Beach House Diaries: 7 Tips for Being Neighborly at a Vacation Home
In a small locale like mine, where the bulk of the upkeep work falls to a few year-round residents, there are many ways for beach house owners to be good neighbors. We can serve on committees, attend "town hall" meetings or participate in the modern-day equivalent of barn raisings or quilting bees. Even short-term visitors can feel like they are part of the community. These tips will help you get off on the right foot.
- Support mom-and-pop shops; chill in bars where you can sip local brews and listen to local bands; or get folksy at fairs and festivals.
- Buy seasonal seafood right from the wharf and stock up on fresh produce at farmers' markets or pluck it yourself at an area u-pick.
- Look for down-home community suppers (think lobster boils or strawberry socials) that raise funds for churches and rec centers.
- Follow locals' lead by attending area sporting events (minor league, little league, whatever) or join a pick-up beach volleyball game.
- Participate in Good Samaritan events. If there is a charity fund run, register. If there is an annual shoreline clean–up day, volunteer.
- Improve the odds of meeting residents in their "native habitat" by slowing down, pocketing your cell phone and being approachable.
- Whether you believe in common sense, karma, or plain ol' human kindness, lend a hand whenever an opportunity presents itself.
Susan MacCallum-Whitcomb will report on life at a summer beach house in AOL Travel's weekly Beach House Diaries. Follow along with her or share your beach house tips in the comments below.