This is definitely the year to hit the beach in beautiful Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach, Florida. Truly, our beaches are ready, and we're here to make sure you are, too.

A little prep time is a simple way to make sure everyone has a great day at the beach. Here are seven tips to get your family beach-ready:

Sunscreen

We all know how important sunscreen is, so this is just a reminder to bring plenty of it with you. The spray kind is great for kids who may not want to hold still for traditional sunscreen lotion, but be sure you cover every inch of them. Also, remember to apply 15 minutes before sun exposure, and to reapply after swimming, toweling off, and every 2 hours, even if no one is getting wet. 

Snack Packs

Even if you’re planning to have lunch at one of the nearby restaurants (and you should!), you want to be sure to pack some snacks for your beach day. Make your cooler easier to carry and less messy by freezing snacks like grapes, fruit cups, drink boxes, ice pops, berries, nuts, etc., and using them instead of (or in addition to less) ice. Also freeze a few bottles of water and some V8 juice for nice cold drinks and to replenish electrolytes.

Put your frozen snacks (with or without additional ice) in the bottom of the cooler and add a layer of paper towels, then pack your lighter items—like chips, sandwiches, cookies, etc.—on top. Not only will the paper towels keep those items from getting soggy, they’ll serve as a quick, convenient clean-up and cool-down.

Also, don’t forget to pack a bag to put all your trash in!

Toys As Tools

Shark Teeth on Englewood BeachOur beaches offer Skimboarding, snorkeling, sandcastle building, shelling, and world-class lounging. There is, however, one activity many of our visitors especially love: hunting for fossilized shark teeth. Tooth size varies, but you’ll likely find teeth about the size of a dime or nickel. While there are plenty on the surface of the sand, usually among shells and seaweed, sometimes the best finds take a little digging. That’s where sand toys come in! Plastic shovels, buckets, and sieves make it easy to dig and sift through the sand to find fossilized teeth worth bringing home.

If you need anything else, see The Beach Guy at Englewood Beach to rent chairs, umbrellas, and more.

Picture Perfect

Improve your beach pics by making sure the sun is behind the camera. That is, if you’re taking a picture of someone, make sure the sun is behind you. If you’re taking a selfie, make sure the sun is in front of you.

Also, if you’re posting pics on Instagram, please tag us @RealPureFlorida and include the hashtag #BestSideOutside to let everyone know where you’re having your amazing beach day.

Bag It

Bring along a large mesh laundry bag to carry sand toys, wet towels, etc. The mesh will allow the items to dry—and provide a way for most of the sand to fall out before you get to your car.

Also, don’t forget to pack a few smaller plastic bags for the treasures you’ll find on the beach!

Photo of family walking on Don Pedro Island paths to beach

Water on Your Mind, but Not in Your Ears

No one wants water in their ears, especially long after you’ve left the beach. Also known as swimmer’s ear, water left in the ear canal can cause all sorts of problems, including not being able to hear people compliment your lovely tan! Here are two tips to help:

Bring along a deflated balloon, and once you’re all done with splashing in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, blow up the balloon. As you gently inflate the balloon, the water will slowly and safely trickle out of your ears.

The second method takes a little bit of prep work, but it’s really the be-all, end-all of remedies. Create a solution of half Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and half white vinegar. The alcohol evaporates the water while the vinegar prevents bacteria from growing. Tilt your head to the side, put three or four drops of the solution into the ear, wait about 30 seconds, and then tilt your head to the other side to allow the solution to drain out.

Dusting Off

Pack a small container of cornstarch to remove sand from sensitive skin with no irritation. Sprinkle a bit on the sandy areas, wipe off, and go!

We hope these tips will get you and your family ready to experience the outstanding beaches of Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach, and serve to enhance your visit. Here, our best side is outside, and after spending a few minutes on the beach you’ll see why. We also offer incredible opportunities for kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, boating, waterfront dining, hiking, birding, biking, golf, and much more. This is the quintessential Florida outdoor experience, and we can’t wait to welcome you. #BestSideOutside #WeAreBeachReady