We were probably tempting fate when we invited our readers, Twitter
followers, and Facebook
friends to round up the brightest beach gear they could find and join us on Ocean Park Beach in the middle of May for our July cover shoot. And that's exactly what we did, expecting sun and an eager crowd. In the end, unseasonably cool weather—it was 62 degrees and windy in Santa Monica that day—forced us to make other plans. But we stuck around long enough to hear from bundled-up beachgoers what makes hitting the sand in Southern California so special, even on L.A.'s less than picture-perfect days.