what do people do at the lake or beach
August 30, 2006 4:39 PM   Subscribe

What exactly do people, especially young people (18-22) DO at the lake or beach all day?

People are always talking about going to the lake, going to the beach, and apparently they spend all day there. I've never been. What exactly do people, especially young people (18-22) DO at the lake or beach all day? Why is it so much fun? Please let me experience the vicarious joy of waterside adventure and explain this to me.
posted by jitterbug perfume to Society & Culture (40 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sit around and nap. Read a book. Avoid being burned. Play beach volleyball if I`m with friends. Toss the frisbee.
posted by robofunk at 4:42 PM on August 30, 2006

Hang out in the sun, swim, waterski and other water sports, kayak, canoe, vollyball and other sandy sports, barbeque, drink, listen to music.
posted by RustyBrooks at 4:42 PM on August 30, 2006

Swim, chat, eat, sleep, surf, run, play, dream, live.


That kind of thing, people just go and have fun. Same way any group of people can have fun somewhere for a day.
posted by knapah at 4:44 PM on August 30, 2006

It's not about days at the beach... it's about nights at the beach IMO. Cuddle with your SO, make sandcastles, look at the stars. Quite romantic really.
posted by matkline at 4:44 PM on August 30, 2006

1) Relax in the sun (use your sunscreen, folks!) Optional concurrent activities include talking, reading, or napping.

2) When you get too warm, go swimming, splash around, do handstands, dive through waves, and generally revel in the awesomeness of a large body of water.

3) When you get tired or bored, return to towel.

4) Drink a beer or eat snacks.

5) Repeat step 1.

6) When you get bored, take a walk along the water, alone or with friend/SO. Optional concurrent activities include letting your feet sink into the sand, catching those itsy sand crabs that look like bugs, collecting shells, and drawing your name in the wet sand with your big toe.

7) Repeat step 1

8) Repeat steps 2-6 as desired.

Volleyball, sandcastles, frisbee, skimboard, burying friend in sand.
posted by desuetude at 4:49 PM on August 30, 2006

Examine members of the opposite sex through opaque sunglasses with head slightly turned so as to give the impression of looking the other way all the while staring at the goods.

Cool off in water, repeat.
posted by maxpower at 4:55 PM on August 30, 2006

I don't get the appeal of "the beach" either.

If I'm going to spend time outside, I'd rather be in a park, or in the shade, than getting sand in the crack of my ass, worrying about sunburn, or trekking some ungodly distance to get a cold drink or a snack.

Surfing, I can do. But sitting around on the beach? No thanks.
posted by Brian James at 4:56 PM on August 30, 2006

Drink and screw, as far as I can tell from my friends' lake-side adventures.
posted by hototogisu at 4:56 PM on August 30, 2006

Swim, picnic, enjoy friends
posted by thirteenkiller at 4:57 PM on August 30, 2006

It should also be noted that people under 18 and over 22 are also known to do similar activities at the beach.

I really miss the ability to just go to the lake or beach all damn day. I was on vacation last week and spent two days at the beach just drinking beer and watching the girls go by.
posted by birdherder at 4:58 PM on August 30, 2006

Sit around reading with a towel over one's head, waiting for everyone else to finish doing whatever it is they're doing, so we can go do something that doesn't involve direct sunlight?
posted by dmd at 5:01 PM on August 30, 2006

You're asking about the 18-22 set...allow me sumarize.

