When you think of the beach, what comes to mind? Likely the sand between your toes, the refreshing waves cooling you down, and the crowds of people out for a day of fun. While many beaches along the California coastline are closed, some, like nearby Long Beach, are still open, albeit with active-use requirements in place. So while your beach experience may look a little different this year, it’s still possible to enjoy the beach while still practicing social distancing. Here are some ideas.

Plan Ahead to Be Active

So many people are used to coming to the beach with no plan but to relax, so these new requirements for active recreation might require some new habits. The good news is that there are a ton of fun beach games to play with your friends or roommates! You can try beach bowling, hopscotch, sand Pictionary, and more.

Come at Off-Peak Times

It’s not as warm in the mornings, but there is something so peaceful about the beach before the sun is too high in the sky! Head down to Long Beach for a first-thing-in-the-morning beach trip between 7 and 10 a.m. before the crowds arrive. A long, leisurely walk with the waves lapping at your toes might be the perfect, calming way to start your day.

Bring Supplies

While you’re enjoying the beach with just you and your small group, you may still be sharing handrails and water fountains with other beachgoers. Bring your hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean, and keep your mask on when you’re not in the water. That way, you and your family can stay safe even while being in relatively close proximity to others.

Practicing social distancing while at the beach may feel a little unusual at first, but it’s worth it for the fun of being by the ocean! When you plan ahead, come at off-peak times, and bring all the supplies you need, your trips will be safe and soul-filling.