Beach House Diaries: 7 Tips for Being Neighborly at a Vacation Home

farmers market

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.
Follow AOL Travel on Facebook and Twitter
Read Full Story