1) sleep

2) drink

3) frolic
3a) in the sun
3b) in the water
3c) with beer in hand
3d) with someone of the opposite sex, or same, if thats your thing

4) drink

5) just hangout with friends - like indoors
5a) exception to (5): if hanging out indoors usually involves lots of D&D and/or Risk, do not bring your "indoor" activities to the beach

6) create sand sculptures
6a) points for creativity
6b) loss of points for penises and boobs

7) socialize, meet people

8) in order to catalyze (7) see (2), (3c), (4)

In general, relax, have fun and enjoy that 18-22 year-old window.
posted by ASM at 5:06 PM on August 30, 2006

Reminds me of Larry David in "The Thong" episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO)

Larry: "I don't get it. What do we do, just sit here? What for? What's the point?"
posted by rocco at 5:09 PM on August 30, 2006 [3 favorites]

Just...relax. Let the hours go by. I love the feel of the sun against my skin and I don't burn, so that's a big bonus. It's just hanging out, really. No different to other sorts of places.
posted by liquorice at 5:10 PM on August 30, 2006

Lay in the sun, read books, talk with friends, go swimming, do crossword/sudoku, people watch, sleep, picnic. I'll never in my life understand how people can stand to live more than a 30 minute drive from the ocean. If you bring a cooler full of drinks and snacks and a couple of beach chairs, it is heaven on earth.
posted by gatorae at 5:16 PM on August 30, 2006

Lose your virginity. Rinse off, repeat.
posted by zoomorphic at 5:16 PM on August 30, 2006 [2 favorites]

Find the most beautiful seashell in the world, the eggshell of a shark, the bone of a whale, look in tidepools for octopuss, deal with the loonies that are attracted to the beach, try to avoid being someone else's loony. Watch pretty girls and surfers, stare out as far as I can to maybe see a whale, get tar on my feet. look for arrowheads up on the blufftops, drink beer.
posted by Iron Rat at 5:16 PM on August 30, 2006

The lake is a bit more complicated than sitting on a beach, especially if you have a boat. We usually get up around sunrise drive through the fog on the water, ski, and fish. Go back, eat breakfast. Relax a bit then go back to the water. Drive the boat into a cove and anchor. We then read, drink, and eat until the wild of the day. We'll fire up the jetski and go add to the shore destroying mayhem. For dinner we'll either BBQ on the boat or go back to the dock which is shaded around that time and relax with the other dock people. As night comes everyone leaves so we do a rinse and repeat of the morning. At night we do a lot of drinking, idling around the peaceful water real slow with the radio on, fishing, and a lot of night swimming.

As for the beach, I really don't know. I feel sad and lonely at the beach.
posted by sled at 5:49 PM on August 30, 2006

Have sex out there in the sand dunes.
posted by jason's_planet at 5:51 PM on August 30, 2006

Just chill. Lie around. Swim once & a while. Eat. Talk. Cuddle. Drink. I can't believe no one's mentioned blazing yet. Getting stoned on the beach in the sun is a fairly popular activity (and hey, you actually have a reason to be wearing sunglasses...).
posted by devilsbrigade at 6:03 PM on August 30, 2006

I'm 40, and here's what I did at the beach all summer (including today): Read and enjoy crap Lee Childs thrillers. Listen to LearnItalianPod. Ogle women half my age. Listen to the new Dilettantes EP. Body surf. Read Essential Italian Grammar and decide that Italian has too many verb tenses, and too many irregular verbs in -ere, for me to learn before October. Play volleyball. Ogle women 2/3 my age. Discuss all this with the same two guys I was hanging out with in 1975, at the same spot.
posted by nicwolff at 6:08 PM on August 30, 2006

I hate the friggin' beach. I always make sure that there's something else I can do while others are frolicking. Currently I snorkel or canoe but I'd like a kayak I think.

Or I just don't go, and hike or photograph instead.
posted by unSane at 6:24 PM on August 30, 2006

i don't get this either. [jewish grandmother voice] why would anyone want to go where there is sand, which gets in everything, and you might burn, or drown? [/jewish grandmother voice]

i especially do not understand why anyone would (a) lay out in the sun, or (b) do any sport.

can you tell i'm a new yorker?

thank you so much for asking this question.
posted by sdn at 6:33 PM on August 30, 2006

posted by caddis at 6:40 PM on August 30, 2006

you people don't go to beaches! the number one activity of the 18- to 22-year-old age group is to hold cell phone conversations guaranteed to annoy everyone in a 50-yard radius...the number two activity is text messaging...the number three activity is to hold conversation with the person next to you, discussing who you should call or text message...

