Top 14 Beach Day Essentials

Hey y’all-hope you’re having a great first week of July and have some fun plans in place for the 4th! If you’ve been reading my blog or following my Insta for any period of time, then you know that the beach is one of my absolute favorite vacation spots. There’s just something relaxing about being able to forget your normal responsibilities and spend hours reading with the sound of the waves in the background. So today I thought I would share my top 14 beach day essentials with y’all!

Beach Day Essentials

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1. Beach Bag

For starters, you need a good beach bag to hold all of your other essentials. I use a Lilly Pulitzer zipper cooler as a beach bag. The bag I use is actually one of the Lilly gift items that Lifeguard Press manufactures, and the particular style is no longer available. Although it’s more expensive than the Lifeguard Press Lilly bag, Lilly Pulitzer does have a Getaway Packable Tote that would make a great beach bag. My Lifeguard Press Lilly Pulitzer bags have held up well for multiple years as a beach and pool bag, so hopefully the quality of this one would be just as good if not better! No matter what brand of beach bag you get, I recommend something that’s easy to wipe clean. You definitely don’t want to take a nice leather designer bag down on the beach!

2. A Good Book

See my post from a few days ago for specific recommendations. But I never head down to the beach without a good read in my bag!

3. Sunscreen

I like to spend hours at a time on the beach, but I always make sure that my skin is protected with SPF. It’s my number one anti-aging skincare tip, and it also helps prevent skin cancer. I like using Beautycounter SPF 30 mineral sunscreen stick for my face, and Beautycounter SPF 30 mineral sunscreen lotion for my body. Check out this recent post where I explain more about why I switched to using a mineral sunscreen.

Beautycounter Mineral Sunscreen

4. Cute Beach Towel

Even when I’m sitting in a beach chair, I feel so much more comfortable when I have a towel underneath me. My personal favorite is the Lilly Pulitzer for Pottery Barn beach towel. I can’t justify the price of a Lilly bathing suit, so getting a Lilly beach towel is one way to bring Lilly into my beach days. And right now you can save up to 30% off your Pottery Barn order with code SAVEMORE. I bought the On Parade Lilly Pulitzer beach towel this year, and last year I got the Pink Lemonade beach towel. The quality of the Lilly for Pottery Barn beach towels is great!

Lilly for Pottery Barn Beach Towel

5. Zipper Pouch

I like to stick a zipper pouch down in my beach bag for my phone, iPod, and other smaller items. This gives electronics an extra layer of protection from sand and water, and also helps keep them from getting lost down in my bag. Draper James has a couple really cute zipper pouches available right now. I particularly like this one and this one.

6. Cover-Up

I usually wear an oversized Lauren James or Lily Grace tank top for my beach cover-up. My Lauren James tank tops are a few years old, but they currently have this beachy tank that would make a great cover-up. You can save 15% with code PINEAPPLE15 too!  I also like this romper cover-up from Old Navy, and this pineapple dress cover-up from Target. Sometimes it’s a good idea to throw a long-sleeved cover-up in your bag in case it’s windy on the beach. I love these jerseys from Team LJ (Lauren James’ collegiate brand) that have a seersucker panel in the back. I actually have one from last year with an American Flag seersucker panel, but unfortunately it’s no longer available.

Beach Day Essentials

7. Sunglasses

I know this is an obvious one, but sunglasses are a must for a day on the beach. There are so many options for sunnies depending on the brand you desire and your budget. I might have to do a separate post on sunglasses in the future. All of my sunnies are either Tory Burch or Kate Spade, and I have never paid full price. I get them at TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, or Saks Off 5th. However, Tory Burch currently has an extra 30% off all sale items right now with code EXTRA30. There are several pairs of sunglasses available in the Tory Burch sale section right now. I especially like this pair for a day on the beach.

8. Snacks

Although I head back up to the house for a lunch break whenever I’m at the beach, I still always make sure to pack snacks in my bag too in case I get hungry between meals. Some of my go-to beach snacks include Teddy Grahams, Chex Mix, popcorn, Sun Chips, an apple, watermelon, and granola bar.

Beach Snacks

9. Hand Sanitizer

I’m a germaphobe, so I like to keep some hand sanitizer in my beach bag to put on my hands before I snack. Purrell Naturals in my favorite. It is made with plant based alcohol, and is free from triclosan, parabens, phthalates, and artificial fragrance. Ever since I switched to Beautycounter a few months ago, I have become more mindful about the ingredients in all my personal care products. So even if Beautycounter doesn’t make a specific type of product, I use their Never List as a guide for selecting a safer option.

10. iPod/Portable Media Player

Although a lot of people have switched to using their smartphone as their personal handheld music player, I still prefer having a separate iPod that’s just for music. Having good background music, especially oldies and beach music, enhances any beach day!

11. Lunch Box & Drinks

I like to bring a lunch box with an ice pack down onto the beach to keep my drinks cold. My beach lunchbox is a Lilly Pulitzer one made by Lifeguard Press that I’ve had for years. Unfortunately, it’s no longer available, but Lilly Pulitzer currently has this beach cooler which would be great for holding lots of drinks and some cold snacks too. Kate Spade has this cute lunchbox too, and Draper James has this one.

Beach Day Essentials

12. Koozie

A cold drink simply isn’t the same without a koozie. I have quite the collection of preppy koozies. Although a couple of my favorite brands no longer make koozies (specifically Lilly Pulitzer and Lauren James), Vineyard Vines has this one.


13. Hat

Although I never forget sunscreen on my face, I like to wear a hat for an extra layer of protection. My go-to beach hat is a preppy baseball hat, like this one from Vineyard Vines.

14. Flip-flops/Waterproof Shoes

Last but not least, you definitely need a good pair of flip flops or waterproof shoes for the walk down to the beach. Also, sometimes the soft sand closer to the dunes can be really hot, so it’s good to have shoes to protect your feet from that too. My current beach shoes of choice are Jack Rogers jellies, and you can currently get them for 30% off during the 4th of July sale. Aerie and Old Navy are also great options for beach shoes, and are super inexpensive.

Jack Rogers Jellies

Hope that you enjoyed this post and that it will help you plan the perfect beach day in the future. What are some of your beach essentials?

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-xoxo Liz

Hey Y'all!

I'm Liz- and I'm here to inspire you to embrace the simple joys in life and encourage you to be your authentic self!

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