Time for the beach

Don’t be one of those ill-prepared beach goers who turn lobster red and are bored to tears because they don’t bring anything but their pale skin. Summer beach days require a few beach necessities.

We’ll start with some quiet personal entertainment that can be obtained from Edgartown Books, or Riley’s Reads and Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven. Edgartown Books devotes a wall to “Beach Reads,” making it easy to find novelists such as Jude Deveraux, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, and Jackie Collins’s longest novel, “Lovers and Gamblers.” Add to the choices a variety of other great authors including the emotionally wrenching novelist Nicholas Sparks. If you would like to step it down a little, I recommend Clive Cussler’s “Medusa,” which is action-filled and enjoyable for the whole family.

Lets face it — entertainment at the beach is key, whether it’s an iPod from Educomp, Island Electronics, or Mac Sales and Service; or crossword puzzle books from Granite’s or Leslie’s Pharmacy. After all, there is only so much staring out into the ocean we can do before we crave more stimulation.

Now we can turn our attention to group activities. I suggest stopping by Lazy Frog on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs. It is one of our premier shops catering to leisure, laziness, and fun on the Island. They have everything from Frisbee golf and kites to board games. Try picking up an Italian beach favorite, Bocce, which starts at $16 for the kid’s version or $39 for an intermediate level. Make sure to bring along kids of all ages, even though I can’t promise you’ll ever make it back out the door.

And for the basic necessities: sunblock, beach chairs, towels, and a bag to carry everything. Keep in mind that flip-flops might also be a good buy because yes, the sand is hot, and you can burn your bare feet on the way to your favorite spot. To collect all of these items in one fell swoop, why not stop by The Paper Store on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs or Trader Fred’s, Granite’s, or Stop & Shop’s seasonal store in Edgartown. All offer fun beach basics. Try a boogie board or Wiffle Ball set from The Toy Store or Wind’s Up in Vineyard Haven; in Edgartown, The Boneyard is where you can buy both beach fashions and equipment.

This is just to get you thinking. There are more offerings from Island stores just waiting to be discovered.