Where to Set Up a Beach Shade

Where should you set up a beach shade? What is the best place on the beach for your beach tent, beach shade, umbrella, or cabana?

A beautiful beach front, rocks on either side, with beach umbrellas set up.
Where’s the best spot?

Photo by birobali on pixabay.

Many beaches are quite large and therefore offer a wide selection of possible setup locations for your beach shade. Choosing the ideal location for your setup can have a real impact on your time at the beach. A great location on the beach is one that will serve you well for your entire beach stay. The wrong location could see you moving early, or dealing with nuisances that cut into your enjoyment.

There are several considerations to make when choosing the best place for your beach shade. I’ll go through them one by one.

The Location and Path of the Sun

Upon arriving at the beach with your beach shade, the first thing to do is to locate the sun and see how the sunlight hits the beach. Additionally, estimate the length of time you will be at the beach and how the direction of the sunlight will change while you’re there.

For beaches that are totally exposed to the sun, you want to set up your beach shade so that it will cast the largest shadow when the sun will be most intense during your stay at the beach. For an all-day stay at the beach, assuming no cloud cover, you want to be creating maximum shade during midday.

…set up your beach shade so it will cast the largest shadow when the sun will be most intense…

For beach shades that are very easy to set up, consider that it might be possible to move or slightly rotate your beach shade to account for the changing sunlight as the day progresses. Beach umbrellas and beach tents, for example, are generally very easy to reposition.

Beach Layout

After accounting for the movement of the sun, consider the general layout of the beach itself. Many beaches may have set entry/exit points, which tend to get busy. Some also have sections that have natural windbreaks, or parts of the beach where the waves are safer for swimming.

When you arrive at the beach, before setting up your beach shade, take a moment to consider how other people on the beach will come and go. Does the beach have a walkway or gate that everyone will pass through? Are there any natural features that will control how people will choose to enter the beach area? If so, decide how close or far away you want to be from those areas. For a quiet and peaceful time at the beach, choose a location away from the busy foot traffic that beach entry points can create.

Consider as well the wind and waves on the beach. If it’s going to be a windy day, choosing a beach location sheltered from the wind by rocks or vegetation might greatly reduce the chance of the wind becoming a nuisance. If you or your beach companions are planning to enjoy the water and waves on the beach, consider as well the character of the waves and surf directly in front of your beach tent. This is particularly important when setting up a beach shade with young kids – set your beach tent up near portions of the waterfront where children can safely play.

…set your beach tent up near portions of the waterfront where children can safely play…

Shifting Tides

Lastly, for an ocean-front beach, consider how the changing tide may impact your chosen location on the beach. Will a rising tide bring the water too close to your selected location? Will a retreating tide leave you further than you’d like to be from the water’s edge?

If you’re unsure of the tides take a look at a tide chart for your area.

Once all of the above are considered, choose a nice spot and get set up your beach shade.

Be safe! Have fun at the beach!