What To Wear To The Beach At Night (Be Prepared)

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You’re headed to the beach at night and wondering what to wear. For people who live near the beach it’s easy to assess the temperature but for people driving long distances or on vacation it’s hard to judge what the weather will be.

In this article we’ll share the best things to wear to the beach at night. There are a lot of variables that go into preparation so each person and location will be different, however, we’ll share the information you need to make an informed decision.


There are a few specific things you’ll need to consider before deciding what to wear. Below we’ll share these things and elaborate.

  • Time of Year

When going to the beach the time of year matters. Will you be attending the beach in the winter, spring, summer, or autumn?

In even in the warmest regions of the U.S. like Florida and California, the beach can get chilly at night. In California all it takes is a slight breeze and even summer nights at the beach get cold.

  • Region

Consider where you are going to the beach at night. Are you in the South? The weather there might be humid, even at night. Are you on the East Coast or Northwest? You can bet the evening will be pretty cool even in summer.

In Southern California if you’re at the beach after 9pm I’d always have a hoodie handy.

  • Forecast

Check the forecast. This is the easiest thing you can do. In addition to the temperature, check the humidity levels and wind speeds. A slight breeze can bring in cool temperatures off the ocean.

  • Activity (bonfire, dinner, run, camping)

This consideration is very important. What will you be doing at the beach? Will you go for a walk or have a bonfire?

Will you have a romantic picnic or are you planning to camp? If you’re going for a run you’ll dress much differently than if you’ll be standing around.

  • Time (length of time at the beach)

It also depends on the time of night. From 6-9pm temperatures are cooling down rapidly but remain warm.

Around midnight the temperature usually drops significantly until daybreak. If you plan on being at the beach until midnight you’ll definitely want a sweater or blanket.

  • Parking

Parking is something most people don’t think of when they go to the beach. Just last week I parked at the beach and went for a walk. I returned to my car after sundown and realized the parking lot had been closed. I didn’t see the sign!

Throw in some extra clothes if you can park close to the beach. You can have a blanket too just in case. If you can’t park near the beach make sure you have all the clothes you need – it’s always better to take more layers if you’ll be at the beach late.

What To Wear To The Beach At Night

We’ll break this section down by 1) upper body, 2) lower body, and 3) shoes and hats. In my opinion clothes for the upper body are the most important for the beach. It’s nice to wear shorts or a sundress so your feet can go in the water and get sandy.

Upper Body

As I mentioned above, the upper body is most important when going to the beach at night. Your legs and feet can handle cool weather while your chest and arms stay warm.

  • Poncho
  • Hoodie
  • Cardigan
  • Button Up
  • Sun Dress

In California the poncho is the perfect beach clothes for nighttime at the beach. If you go to a bonfire you’ll see guys wearing a Mexican poncho. They are warm, inexpensive, and stylish beachwear with surfers.

If you prefer, wear a hoodie. Surfers are always wearing hoodies and they are warm with a kangaroo pocket for your hands.

Ponchos and hoodies are unisex and work great for gals and guys. They are the perfect laid-back look for a night at the beach.

For older gents, a cardigan is classy and sophisticated but will keep you just as warm as a hoodie. You might prefer a long sleeve button up, but take a cardigan with you just in case it gets cold.

Lastly, a sundress is fun for women who want their legs and feet to be free. The only problem with wearing a dress is they not warm, so feel free to pair the sundress with another top (possible a hoodie).

Lower Body

Wearing shorts to the beach at night is the way to go. Guys can wear board shorts or khaki shorts. Women look great in short shorts whether they are jeans or khakis.

As we mentioned above, a sundress or lightweight cover-up is good but make sure you have an additional layer in case it gets cold.

  • Shorts
  • Dress


If you’re going to the beach at night you’ll want something to wear on your feet but it’s best to stick with sandals. Wearing shoes is just uncomfortable and you’ll end up getting sand in your shoes and socks.

Once you arrive on the beach, take your sandals off and put them to the side. Being barefoot on the beach at night is fun. If you go exploring in the water or on the rocks be extra careful as you might step on something you don’t see.

It’s always good to arrive at a beach before it’s dark so you can see any hazards on the beach before it’s dark.

  • Sandals
  • Shoes


You won’t need a hat to protect yourself from the sun, but hats are good to keep the hair out of your face and help you stay warm.

You can opt for a baseball cap or for a wool hat. A wool hat is great for colder evenings in the Pacific Northwest or if you’re camping at the beach and spending early morning hours in a tent. It’s surprising how chilly it gets at the beach right before the sun rises.

  • Baseball cap
  • Wool hat

Helpful Things To Have At Night

In addition to clothes, you’ll want to be prepared. In another article, we shared what you need for a bonfire at the beach. The list below includes many of the same items. Above all, you’ll want a headlamp or flashlight and your phone in case there’s an emergency.

Swimming in the ocean at night is dangerous no matter how advanced the swimmer is. It’s harder to read currents and you won’t be able to see rocks and other debris.

Outside of clothes, the best things to take to the beach at night are:

  • Blanket
  • Sweater
  • Headlamp
  • Phone

The first two are for warmth, as temperature changes can occur quickly. The latter two are for safety as light and a phone are extremely helpful. In particular, a headlamp doesn’t require hands and is perfect to wear while barbequing and starting a bonfire!


What will you wear to the beach at night? After reading this article we bet you’re better prepared to stay warm or stay cool depending on where you are and what time of year.

There are a lot of considerations that go into what to wear at night but the best answer is “it depends”.

Check your local weather forecast, know the season, and always take more warm clothes than you think you’ll need. A hoodie is always high on my list and if you’re going to a bonfire take an extra blanket.

Above all, be careful if you’re drinking and swimming in the ocean at night. Currents can change quickly so even if you’re familiar with the beach be careful. Of course, having a flashlight and phone will help in an emergency.

Thanks for reading another article from the Beach Life. Be sure to check other articles for tips, information, and gear.