For a Venice Beach ride we'll arrive when early-bird joggers and dedicated surfers are our only company, while the people who spent the night in their cars are still asleep. With so few people out we don't get the usual comments about our screwy lookin' bike helmets. Our ancestors come from the land that the sun forgot and we must work hard to maintain our pallor. We're usually home taking a nap by the time the sun worshipers are out. It's much easier to feel like you're the only one who knows about a place when there is no one else there. Arriving really early or going on cloudy, cool days makes the beach a new discovery. Sometimes the tide has been high enough overnight that yours are the first footprints. Cool days when the other primates don't want to be on the beach is when all the critters come out. Cormorants dive for fish close to shore and the kill deer stroll the lines of froth and sea weed.
Even when we visited friends in Maui for our honeymoon, we couldn't be bothered to sun bathe. I would be up early for a walk in the mornings, or we'd sit on the beach to wait for the sun to take its evening bath.
The sand makes for some fine jump pictures, and an early nap on a sand padded quilt is just that much better when you don't have to worry about sun burn. Sand dribble castles can stretch their ramparts across the beach when your construction efforts are not in the path of of the cell phone zombies and courting couples.