under $100: a day at the beach

it feels like summer is flying by at a lightening fast (and painfully hot) speed this year. we’re almost half way through july and i’m still dying to get out of the city for some sun and sand. inspired by amy’s summer-themed living in post (coming up next at 1pm), i decided to dedicate this week’s under $100 to all of the things i’d like to take with me for a day at the beach.

i actually grew up in a beach town, so flip flops and beach towels are practically a way of life for me (i still think beach towels make the best bathroom towels. why would anyone use something smaller?). rather than reliving the gross mash-up of sticky sunscreen bottles, reef flip flops, and chips covered in sand that were in my bag, i decided to imagine a few beach go-ers that were a bit cooler. for some reason, when i sat back and looked at the collages i made they looked to me like “brunette, blond, and red headed beach-goer”. so now all i can see is one of those daily candy-style drawings (with the appropriate hair-color) wearing and carrying all these items. no matter what you hair color is, i hope you’ll enjoy the selections below. happy beaching!

*thanks to everyone on twitter for sending over such great beach suggestions/requests yesterday!

[image above, clockwise from top left: striped sun hat $46, coral necklace $18, outdoor radio $55, ragtop tote $32, hammock $57 (for those of you lucky enough to have a space to hang one), thomas paul melamine lobster plate $40 (part of a set of 4), framed border beach towel $18, paddle ball set $14.95 (nothing screams “beach” like this game!), striped bikini top ($31.50) and bottom ($23+), l’occitane sunscreen $30, orange tumblers $17.99]

[image above, clockwise from top left: neptune melamine dinner plate $12, triangle napkin $12, bocce set $69.99 (great for hard-packed sand), petit bateau bikini $60, amy butler peacock towel $22 (LOVE THIS!), striped disposable cups $1.49 for 18, beach blankets $48 each, striped espadrilles $30, recycled glass carafe $42, tocca sunscreen towelettes $28, medina market tote $33.60]

[image above, clockwise from top left: shadow dots beach towel $18, aviators $49.98, metallic straw hat $29, thomas paul melamine octopus plate $40 (part of a set of 4), supergoop! sunscreen wipes $34, koli sandal $96, lemon print beach cooler $77 (how adorable is this?), yellow striped napkins $6 for 20 (to wrap around your favorite beach-side beverage), striped tumbler $17.99 for 4 (in red, blue, yellow and green]

[image above, clockwise from top left: sand castle molds $12.99 (to create your dream beach-side home), airwalk skim board $24 (i always wanted one of these growing up. they’re so cool), tracy reese beach towel $23.99, lime green woven shopper $59, mermaid bottle opener $14.95 (for a cold beer- or soda- by the beach), green picnic grill $49.95 (if you’re allowed to grill on your beach. lucky.), striped deck chair $99 (great for hard-sand beaches), “risky business” sunglasses $11, green maillot one-piece $99.95, melamine highball by jonathan adler $9]

[image above: double dot beach umbrella $24.99]

  1. such a great post. has me dreaming of the beach even more than i already was. i want to be in that hammock the rest of the summer.

  2. this might be my favorite design*sponge post ever. the playful beach towels (i bought the tracy reese one!}, the sweet striped espadrilles and the super chic sandals and THAT divine straw hammock!….i am ready for a beach getaway.

    sylvie of silver lining

  3. Kate says:

    Is that coral necklace made of farmed coral? If not – and the website does not give any indication – the purchase of such a necklace could be funding even more damage to our seas.


    1. grace says:


      based on it’s price, i’m pretty sure it’s not real coral. i’d bet it’s plastic/faux coral.


  4. Raya says:

    I love this post! Had to buy that striped bikini..and I also have the green maillot in black – love that suit. Now if the sun would just show up…

  5. Stella says:

    Grace, you’ve given me angst!

    That beach blanket from steven alan is sooo beautiful.

    5 minutes later…Nevermind. Angst is gone. I had to buy the darn thing. Ha, and I live in the Midwest!

  6. jojo says:

    If you click on the coral necklace link, it will show you a close up picture. It appears that the necklace is made out of small plastic beads. Great post by the way! :)

  7. Kristen says:

    I adore the green maillot from Anthropologie! Long live the stylish one-piece!

  8. Sarah says:

    what a fun post! Love that Tracy Reese towel!

  9. Aren’t those Thomas Paul plates the coolest? I’m really digging the yellow octopus. His fabrics are great, too.

  10. Kristina says:

    where are the dog visors?

    1. grace says:

      lol. crash! will have to wear one of those floppy hats, kristina ;)


  11. Sammia says:

    Beach getaway-perfect for a hot summer day like today. The green maillot one piece looks potentially attractive too!

  12. Meghana says:

    I love your blog!.and this post makes me wish that i had a beach nearby to go to.Especially the Thomas Paul plates and the straw hat, and coming from India i cant help but love the koli sandal, which is a inspiration from kolhapuri chappals (from India)which until recent years were just made from brown leather. now we find colorful ones like the one in the post and other colors such as blue, green… And these are very common in the street stalls almost all over India , we get it for abt 3-4$ but nevertheless very comfortable.

  13. Joyce says:

    i like the umbrellas, so lovely!

  14. sera says:

    I just bought one of those Steven Alan beach blankets. I hope it’s as lovely as it looks online! You do such a lovely job compiling things to be extra lovely!

    1. grace says:


      so glad you like it, thanks! :)


  15. Greta says:

    I have the polka dot Lands End beach towel in navy, and I love it! Not only is it adorable, but it is also thick, plush, and long lasting. I highly recommend it.

  16. sarah ennis says:

    i may live in nc…but i love the beach and isle tropic themes…love to see more of your interesting and unique tropical ideas. we just built a “ramp” / pier from our original deck to our upground pool.
    it is wonderful!! i boughta small palm tree at the nc beach .. and it has grown to be about 9 ft. with the flourishing palm leaves hoveing over our small deck. but it is so comfy!!! i love bamboo too–but it is difficult to work with. i finally got my husband to build a small bamboo division by our back steps…it turned out good! any suggestions on how to use bamboo for other decorations?
    hope to hear from you

  17. Ashley says:

    Target is currently selling navy and white striped espadrilles that look identical to the ones you’ve listed here for about $17!

  18. I love the mermaid bottle opener and the whole retro inspired theme. So visually inspiring!

  19. the idea beach towel should be colored white because it reflects heat away `~”

  20. Mick says:

    What else could you need for a day down at the beach! although we don’t get much sun here (england) we do hit the beach a few times a year, I like those risky business sunglasses btw, love that movie.

  21. Mark says:

    these are all great options for the beach, was very surprised at the price tags, so cheap!


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.