...i always kinda had the idea that the big deal about going to the beach was telling everybody the week before that you're going to the beach, and telling everybody the week after that you went to the beach....
posted by troybob at 7:13 PM on August 30, 2006 [1 favorite]

Drink. You should hear the stories about "cottage country" in Ontario, Canada. The booze starts flowing before noon and continues all day.
posted by TorontoSandy at 7:19 PM on August 30, 2006

TorontoSandy: you're crazy. Show me 18-22 year olds who are AWAKE before noon :p
posted by devilsbrigade at 7:26 PM on August 30, 2006

This might give you some clues: http://www.overheardatthebeach.com/
posted by AmbroseChapel at 7:39 PM on August 30, 2006

smoke pot and giggle for hours while building complex sculptures
posted by weaponsgradecarp at 7:45 PM on August 30, 2006

Play snood on their laptops.

Heh. Mainly ogle and find excuses to be ogled, in my (vicarious) experience.
posted by gsteff at 9:12 PM on August 30, 2006

Definitely smoke pot, or drink. Lay out in the sun. Read. Write. Sketch. Talk. Sleep. Swim.

So, nicwolff, you were "hanging out" at the age of 9?
posted by nonmerci at 9:17 PM on August 30, 2006

1. Complain about where you're "forced" to set up your towel/chair/station.
2. Complain about the annoying kids/old people/frat guys/younger people nearby.
3. Complain that your drinks have gone warm.
4. Complain about the sand temperature.
5. Complain about the water temperature.
6. Complain about the water up your nose/in your ear and/or the icky stuff in the water.
7. Complain about the sand and/or bathing suit in the crack of your butt.
8. Complain about the food, the temperature, the taste, the variety and/or lack thereof.
9. Complain about the bugs and/or wind.
10. Complain about how soon the day has ended.
posted by Dreama at 9:19 PM on August 30, 2006

Dreama: I think whoever you see/hang out with needs some of the above activities to chill out ;)
posted by devilsbrigade at 10:24 PM on August 30, 2006

Suck face.
posted by SilverTail at 1:19 AM on August 31, 2006

look for sharks' teeth and bask in the sun's warm glowing warming glow.
posted by cowbellemoo at 6:24 AM on August 31, 2006

What do they do? A whole lot of nothing, and that's kinda the point of going.
posted by geeky at 7:23 AM on August 31, 2006

Wow, a whole lot of crotchety going on in this thread.

One thing that hasn't been emphasized enough: eating.

At the lake, it's hot dogs and other grilled goodies, or sandwiches, macaroni salad, potato salad, candies and salty snacks, and sodas. That kind of thing. At the beach, especially if you've got one with a pier or boardwalk area, it's pier fries, fried seafood, pizza, ice cream...deeelicious.

There's nothing quite like eating on one of these outings. Swimming in a natural body of water gives the biggest, happiest appetite. It's also nice to be outside. It's nice to have some water to jump into when you're hot. And near the water, there's usually a nice breeze, fewer bugs, and good-lookin' scenery. It's nice to check out a tide pool or feed some ducks, too. It's just nice.

I'm older than 22, but these things held true even back then.
posted by lampoil at 8:34 AM on August 31, 2006

Wow. AskMe has really dropped the ball when I can Ctrl+F "make out" and not find a single instance in 37 comments.

It is worth mentioning that all the above activities are merely a prelude or follow-up to totally making out.
posted by hermitosis at 9:11 AM on August 31, 2006

Should have searched for "Suck face".
posted by hermitosis at 9:12 AM on August 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


There was however quite a few mentions of sex. Who needs to mention making out when you've already mentioned sex? heh.
posted by knapah at 9:57 AM on August 31, 2006

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