As we head into the 4th of July weekend, it’s no big mystery that Nantucketers young and old will be heading to the beach. But before you hastily hit the sand, check out N Magazine‘s guide to the perfect Nantucket beach day.

STEP 1: Prepare with your permits

IMG_0920Forget carrying all of your cookout gear. For adventure and convenience, get your 4WD vehicle ready to drive right onto the beach! To get your Oversand Vehicle Permit, head over to the Public Safety Facility at 4 Faregrounds Road. This sticker will permit you to drive onto popular beaches like 40th Pole, Nobadeer and Low Beach. And as we all know, Nantucketers love building a collection of these colorful bumper stickers… so why not join in the fun? But before you hit the sand, don’t forget to read up on the guidelines on beach driving here.

NOTE: to cook your burgers and dogs, you’ll also need a special permit from the Nantucket Fire Department. For just $5, you’ll be all set to use your portable charcoal or gas grill.

STEP 2: Get your groceries

DSC02788Perhaps the most important part of a day well-spent on the beach: the food. At Annye’s Whole Foods on Amelia Drive, you can find all of your grill grub. Organic hot dogs, deliciously beachy salmon burgers, veggie burgers for your vegan or vegetarian companions, chicken sausages and snacks galore! No matter what your fancy, Annye’s has it all and will elevate your day beyond the basic BBQ. And to quench your thirst, you can find wine and other island favorites (Motto anyone?) chilled and ready for your cooler.

STEP 3: Pack all the beach essentials

Picture this. The air is already released from your tires, the wind is in your hair as you drive along the beach, and you are having a great time… until you realize your forgot something. Solve this problem by following our packing checklist!

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.27.59 AM– Stop by Beauty Counter‘s Old South Wharf location and pick up their SPF 30 Protect All Over sunscreen and protective lip balm. And a PSA to all our fair friends out there, don’t forget your beach umbrella to help block those dangerous UV rays.

– Circular towels are all the rage right now and we found two top picks right here on Nantucket: Fair Seas Supply Co., carried at Salt, and The Beach People, carried at Milly & Grace, both get a firm stamp of approval!

spike ball– For those beach goers who love to move, games and entertainment are a MUST. Swing by Force Five Watersports where you can pick up portable speakers, frisbee, spike ball, paddleball and fishing gear.

– Prefer a quiet beach activity? The knowledgeable folks at Mitchell’s Book Corner and Nantucket Bookworks are always available and happy to make recommendations for the perfect summer read.

Once you’ve collected all your supplies, pack them up in a durable but lovely beach bag by Scout available at Best of the Beach. For your chilled foods and beverages, grab one of their large insulated cooler bags and you’ll be ready to go!

NOTE: Nantucket has strict recycling policies, so be sure to pack plenty of clear trash bags and separate your rubbish come clean-up time.

STEP 4: The grill

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.35.18 AMYou’ve got your grilling permit so make sure your portable grill is in tip-top shape before you head out to the beach. Don’t have one yet? Marine Home Center can help you out! Clean it off, fill the gas tank or grab your bag of charcoal, and remember all of your grilling utensils. Once you fire it up, be aware of and keep your feet safe from the now-hot sand underneath! Nothing will ruin a beach day quite like a burn injury.

STEP 5: Relax and enjoy

Finally, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor and settle in for a relaxing day in paradise. But be sure to set up camp far enough away from the water so that you don’t have to move camp part-way through the day at high tide! And remember, more important than all of the food and games is the company you keep, so as long as you’re surrounded by your favorite folks, we’re sure your day will be a perfect 10.

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