20 Beach Essentials for Food Lovers
When you've got your toes in the sand, it's hard to make your day even better, but it's totally possible with these beach-worthy snacks, drinks and stylish accessories. And don't forget the sunscreen.
When you're packing for the beach, you need a tote bag that can handle the load: towels, snacks, sunscreen, magazines, speakers and every other random thing you grab as you run out the door. This tote is big and roomy, plus the lobster brings the cool nautical vibes. Um, did someone say lobster roll?
Does it get any better than a beach towel with smiling watermelons on it?! Upgrade your plain ol' stripy beach towel with this fun one. Those dancing, jumping-for-joy melons will make you (and everyone else at the beach) smile. Even better if you pack some sliced melon in the cooler to snack on while lounging on your towel — watermelon on watermelon!
Buy It: Beach Towel
From IPAs to sours to all the new summer ale releases — there are so many craft beers out there to try and no better time to crack one open. Pack your new favorite fish bottle opener along with the rest of the beach supplies. It's a metal, sturdy opener that will get the job done, but it's also small enough to fit in your pocket.
Buy It: Thirstystone Fish Bottle Opener
For all the aforementioned beach snacks, you'll of course need a cooler. This one is a convenient, not-too-big-but-not-too-small size: It fits two six-packs and/or sandwiches, snacks, and other refreshing drinks. The hard liner is easy to remove and dishwasher-safe, and the soft liner is antimicrobial, so it protects from mold and mildew. Another nifty feature? The built-in bottle opener hiding in the front zipper pocket!
Buy It: Embark™ 12-Can Mini Rec Cooler
This portable, lightweight grill is easy to throw in the car for some beachside grilling action. The 14-inch size is big enough to fit a few burgers or some hot dogs and ears of corn, which is enough to feed a small beach crew. Despite its smaller size, it performs just as well as any full-size charcoal grill. Head here for grilling recipe inspiration.
Buy It: Weber Portable Grill
Salt + Vinegar Potato Chips
Every sandy beach day requires a salty snack, and it doesn't get any better (or saltier) than salt and vinegar chips. They always taste right when paired with the breezy beach air and your homemade sandwiches. Pro tip: Put a few chips in your sandwich for an extra layer of crisp and salty flavor.
My Life in France (Julia Child with Alex Prud'Homme)
Have you picked out a summer beach read yet? One to consider if you haven't already read it: the classic Julia Child memoir "My Life in France." Follow Julia around France in 1948 where she didn't speak a word of French, but that didn't stop her from grocery shopping at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, where she discovered her passion for cooking. This is Julia before she became her iconic Julia Child self; it's a delightful read and a much cheaper summer getaway if you can't swing a trip to France.
Buy It: My Life in France
Iced Tea Maker
Stay hydrated (and get lots of points with friends) when you whip out this pitcher of freshly brewed iced tea, no big deal. Just fill the pitcher with hot water before you leave, stick it in the ice chest, and your refreshing batch of iced tea will be ready when you pull up to the sand. Since the pitcher is plastic and the lid securely locks in, you won't have to worry about any breakage or spillage on the way. It's an instant (iced) tea party.
Avoid sticky "sunscreen hands" with this convenient spray-can sunscreen. Just spray and let it work its SPF 30 magic — it's water-resistant and will protect for up to 80 minutes while you splash around and proceed to nap with your book on your face. You can also eat your delicious beach sandwiches with clean hands, avoiding any unwanted sunscreen flavors.
Here's another beach party trick. Pack a pineapple along with this easy-to-use slicer and — blammo! — you'll have sweet, juicy pineapple rings within minutes. The slicer cores and cuts the pineapple so you don't have to deal with any sharp knives or cutting boards at the beach. You'll eat so much more pineapple this summer once you have one of these in your life.
Buy It: OXO Pineapple Slicer
Make sure your beach snacks are as chill as you are with this ice mat. It contains only purified water, so you won't worry about any sketchy chemicals leaking into your food. Even when frozen, the ice mat is bendy and flexible, so you can fold it into tight corners of your cooler bag between snacks.
Buy It: Thermos Reusable Ice Mat
Salt + Pepper Grinder
Just because you're at the beach doesn't mean you can't have on-demand salt and pepper shakers. This dual grinder is stainless steel and sturdy, and it has an adjustable grind setting for fine to coarse grinding. It's pretty sleek-looking too, so it will fit just as well on your beach towel as it will on your dining room table.
If any chair were ready for a picnic, it's this one. With so many amazing features and creature comforts, it's like no other outdoor chair out there. It comes with a fold-out table, expandable shelves, detachable cooler bag, multiple pockets (for more snack storage, naturally), two sturdy fabric loops to secure an umbrella on the back, and padded backpack straps for easy, balanced carrying. You'll never want to sit in a regular beach chair again!
Buy It: Picnic Time Fusion Chair
Antibacterial Moist Wipes
With all the sand, sweat, sunscreen and just all-around beachiness, it's nice to have a big container of wipes handy, especially when you can't always guarantee a nearby sink at the beach. These wipes have a refreshing citrus scent, and the added vitamin E and aloe to keep your hands moisturized doesn't hurt either.
This classic red-and-white checkered tablecloth will bring instant beach picnic vibes, plus it will save your towels from any lunch stains (win-win!). It's 100 percent machine washable, so you can throw it in the laundry with rest of your sandy items when you get home. The 60-by-120-inch should be plenty of room for your picnic spread.
Quinoa is light, nutritious and a great base for beach salads, which travel well. We've got a few great recipes: Try this simple, refreshing one, made with cucumbers, tomatoes and mint. Or pack this veggie-heavy recipe, filled with snap peas, carrots, cucumber and salted sunflower seeds. Or maybe you have some in-season asparagus to throw it in there?
Buy It: Organic Quinoa
Make sure your baby carrots, celery, grapes and berries stay crisp while you're baking in the hot sun. The Rubbermaid Produce Saver keeps fruit and veggie snacks crisper and fresher longer — the vent regulates oxygen flow and the CrispTray at the bottom helps prevent spoilage.
Pineapple Pool Float
You get extra points if your beach toys match your beach snacks. This pineapple ring is easy to inflate and made of heavy-duty vinyl, so it's fun for all ages. It will probably also make you crave some pineapple — see previous pineapple slicer.
Another watermelon accessory you probably need: this Big Gulp-size tumbler. Roll up to the beach with iced tea, lemonade or whatever else you need to stay hydrated. It's plastic, easy to transport and, once again, who doesn't love some anthropomorphic watermelons?
Keep your sandwiches sand-free and bug-free in resealable plastic bags. The bags are less bulky than plastic containers, which can take up a lot of space in your cooler. Plus, they're nice for keeping sandwich ingredients separate to avoid sogginess: Keep ingredients like pickles and sliced tomatoes in separate resealable bags, then add them to your sandwich when it's lunchtime.
Buy It: Sandwich Bags