The sisters here.
Do you know what the best part of living in California is?
It’s probably a toss-up between the beach, the weather and the fact that summer literally never seems to end. Seriously, you can go to the beach in like, November. It’s trippy, yet delightful.
*Let’s go ahead and blame the perpetually good weather for a big reason why people are broke here. California is EXPENSIVE and sunshine tax is a real thing. Ah, the price we pay for good weather and beach days.*
Let’s preface this post by saying we grew up spending the summers down in Port Aransas or Galveston Beach, and if you’re a fellow Texan, you know what we are talkin’ about. Remember the days when your parents forced you in a van, one of your siblings puked in it from car sickness (cough, Morgan) and you drove 8 hours to a beach that probably gave you a disease from getting in the water? Oh, maybe that was just us. (Not saying there’s anything necessarily wrong with the beaches in Texas…but it does seem like every summer we see a different news article warning everyone to evacuate a Texas beach). Also, the water is kind of brown. And the sand is gritty. And it’s humid. Okay, we’ll stop now.
As pleasant as 105-degree summer temperatures, murky ocean water and seaweed filled beaches are, (okay, we are seriously being a tad dramatic), Texas beaches simply don’t compare to California. Hence why any spare moment the Willett sisters have is spent sprawled like beached whales by the ocean, working on a tan (or sunburn, if you are Alex) and enjoying the picturesque, beach straight from a Katy Perry song.
*California girls we’re un-de-ni-able*
But yea, Texas does have Whataburger and HEB so y’all stay #winning-at-life.
Since we are clearly beach experts, we know just how important it is to pack the essentials to maximize your beach day experience. You need more than just sunscreen, y’all!
Take a sec to check out what exactly we have in our beach bag and the major keys to the ultimate Cali beach day.
But first, let’s talk what beach is best. Clearly, there are a ton of different options. Santa Monica, Venice, Long Beach, Malibu, Redondo Beach… HELP, WHAT DO YOU PICK? Personally, we avoid the tourist trap that is Santa Monica/Venice because there are too many families, screaming kids and selfie sticks. Don’t get us wrong, the Santa Monica pier is fabulous and worth going to a couple of times. But if you just want to chill and enjoy the beach… there are so many better options out there! Plus, you have to walk 8 miles just to get to the ocean from the parking garage in Santa Monica. It’s a fun place for people watching but doesn’t exactly have that Cali vibe that makes a beach, a great beach.
Two spots that are currently our favs are Carbon Beach and Will Rogers State Beach. Both are in/around Malibu and what we consider “hidden gems.” Today in particular, we hit Carbon Beach after spending a solid 27 minutes in the car arguing over where we wanted to go. Personally, this is Morgan’s favorite beach because it’s relatively unexplored, never too crowded and sits right along a bunch of million dollar mansions for you to look at and dream about one day owning. (On a side note- there is a security guard hired to make sure us peasants remain 10 feet away from all the mansions. Oh, the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Life really is extra when you live in California). Note: you can find street parking alongside PCH and the beach access gate is located at the address 22126 PCH in Malibu!
Now let’s dig into our beach bag of goodies. Here are some of the things we find essential when hitting the beach.
- A good book
(Take a wild guess whose is whose…)
*Side note- Origins by Dan Brown is a pretty darn good book. It’s not on the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown levels of good, but not much is. If you’re Dan Brown fan or a fan of history, mysteries and adventure, I one hundo would recommend. 4.5 out of 5 stars. I should change my career to be a book reviewer. I’m killing the game… /s.
- A comfy (and cute) beach towel
We got these beach towels in our FabFitFun box and we. are. obsessed. They’re by Summer & Rose, come in a million different fun prints, are big enough so you don’t have to worry about gettin’ all sandy and they’re soooo soft!
Take a wild guess pt. 2 on whose towel is the pink one…..
