So you’re planning a beach picnic and want to make sure you cover all your bases. Water and sunscreen for sure, but also the right supplies that will take your your beach picnic from hot sandy mess to a spread worth sharing. As the creator of Friday Beach, Surfside’s community beach picnic, I’ve put together my share of ocean side fêtes and thus bring you my top picks for the best beach picnic essentials.
Lay Down a Blanket
Turkish towels are all the rage these days because they combine hand-loomed artistry with functionality. Plus, they are so undeniably chic. We love USA-based Coyuchi’s Mediterranean towels. These lightweight towels are not only perfect for the beach, but are also made of organic cotton and free of the toxic dyes, bleaches and finishes found in conventional textiles. The yarn is also sourced and woven in Turkey.
If you’re looking for something a little more compact and super absorbent go for the the MinxNY BeachTech High Performance Towel made of a Microfiber that absorbs almost 5 times more water than a regular cotton terry towel. It also has genuine antibacterial microfibers that help prevent odor and germs and features a nifty zipper-closed cellphone pocket.
Get a Bag
No more lugging a cooler, a beach bag filled with sand toys and a purse thanks to the Beachmate. This stylish all-in-one beach bag not only holds all of your essentials but includes a cooler, one large, two medium and two small buckets, as well as two large shovels (and they’re durable). The mini-cooler has plenty of space for drinks and snacks while the bag has several compartments to store things like keys, phones and a wallet. Further proof of the genius of this design: The five multi-sized buckets are made with nylon straps for comfortable carrying, sized for expert sand play and can be flipped over to be drink and snack holders. It also makes a great gift for a beach-bound family.
If a more traditional beach bag is your thing, go for the Fluf All-in-One beach tote. The water resistant lining means you can toss in everything from wet swimsuits to a bottle of wine and not worry it will destroy the handsome outer canvas. Good news: it’s 100 percent machine washable!
Whether you need a swimshirt or a blousy cover-up, we are loving Mott 50’s beach wear. The tightly woven bamboo jersey blend and cotton poplin fabrics are UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) 50, meaning just 1 percent of UVA rays (aging) and UVB rays (burning) can penetrate them. Added bonus: a portion of proceeds from all sales go towards supporting the Melanoma Research Alliance.
TEN spring water – At a 10 pH, TEN spring water not only hydrates but also is rich in electrolytes – which help prevent the harmful effects of dehydration that can occur when your body is exposed to high temperatures – definitely a concern here in South Florida.
Harmless Harvest Coconut Water – This is hands down the best-tasting coconut water on the market. Not too sweet, this organic raw coconut water is made from a responsibly harvested, exceptionally sweet and fragrant coconut variety native to Thailand which gives this drink a beautiful nutty finish.
WTRMLN WTR – Sourced straight from the watermelon fruit, WTRMLN WTR is incredibly hydrating and rich in beta carotene and lycopene which will give the body protection from UV light. We are especially in love with the new BLNDS line which includes WTRMLN GNGR (Ginger Lemon), WTRMLN LME (Lime), and WTRMLN TRT CHRRY (Tart Cherry) which are all made with WTRMLN WTR’s deliciously hydrating base of watermelon (flesh + rind) and the addition of organic juices and organic extracts.
Keep Those Drinks Cool
Florida-based Corkcicle makes a slew of genius products designed to keep your drinks nice and frosty at the beach. Beer lovers will appreciate the Chillsner, the only in-bottle, drink-through beer chiller. Just freeze the insert into any bottled beer, press firmly to to create an airtight seal, and enjoy. It’s like an icicle for the your brew-dog. The Arctician takes the typical “koozie” can cooler concept and makes it less tacky and more functional. It keeps 12-ounce drinks cold without making your hands cold and lasts for up to 3 hours. If wine or mixed drinks are your thing then the 16-ounce Canteen is the best bet, keeping drinks ice-cold for up to 25 hours.
Load Up on Snacks
You’re going to need some fine finger foods, fancy cheeses, prepared salads and baked goods to pull this award-winning picnic together so a trip to South Beach’s Epicure ought to do it. Choose from dozens of gourmet salads (we love their classic tuna fish and the chopped Israeli-style salad) along with fresh-baked goods and a phenomenal cheese section. Throw in a container of fresh-cut fruit, some olives and crackers and you’ll be the envy of everyone on the sand.
Bring Something to Sip
In order to take this picnic from good to great you’ll need some appropriate quaffs. For those who want a little kick with their sparkling water there’s Truly Spiked and Sparkling, a low-calorie malt beverage in flavors of lime, grapefruit and pomegranate. Jose Cuervo has now created Ready to Drink Margaritas in flavors of white peach, grapefruit tangerine and strawberry lime. For more fruity margarita swilling there’s also the Lime-A-Rita cans that also come in flavors of Grape-A–Rita, Peach-A–Rita and seasonal varieties of Pine-Apple-Rita Splash and Coco-Nut-Rita Splash.
Beer lovers will be won over by with Schöfferhofer Grapefruit, a super low-ABV refreshing drink that is also the first Hefeweizen grapefruit beer. It’s refreshing on its own but also serves as a great mixer for cocktails.