WILDWOOD CREST, N.J. — The shot felt good off my hands. I pumped my fist when it went through the net and called it a day. You have to end on a make. I left the basketball court and went straight to the beach. I swam in the ocean. Later I jumped in a pool. After that I walked to my favorite pizza place. Then I went to my other favorite pizza place. It was a good day.
I’ve been down the shore all week. It’s been great. The ocean water is just as warm as it is in August. The beaches are pretty empty. The only people around are senior citizens and families with kids who aren’t yet old enough for school. There might not be as many things open—Wildwood was dead on Wednesday—but enough that there are still things to do. Sometime between shooting hoops on an empty court that’s usually mobbed and instantly getting a slice from what’s often the busiest place on the boardwalk, it hit me: Labor Day week is the best week to go to the beach.
My logic applies everywhere, at least in the United States. Even places that are beach towns year-round are emptier this week—the kids are back to school, and their parents are gone too. And the water temperature in the ocean is still great everywhere.
If you want some crowds at your beach spot, start your vacation week on Saturday or Sunday. You get a few days of insanity as everyone soaks up one last bit of summer, and then everyone leaves on Monday and you have the beach to yourself.
Sure, this reasoning is not for families and kids. So what? They’re dealing with the first or second week of school; that doesn’t mean everyone else has to suffer! What confuses me is why more non-parents haven’t figured this out. Quit what you’re doing and go to the beach!