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Sipping by the Shore: Beach Drinking Laws From Around The World

Sipping by the Shore: Beach Drinking Laws From Around The World

Who doesn’t like drinking on the beach? The dreamy idea of sipping a cool drink with your toes buried in the sand appeals to many. But before you pack that cooler, you should know the world’s got stringent laws about beachside boozing. To prevent your party from being crashed by the law, we are here to give you the lowdown on what’s cool and what’s not when it comes to drinking on beaches across the globe. While we encourage you to do your own research because rules change all the time, this guide can be a primer.

USA: It's Complicated

In the States, beach drinking rules are all over the map. Some spots in California, like Carmel Beach, say, 'sure, why not?’ to a beachside beer; while over in sunny Florida, it's a mixed bag—Miami Beach says a hard ‘no’, but in other parts, it’s all good. Basically, like a responsible citizen, you are expected to check before you crack open a cold one.

Australia: Keeping it Family-Friendly

Aussies love their beaches, but not so much the booze on them. They keep it alcohol-free to maintain that family-friendly vibe. You might find a few spots with designated drinking picnic areas, but as a general rule, keep the beach booze-free and save it for the barbie later.

Brazil: Beach Party Central

Now, Brazil knows how to have a beach party. Head to places like Ipanema, and you’ll find vendors selling caipirinhas right on the sand. It’s relaxed, fun and totally legal. Just remember to drink responsibly. The sun and the caipirinha are both pretty strong.

Japan: Sip with Respect

Japan’s approach is more about respect than strict rules. Sure, there’s no specific law against beach drinking, but the vibe is more ‘enjoy quietly and don’t make a scene’. So, if you’re chilling on a beach in Okinawa, you can have a drink, but keep it low-key. 

India: Diverse Laws

Heading to the beaches in India? Great choice! But if you're thinking about enjoying a drink while at the beach, know that alcohol laws are governed by state regulations. Goa, being notably more relaxed, allows legal alcohol consumption on many of its beaches. However, in other coastal states like Kerala and Karnataka, public alcohol consumption is generally prohibited. Across the board, responsible drinking is emphasised, and public drunkenness is frowned upon.

France: Elegance on the Shore

In France, sipping a glass of wine on the beach is generally okay. But, and it’s a big but, public drunkenness is a definite no-no. So, feel free to enjoy that rosé on the Côte d'Azur, but keep it under control, folks.

Thailand: Party or Peace 

Thailand’s beaches offer two different vibes. In places like Koh Phangan, famous for its wild Full Moon Parties, beach drinking is part of the scene. But on quieter beaches, like some in Phuket, it’s more about peaceful sunsets without alcohol.


From strict no-go zones to laid-back, sip-and-sunbathe spots, the world’s beaches offer a range of experiences for the thirsty traveller. The key to a good time without the hassle? Know the local beach-booze rules. A little bit of homework can mean the difference between a chill day by the sea and an unexpected chat with the local authorities. So, next time you’re jetting off to some sandy paradise, take a minute to look up what’s cool with the cocktails.


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