Summer is here! And, with it, comes the desire to head to the beach, put your toes in the grainy sand, and wade in the ocean waves. But what if you simply can’t make it to the beach? Well, you’ll just have to create the next best thing: a beach oasis directly in your own backyard!

Forget packing all your summer clothes and strappy sandals. Instead, slip into your favorite swimwear and breezy beach cover-ups and head straight to your backyard patio! Inspired by oceanside resorts and warm summer vibes, here are seven fun and easy ways to create a backyard beach oasis.

1. Roll Out the Lounge Chairs

If you’re going to create a backyard oasis, you’ll need lounge chairs! Unfold a relaxing lounger, or two or three, to allow your family and friends to kick up their feet. Choose a lounge chair that’s made to last many summers, built with hardy weather-resistant materials such as faux wicker or powder-coated iron. 

Unroll several cute beach blankets and towels to stretch out comfortably as you soak up the sun. Make sure to keep a side table nearby for resting snacks, cold refreshments, and a captivating beach cozy mystery book. Beneath it all, you could also add an outdoor area rug to ground the space and make it appear resort-like.

2. Stream Summer Hits

There’s nothing better than music to set a beach oasis mood! So, why not stream some summer hits? Gather a collection of your favorite songs and stream them across the backyard through a Bluetooth speaker. Think classic surf songs by the Beach Boys or the ever-mellow guitar strums of Jack Johnson. Be a parrot head and mix up some margaritas and sing along to some Jimmy Buffet. Whether it’s Carolina beach music, beach pop, or even yacht rock, stream some jams that will make you feel like the ocean breeze is blowing your hair and your toes are in the sand.

Hang a few outdoor Bluetooth speakers that are waterproof or at least water-resistant and capable of taking on water (in case a summer storm rolls in or you decide to turn on the sprinkler to cool off.) Make sure your speakers have the serious sound quality to be able to carry music all across the backyard.

3. Grab Some Beach Glassware

Speaking of making margaritas, make some summer-inspired cocktails that are guaranteed to keep you refreshed, hydrated, and a bit buzzed. Just be sure to save your decent tumblers and wine glasses for formal dinner and grab some unbreakable plastic or acrylic glassware instead. 

With unbreakable drinkware, you don’t have to worry about sweeping up broken shards if a drink spills. You could even complete your collection by adding melamine plates for snacks and nibbles. You can use them over and over during the evenings for happy hour or even take them to your next park outing or picnic.     

4. Set Up a Refreshment Stand

Since we’re on the subject of drinks, don’t forget to set up a refreshment stand, complete with a cooler! Having a cooler close at hand means you don’t have to trek back into the house whenever you need a drink refill. Plus, there are several ways to set up a cooler for your backyard beach oasis. While you can easily grab your everyday cooler, why not take it up a notch and get creative? Set up your backyard beach oasis refreshment stand or rolling bar cart with a few metal ice-filled bins to keep drinks chilled. 

Inside the bins, add a mix of seltzers and soda, wine, beer, and a few reusable bottles filled with water. Go beyond drinks, too, by adding chocolate- and coconut-flavored ice cream bars or tropical fruit-flavored popsicles to the ice-filled cooler—just like a beachside refreshment stand. 

Next to the cooler, keep some containers nearby, filled with basic barware and accessories such as a bottle opener, paper straws, and those little folding umbrellas. On a practical note, ensure there’s an easy way to drain the melted ice at the end of the day and have a trash can for bottle caps and other trash.   

5. Have It Made in the Shade

The summer sun is nice for a while, but you may want some shade after a while. Pitch a tent or add a pop-up gazebo to create a cabana hideaway. A shelter can shield you from the sun’s harmful rays while also offering a bit of privacy. Keep the cooler stand and refreshments under the shade to preserve the ice longer. You could also pull in the lounge chairs for a midday nap. Even better—add a misting fan to really cool things off! It will feel just like the spray from crashing nearby waves. 

6. Set Up Summer Games

It’s not a backyard beach oasis without some summer games! And, with so many to choose from, there’s something everyone can enjoy. Set up a volleyball net to get your heart rate up and create some friendly competition. Or you can take it easier with a game of corn hole or badminton. Paddleball is a wonderful beach pastime and a fun activity and can be played with multiple players. The great thing about playing these games in your backyard is you never need to worry about disturbing other beach-goers and sunbathers with a stray ball.  

7. Add Lighting and Ambiance

Once the sun goes down, create some ambiance in your backyard beach oasis with a little bit of mood lighting. String some colorful lights over the patio, porch, or deck to make it appear like a carnival boardwalk. You could also add some torches around the lawn to keep away the pesky bugs and mosquitoes. Backyard illumination can really set the beachside ambiance. You could even add a fire bowl and imagine yourself sitting around a beach-side fire. Light some tropical-scented tealight candles beneath the cabana to create a more intimate and romantic environment too.