversation, and in some cases the joy of competition.
As I mentioned in the what to bring section, there are loads of lawn games that work great on the beach. This includes lawn bowls, cricket, and of course volleyball.
Pretty much anything that works in the park, works on the beach. But you might need to dive into the sea to get the ball/frisbee/shuttlecock from time to time, which admittedly is rarely an issue in a city park.
If your local beach is the sun-sea-sand tourism type where jet-skis, surfing lessons or even banana boat rides are offered, then a first date is a great excuse to get your holiday goggles on and do something you would usually feel is too silly or too touristy for you.
New experiences promote bonding, even if they are as stupid as falling off a banana boat or nearly beaching a jet ski!
Sand sculptures, stone towers, fossil hunting
Maybe this sounds silly – but how about a sandcastle competition? Or seeing who can do the best mermaid tail on their half-buried date?
These activities sound childish, sure, but getting in touch with that inner child means having fun and coming out of your shell, both of which can lead to a fantastic first date.
If your beach is more pebbles and shingle than sand like sugar then you could also build some rock towers, or maybe hunt for fossils like you probably did when you were a child (okay, I did this as a child so I assume everyone did) if you find a good one, give it to your date as a sentimental gift!
A beach barbecue
You can get some great portable barbecues these days, like this one from EZ Grill. It’s lightweight, disposable, and it even comes with EZ light charcoal so you don’t have to bring a separate pack.
Cooking together can be really fun, and the added adversity of doing it on the beach will only make it more so.
Okay, bare with me, I know ooey-gooey things from beneath the waves aren’t exactly sexy, but rock pooling combines getting into nature, bringing out your inner child, and being involved in a task together. All of which lead to, you guessed it, bonding!
If you or your date are nature lovers, discovering the crabs, anemones and starfish that live in rock pools at the beach you visit could be really fun.
This is one for the early morning, which is a weird time for a date (unless the date was the night before…) but can be kind of exciting for that very reason!
Meet early, and walk up and down the shore looking for cool bits of sea-glass, shells, and driftwood, and then maybe spend the afternoon crafting with them.
Alternatively, if you’re environmentally minded, you and your date could combine beach combing with an early morning litter pick and collect washed up plastic from the shore.
After that you would obviously deserve a slap-up breakfast together as a reward for being such good citizens of planet Earth!
Beach Date Walking Tips
I get it, you came here to learn specifically about beach date walks. So what if you want to strictly just go for a stroll along the beach? No sitting down, just a nice not committal way to get to know each other?
Well, let’s run through some tips on how to have a good time but also stay safe and, importantly, not run out of conversation.
Once you’ve found your location, be it beach or lakeside, you should come up with a few topics to talk about.
Don’t learn a script or you’ll sound like a robot, but cue up a few anecdotes you know go down well, maybe scroll back through your conversations online to remind yourself of your date’s interests, and think of some nice open questions to ask that will make your date feel like you care what they have to say.
As always, you do need to think about safety when meeting a stranger too. This is the case no matter how nice or harmless they seem!
Tell a couple of friends where you’re going (you can do this casually, it doesn’t have to be a ‘if you never hear from me again, this is who killed me’ situation) and make sure your phone is charged before you leave.
On the same note, be aware of the rules of the beach, and if you’re walking at night maybe don’t do so in a totally unlit, deserted area.
I know you’re really into this date, but that’s not a good excuse for completely forgetting the 101s of staying safe you learned when you were, like, ten years old.
Finally: NATURE. I don’t mean sharks and jellyfish (though if they’re around, probably don’t go in the water). I’m talking poison ivy, sharp rocks you need good shoes for, and most of all, and most tricksy of all, tides!
Look up a tide table, and make sure you’re not going to get stranded in an inlet with the water slowly encroaching upon the rock you’re both perched on.
I mean, if Jack didn’t share his hunk of wood with Rose in Titanic, do you think this stranger from the internet is going to hesitate if they have to push you into the tumultuous sea to save themselves? No chance.
So, check those tides!
I am of the belief that everyone loves the beach. Some people say they hate the beach, but you know what, they just haven’t met the right beach yet!
A beach date is a fantastic idea for a first meetup, with loads of possibility for fun and the scope to be as silly or as romantic as you like.
As ever with dates that involve communing with nature, be sensible, but it shouldn’t be hard to have a great time frollicking by the sea.
Probably ignore what I said at the beginning of this section though – I guess some people probably do hate the beach… don’t force your date into a beach date if they’re scared of sand or something.
Or crabs – I know a couple of people who are deathly afraid of crabs. I think it’s the way their eyes are on stalks, and how they move sideways? If your date shares this fear, do not under any circumstances take them rock pooling.