Things to Do

10 Ways to Have a Coastal Grandma Summer—Even if You Don’t Live Near the Ocean

coastal grandma summer activities"
coastal grandma summer activities
Source: @gabbywhiten
Source: @gabbywhiten

Now that summer is in full swing, the coastal grandmothers are coming out of hibernation, and we are here for it. Who doesn’t want to pretend they are living in a Nancy Meyers movie at all times? Summer is so fleeting, but by embracing a coastal grandma lifestyle, you can take advantage of every delicious moment the season has to offer. Keep scrolling for 10 coastal grandma summer activities to enjoy all the breezy, laid-back vibes this season, even if you don’t live anywhere near the coast.

coastal grandma summer activities
Source: Dupe Photos | Cora Pursley

1. Get outside

First things first: It’s time to get some fresh air and sun. Ideally, you would head to the beach and spread out on the sand, but you don’t need to live by open water to embrace the coastal grandma lifestyle. Enjoying the beauty of the season is what really matters. Hanging out near a lake or river is the next best thing, as being near any kind of water can be so healing. That said, feeling your toes on the grass, taking a long and quiet hike, or stopping by your local botanical garden are all great ways to embrace nature. You could also pick up a fun sport like tennis or pickleball so you can spend less time inside at the gym and more time getting your sweat on outdoors. If there’s one thing that coastal grandmas can appreciate, it’s a workout that comes with a cute outfit.

2. Cook a delicious meal

As nice as it is to enjoy dinner and a crisp glass of rosé on a waterfront patio, most of us can’t afford to indulge in that experience all summer long. Instead, any coastal grandma worth her salt knows how to get busy in the kitchen. I grew up in a small beachside town, and one of my happiest childhood memories was coming home from a long day at the beach to find my mother roasting a chicken (a meal normally reserved for cooler months). There was just something so comforting about sitting down to a really good home-cooked meal after being out in the sun all day. Of course, you don’t have to roast a whole chicken to eat well. Start with a simple recipe that makes use of what’s currently in season: corn, peaches, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon, and zucchini are all nearing their peak right now.

coastal grandma summer activities
Source: Dupe Photos | Rachel Milton

3. Shop your local farmers market

Speaking of fresh produce, there’s no better place to buy it than at your local farmers market. Instead of trudging through your usual grocery store, grab a straw tote and get some fresh air while you load it up with locally grown fruits and vegetables, fresh-baked bread, and other handmade goods. It’s the perfect way to romanticize the otherwise mundane task of grocery shopping.

4. Refresh your bedding

Getting a good night’s sleep in the summer can be tricky, even if you have the air conditioning pumping all night long. Personally, I prefer to sleep with the windows open whenever possible. So, to stay extra cool this summer, I turned to every coastal grandma’s favorite material: linen. After recently swapping out my sheets and duvet cover for linen options, my bedroom feels like a light and airy summer oasis, and I’m sleeping better for it. To make it even easier to drift off on hot nights, I like to spritz a lavender essential oil spray on all of my bedding for a clean, soothing scent.

Source: Dupe Photos | Livia Kirasic

5. Enrich your hot girl walks

Again, being outdoors is a must whether or not you make it to the beach. If you want to step up your hot girl walks this summer, pop in some headphones and enrich your mind while you walk. You can listen to an audiobook, catch up on the news with a podcast, or learn a language, all while getting your steps in. Or, if you’d rather unplug on your walk, spend that time taking in the scenery around you, whether that means admiring some blooming flowers, exploring a neighborhood with cool architecture, or simply basking in all the green grass and leafy trees.

6. Start a garden

If you’re looking for a fun way to pass long summer days, why not take up gardening as a hobby? You can squeeze in some extra outdoor time while also filling your house with fresh flowers and your kitchen with homegrown herbs. If you’re new to gardening, start small with a container planted with a few different flowers or herb varieties—it shouldn’t take much more than some sunshine and regular watering to grow and thrive.

7. Create a summer capsule wardrobe

The last thing you want to fuss with on busy summer days is finding the perfect thing to wear, which is why curating a summer capsule wardrobe is crucial. To really master the coastal grandma vibes this summer, step away from your trusty black pieces and embrace all things light and airy. Start with a great linen dress that can take you to brunch or the beach and an oversized cotton button-down that can pull double duty as a coverup. To complete the look, this season’s hottest sandal—the fisherman sandal—is so coastal grandma-coded. Of course, you can’t forget a classic L.L.Bean tote with a sassy saying embroidered on it. Mix and match these essentials with your other favorite summer styles to give every outfit a classic feel.

coastal grandma summer activities
Source: Dupe Photos | Shai

8. Embrace seasonal scents

To really romanticize a coastal grandma’s favorite season, consider embracing a signature scent for your home or body that captures summer’s essence. Fragrances like coconut, citrus fruits, fresh cotton, sea salt, and soft florals perfectly encapsulate the light, breezy feeling of summer. Personally, I’ll be wearing this designer bug spray (yes, you read that right) every time I step outside this summer. With notes of grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine, and jasmine, it’s my dream summer scent and just so happens to keep all those pesky bugs at bay.

9. Clean your home

On days when it’s simply too hot to go outdoors, make your home your summer oasis. An immaculate home is key to the coastal grandma aesthetic, but that doesn’t mean you have to own a beach house in the Hamptons to re-create this vibe. We all know how much more relaxing it is to spend time in a clean space, so if you missed your chance to do a deep spring clean, consider a major summer clean instead. Crank up the AC and get to work decluttering and cleaning those long-forgotten corners of your home. I swear, the less stuff is in my home, the cooler it feels.

10. Slow down

Summer days fade quickly, so slow down and make the most of the season while it lasts. Spend a whole afternoon getting lost in a new summer read. Take an extra long walk after dinner. Have a leisurely breakfast on your patio. Stay up late chatting with friends over a glass of sangria. It can be easy to want to pack your summer days full of activities, but it’s even more satisfying to take your time and enjoy each moment before moving on to the next.