We love the brand Coola because it smells like a DREAM. Like seriously. Gone are the days of smelling like play dough and glue mixed together. It’s blissful! Plus, it’s moisturizing and organic so you don’t feel icky and crusty afterwards. It also blends easily into your skin which is a nice perk.
If you’re like me, Morgan, and like to maximize your bronzing, check out Maui Browning Lotion. Apply it after sunscreen and this stuff does wonders. Apparently, it’s a “local secret” from Hawaii…I don’t know what that means, but it really does give you a deep tan! (This is where I, Alex, step in and speaks the truth saying don’t attempt to tan! Get airbrush spray tans, save your skin and prevent wrinkles. Okay, bye).
Two different opinions. You decide what works for you.
- Hydrating face mist
Protect the money-maker! We love ending our beach day with a nice face mist because the sun tends to really dry out your face. No wrinkly dinosaur skin, here! This one is by Whish.
- Drinks + snacks
Okay, here’s the deal – we both eat protein bars constantly. We get made fun of for it being our snack of choice. Alex is more of a Combat Crunch or Quest Bar type of gal but Morgan has a weird obsession with ThinkThin bars as she is adamant that they seriously taste like a candy bar. (Insert Morgan preaching about how each one contains over 20g of protein so it keeps you full without a bunch of sugar! They are the greatest! She has ThinkThin bars running in her blood! She dreams of ThinkThin bars! Someone at the company hire her). Alex discovered Ice drinks a long time ago and they are pretty much a staple in both of our lives. They’re only usually a dollar and give off that satisfaction of being a soft drink but are actually really flavorful carbonated water. There are no calories and come in every flavor imaginable, (plus they’re a super good chaser if you feel like getting a ‘lil litty. Not that we have experience in that or anything…)
- Summer & Rose body illuminizer
Okay, this really isn’t needed for the beach but if you are like Morgan and make everything into a photo opp, this body illuminizer by Summer & Rose is perfect for giving you a little glow and sparkle in your photos! Careful because a little goes a LONG way. You don’t want to look like a disco ball in your photos…or do you?
- Waterproof mascara
No one likes sweating off makeup; let’s be real. Our favorite waterproof mascara is Loreal’s Voluminous Lash Paradise. Not only is it pretty much glued to your lashes all day, it’s the BEST drugstore mascara we’ve found for really boosting your lashes. We swear by this stuff. Like, seriously. Go get it in either the regular or waterproof version if you haven’t tried it already.
- A speaker
You may annoy everyone around you, but tunes are a major key when beaching it. (Insert DJ Khalid’s voice here). Morgan highly suggests the Country Hits playlist on Spotify. Alex says spare yourself. This particular speaker is a battery operated speaker that connects to your phone via Bluetooth.
Wait, you know what’s trippy? Think back to 5-10 years ago. Did things like this even exist? Love living in 2018.
Ray Bans used to be Alex’s favorite sunglasses but living with Morgan has turned her into a mega DIFF fan. Why, might you ask?
They’re super affordable
Anytime you buy a pair of DIFF sunglasses, they give a pair of glasses to a child in need. (We dig it).
They come in all these bright and funky styles and colors.
They really are a solid quality.
Yea, you probably see them all over Instagram. But honestly, it’s for good reason. They really are great. (Literally not getting paid for saying this, FYI. They do rock. #notanad.)
- Hand sanitizer (for the germaphobes like Alex)
Uh yea, keep on attempting to drag me, Morgan. Think of how you’re touching parking meters, credit cards, gates, door handles, etc when attempting to get to the beach. I’m not about that germ lifestyle, okurrrrr. If I’m shoving a protein bar in my mouth, I want to have pristine and clean hands. (Okay, I also recognize that I might be a little OCD).
That’s it! Those are our staples. There you have it ladies and gents. We know that when packing for a quick adventure on-the-go, you want to keep it simple, easy and efficient. Now, go get your beach on.
Unless you live in one of the 16 landlocked states who don’t have access to a beach. You probably didn’t finish reading this article if so though, so YOLO.