How to Have the Perfect Picnic on the Beach


How to Have the Perfect Picnic on the Beach

Few things go as well together as the beach and a picnic. There is just something relaxing about the sound of the waves, the cool breeze and great company. Picnics can be fun, romantic or even family-friendly events. The sky is the limit when it comes to planning a beach picnic. All you really need is to visit Ocean Isle Beach, bring some food and a blanket and you are ready for a great time. Of course, if you are looking to put on a picnic like a pro, we happen to have a few tips. So grab the sunscreen and the beach blanket and let's get ready to picnic – OIB style!

Forget the basket

It may sound strange, but a cooler is a better option than the traditional picnic basket. Ok, we understand that a cooler isn't as romantic as a beautiful wicker basket, but save the basket for romance. If you are having a family picnic it is best to bring a nice cooler. Your food will last longer, drinks will be cold, and overall it is much easier to manage. For tips, check out our previous post: How to Pack the Perfect Cooler

Beach Picnic | Williamson Realty

Foods to avoid

If you will be spending a long day on the beach, you’ll want to avoid certain foods that go bad in the heat. A cooler will help, but it’s safest to steer clear of these items:
  • Mayonnaise – it goes bad quickly when hot
  • Sushi or fish – you’ll need a sharp knife to cut them, and they will quickly spoil in the heat
  • Meats & cheeses – they will spoil if not refrigerated
  • Ice cream – it will melt quickly or be squished in the cooler
  • Sodas – they are sticky and attract bugs


Prep food beforehand

Preparing your food ahead of time is key. You don’t want to arrive at the beach and have to frantically assemble a meal on site. Instead, do all the chopping, mixing, cutting, and packaging ahead of time. Having a plan will allow you to focus on your guest(s) and not be stuck preparing food in the heat or sand. Some items to prepare before your trip:

  • Cut up any veggies or fruit
  • Pre-make sandwiches
  • Pre-mix salads (but leave the dressing off)
  • When the food is prepped, pack it in tupperware rather than plastic bags. This will ensure that it doesn’t get crushed and will be easier to lay out picnic-style. It will also help you avoid a fly-away bag situation. 

Don't forget the blanket

A place to sit is critical for your picnic on the beach. You might also consider something that will provide shade, like an umbrella or tent. 

Pro-tip: if your blanket is very lightweight, grab some heavy magnets from the craft store and attach them to the corners. This is simple and doesn't ruin the blanket. 

Beach blanket | Williamson Realty

Bring the sweet tea

Many would agree that there is an art form to making the perfect pitcher of Sweet Iced Tea. The key to sweet tea perfection is that it is brewed strong, with a balance of sweetness added. You will thank us later for this easy recipe:

  • Boil 3 cups of water. 
  • Turn off heat and add 2 bags of Luzianne Tea bags. 
  • Allow tea to steep for 30 minutes.
  • Add steeped tea to a 2 quart pitcher.
  • Add 2/3 cup sugar (more or less to desired taste), and stir.
  • Fill remainder of pitcher with cold water. 
  • Stir. 
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to get the best flavor.
  • Served over ice with fresh lemon slices. 

Looking for more great iced tea recipes? Check out our previous post: How to Make the Perfect Pitcher of Southern Style Sweet Tea

Easy clean up

Clean up at the beach is always a challenge. Let's face it – sand can get into everything. We have found one item that is perfect for cleaning up on the beach. They are cheap, easy to find anywhere and work great. What is this magic item everyone should pack in their beach bag? Baby wipes, of course! Baby wipes are the ultimate cleanup tool for your picnic. From sticky fingers to sand, they work great. 

Leave no trace

Hikers call it "leaving no trace" and here on Ocean Isle Beach, we like that motto on the beach, too. Before leaving the beach for the day, always pack up your trash and leave no trace. It’s important to keep our beaches clean so everyone can enjoy them for years to come. 


All you need now is to plan your Ocean Isle Beach vacation. We have a great selection of vacation homes to choose from, all backed by our great customer service. Click the button below to see our current selection of homes or give us a call at 800-727-9222 to speak with one of our friendly reservationists today. 

How to Have the Perfect Picnic on the Beach

Plan your next Ocean Isle Beach vacation.

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