Woman reading by the swimming pool

Among the many perks of Florida retirement is the proximity to the beach, no matter where you live. Plus, there are lots of other watery wonderworlds to enjoy, such as the many lakes within easy reach of the Lake Ashton retirement community. To make the most of Florida’s beautiful beaches and lakes, it helps to have some basic gear to make your day by the water both comfortable and convenient.

A beach towel may seem like a simple thing, with many people grabbing large bath towels or picking up an inexpensive large towel at the start of the beach season. Yet plenty of those beach towels are loud and garish, and often decorated with children’s cartoon characters. They also tend to fray and wear out quickly and don’t necessarily provide much comfort. For a towel that looks and feels good and that will last for many summers, try the L.L. Bean Seaside Beach Towel. This towel costs around $30, but it is made to last with sewn edges that won’t fray. It is soft and comfortable and as well as being absorbent, it is great at repelling sand, especially when it’s time to pack up.

L.L. Bean has another great winner in its Boat and Tote beach bag. This simple design is made of extremely durable canvas that retains its shape, even when empty, making it easy to pack. It may not have any pockets, but this is a plus for reviewers, because there are no places for sand to get trapped and no zippers to get corroded. The straps come in 8-inch and 14-inch handles, but you probably want to choose the 14-inch handles so that when the bag is fully packed, you can still sling it over your shoulder with ease.

If you’re looking for an umbrella that can provide shelter as well as shade, the Sport-Brella is a great choice. It has the basic umbrella shape, but also features flaps that come down to provide extra shade and protection from the elements. It is sturdy, even in windy conditions, and also has vents and windows that open on the side to keep breezes blowing through, without blowing the umbrella away.

If you like to make the most of your Florida retirement and engage in some sports and other recreation on the shore, you may want to consider a handy Tommy Bahama All Terrain Beach Cart. This cart is perfect for carting along food, towels, umbrellas, boogie boards, and a variety of other beach gear. It even features its own built-in cooler and has wide wheels that make it easy for one person to move the cart up and down stairs.

With these quality products, a day at the beach or lake will be the pleasure it is meant to be.