Well, yes, you can go to the beach at night on beaches where it is acceptable to do so. However, it can be unsafe because of shark attacks, rip currents, shore breaks, jellyfish, and sea urchins, among many other dangers.
Mostly, you are susceptible to these dangers because of low visibility at night. So, the quick takeaway is that you should consider going to the beach during the full moon. There’s better visibility at such a time.
We’ll expound on the dangers and a lot more. Here are the questions we’ll address in this post:
- Is it illegal to go to the beach at night?
- Is it dangerous to go to the beach at night?
- What do you do on the beach at night?
- What should you wear on the beach at night?
- How can you stay safe on the beach at night?
Can You Go To The Beach At Night? Is It Illegal To Go To The Beach At Night?
It’s a standard practice by most beach authorities in the United States to open beaches to the public from sunset to sunrise.
However, policies on night access to beaches differ from state to state. It may be illegal to visit some beaches at night but legal in some places. In other cases, you have a time limit.
In California, for example, beaches are open 24/7, and the same goes for beaches in Mexico. However, in Mexico, cars are not permitted at night.
In Florida, the beaches are open until 10 pm, with some extending to 7 am.
So, check with the local marine authority or visit the beach website if available to see if you can go there at night.
What’s more, avoid private beaches as you could easily get charged for trespassing.
Can You Go To The Beach At Night? Is It Dangerous To Go To The Beach At Night?
Also, there are fewer people on the beach, which is not always a good thing. Though it could mean quiet, peaceful time, it could also mean unsafe conditions.
What if you suffer an accident and there’s no one to help? You wouldn’t want that.
That’s why it’s a good idea to bring a friend along.
So, yes, it’s dangerous to go to the beach at night.
According to the NOS (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), here are the most typical dangers of visiting the beach at night:
1. Rip Currents
Rip currents are strong water currents with the capability of carrying heavy objects, including humans.
Safety Tip – Only go swimming when the rip currents are absent. So, take note of the Rip currents warning signs.
If the current catches you by surprise, don’t panic. Instead, move with it until you break free near the shoreline.
Sharp rocks and broken shells move with the tide along the ocean floor, and some even get to the shoreline.
So, there is always the risk of hurting your feet if you walk barefoot.
Safety Tip – Wear the best beach shoes when you walk on the beach at night.
3. Shark Attack
Sharks are deep-lying in the ocean. However, they are more active at night and are the biggest threat to human life.
Safety Tip – Avoid wearing shiny jewelry when swimming at night as they can attract sharks. The same goes for bright clothes.
Also, watch out for the sharks’ warning signs on the beach.
4. Falling Coconuts
It sounds crazy, but coconuts fall a lot during the night and are more dangerous as there is low visibility.
If a coconut drops on your head, you could suffer a skull fracture or concussion.
Safety Tip – Don’t sit close to coconut trees, more so when there are strong winds.
5. Contaminated Water
It’s hard to identify contaminated water at night, which could be an issue if it has bacteria, viruses, or any other pathogen.
Safety Tip – Watch out for unusual changes in the watercolor and smelly water. Also, take a shower immediately after leaving the sea.
Jellyfish can release venom when you step on it. They often move in large groups, and so you should be watchful.
Safety Tip – Wear protective shoes and a swimsuit if you decide to swim at night. Also, get jellyfish advisories from your local authority.
Stingrays are a class of sea life that predominantly resides on the ocean floor. They are naturally non-aggressive but can sting as a reactionary response when someone steps on them.
Safety Tip – Shoe your feet with the best water shoes. Additionally, don’t step on things on the ocean floor.
8. Sea Urchins
Sea urchins also react by releasing toxins when stepped on. The venom sadly can result in breathing difficulties.
Safety Tip – Avoid stepping on things on the ocean floor that you cannot see clearly. Additionally, wear the best water shoes.
When the ocean wave breaks, it can pitch you into the ground with a lot of force, a phenomenon we call a shore break.
If the water appears unusually deep, that could indicate a shore break.
Safety Tip – Avoid the waters if they are unusually deep.
Relevant Post: Is It Safe To Swim In The Ocean At Night?
Can You Go To The Beach At Night? What Do You Do On The Beach At Night?
You can do the following for fun at night on the beach:
- Start your night adventure by watching the sunset
- Get some burgers, steaks, and veggies to have a nighttime BBQ
- Make a bonfire with friends or family (that’s if it is legal to do so on your local beach)
- Have a night dance-off on the beach
- Go swimming (but bring a friend along to keep an eye on you)
- Marvel at the stars as you star-gaze with family
- Set up a camping tent and pass the night there
- Watch a fun movie on the beach
- Go fishing with friends
- Walk along the shoreline (remember to shoe your feet, however)
- Take beautiful nighttime photos of you on the beach
What Should You Wear On The Beach At Night?
- Water shoes (beach shoes) – Get the best beach shoes for walking on the beach at night.
- Swimsuit – You need a swimsuit to protect your skin against irritation when you go swimming at night.
- Swim goggles – They are essential in boosting your underwater vision at night while also protecting your eyes.
- Hat – A good hat can keep you warm at night on the beach. So, pick a warm option, such as a baseball cap.
- Poncho or hoodie – The clothing keeps you warm at night. They are a must-buy when camping on the beach.
- Shorts – Shorts are the right choice for both men and women on the beach. They generally offer you more flexibility than pants.
Also, remember to pack a cover-up (for women) or a blanket for the cold.
Can You Go To The Beach At Night? How Can You Stay Safe On the Beach at Night?
Generally, these tips will boost your night safety on the beach:
- Leverage the moonlight
You can avoid most dangers on the beach with natural light. Well, what can be more natural than moonlight?
So, if you have to swim at night, then do it during the full moon.
Protect your feet from sharp rocks, broken shells, and stinging, ocean-lying marine life with the best beach shoes.
Also, protect your skin against irritation with the best swimsuit and your eyes with water goggles.
3. Bring a buddy
You need some extra watchful set of eyes when going to the beach at night. Whether you want to swim, take photos, or camp there, you are safer with a buddy around.
3. Watch out for the high tide
If you must swim at night, do it when the tide is low. High tide brings debris and dangerous sea life like jellyfish to the shore.
4. Stay close to the shoreline
You are more likely to find help when you swim close to the shore. So, ensure you can see the shoreline when you get to the water.
Mark your entry point with a flashlight to know when you go far away.
5. Observe sobriety
You can easily drown or hurt yourself if you have a night time beach drink. So, ensure you are sober at the beach when you have to access the water.
6. Watch out for RIP currents
RIP currents can be unpredictable and dangerous. So, first, watch out for RIP current signs.
If you get caught by the currents, stay calm, breathe normally, and go with the RIP current until it releases you near the shoreline.
Now you know that answer to, ‘can you go to the beach at night?’ My advice is that you first check with your local beach authority to confirm if it’s legal.
Once they give you the nod, then observe all the safety tips that I’ve shared.