In Seattle, there are a lot of not-beaches. Wait, before you get angry at that statement, let me explain. I grew up in New Jersey. Ever heard of the Jersey Shore? And while that’s not exactly something to be super proud of (hi, Snooki!), it does mean one thing: I’m familiar with long stretches of sandy beaches, ocean waves, beach volleyball games and boardwalks. It’s glorious! Just thinking of the Wildwood piers brings a single tear to my eye. But, now that I live in Seattle, there’s a new hope. There are ways to turn places like Madison Park and Green Lake into beach-like utopias all on their own. How, do you ask? Let’s find out!
Games, games and more games: Whether board games or setting up your own volleyball net, action and activities are your friend at the “beach.” Toss a Frisbee, play that weird paddle game with the rubber ball or break out the horseshoes. It’s fun time!
Buy a giant towel: There’s nothing quite like holding a giant beach towel at one end and flinging, fluffing and flailing it into the air to let it spread out and rest on the ground (even if that ground is grass-laden and not sandy). It’s practically a Pavlovian experience that will trick your brain to think you’re in, like, Brazil.
Bring suntan lotion (even if you don’t need it): And if the beach towel isn’t enough, break out the suntan lotion and put a little on your nose, shoulders and toes (if you’re feeling it!). Just the scent of the stuff will make you think you’re relaxing and reclining in the clear-blue tropics.
Invite lots of friends: What’s the beach without pals? Breathe fresh air, watch the waves crash against land and tell old stories about how you once made-out with that super sexy person under the boardwalk that one time at your high school reunion.
Buy a beach read: Throw on the shades, lay on your stomach and pop out that trashy romance novel or that biography of your favorite American entrepreneur. Fly through the pages, enjoy the mind pictures and treat your new beach utopia like a never-ending outdoor, water-banked library. And sip on one of these while doing so.
Dress the part: We won’t linger here, because we dedicated a whole post to this idea earlier. But let us say one thing: the more Utopia you look, the more Utopia you feel. Enjoy the pastels, stylish babe!
BBQ, duh: The sizzle of hotdogs, burgers and chicken wings can make any place an outdoor utopia. (Pro tip: throw some sliced pineapple or bananas on the grill for an especially delicious and healthy dessert.) By now, you’re in your Utopia-themed bathing suit, a few chapters into your book, surrounded by friends, suntan lotion’d, towel spread out and nice and hungry from all those games. Utopia made!