Perfect Summer Beach Picnic

Perfect Summer Beach Picnic

We all have that dream of creating the perfect memories with our friends and family. A beach picnic is the perfect way to do that. Whether you want a dreamy, romantic meal at sunset or a fun lunch outing with the kids, we have compiled everything you need to plan the perfect picnic. 

Continue reading to learn about how to plan, what to pack and what to eat and drink for the perfect summer beach picnic. 

Looking for high-quality, oversized beach towels for your picnic? At FiveADRIFT, our towels contain zero plastic and are beautifully designed. As incredible as our towels are, the best part is that 100% of profits go to charities that clean up the ocean. It doesn’t get much better than that. Learn more.

Planning the Perfect Beach Picnic

The first thing you should do when planning the perfect beach picnic is choose the vibe you want. If you want a romantic evening with your partner, you’ll want to opt for flowers, fake candles and delicious food. A family picnic in the afternoon will call for some fun beach toys and easy finger food. 

When planning your perfect beach picnic, aim for environmentally ethical alternatives. The beach is the last place you want to bring disposable plates and plastic packaging. Between finding a trash can and the wind blowing things around, it’s better for you and the environment to bring reusable items instead. 

Not sure if a product or brand is good for the environment? Check out our article: How to Tell if a Company is Really Green 

Once you nail down the type of picnic you are hosting, you can start to plan. Think hard about what you may need. Don’t forget — it’s not just any picnic, but a picnic at the beach. You’ll need sunscreen, towels, umbrellas and bathing suits, along with all of your fun picnic items. The more prepared you are, the more fun you’ll have. 

Beach Picnic Packing List

The most important part of planning a beach picnic is putting a packing list together. There’s nothing worse than going to the beach only to realize you forgot sunscreen or a towel. Below, we have put together everything you need for a luxurious beach picnic.

If you are looking for great eco-friendly alternatives for all of your summer needs, take a look at this: Sustainable Summer Must-Haves.

Now, get your favorite notepad ready to start jotting down everything you’ll need to pack: 

Picnic Baskets

If you want a quintessential picnic experience, you need a picnic basket. The good news is that you can buy picnic baskets in all sizes and with all kinds of capabilities. Some have specific straps for holding plates and silverware, and others are in backpack style. The best part about picnic baskets is you can reuse them year after year for all kinds of fun activities. 


As much as we love how adorable picnic baskets are, the reasonable part of us knows that it’s not going to be great at keeping things cool. For your fruit, cool drinks and perishable foods, bring along a reusable cooler. As convenient as styrofoam coolers are, they are horrible for the environment and aren’t great at keeping things cool. Instead, choose a high-quality cooler that is likely to last years. 

Blankets and Towels

You’re going to need something to sit on while enjoying your fancy summer picnic. An oversized towel or light blanket is perfect to lay your things on and have a bite. If you are looking for long-lasting and sustainable towel alternatives, consider shopping for hemp beach towels. You can’t go wrong with a comfortable towel that’s perfect for picnicking and protecting the environment. 

Plates and Utensils

Don’t forget to pack this essential part of your picnic. While we don’t expect anyone to bring their porcelain dishes and stainless steel silverware to a picnic, there are some great compostable plates and utensils that you can purchase. This way, you don’t have to feel guilty about bringing disposable plates and utensils to your picnic. 

Napkins and Wipes

If you’re bringing your family to this beach picnic, you’ll definitely want to remember to bring napkins. To make things easier for you, grab cloth napkins or washcloths and a small mesh laundry bag. Once they’re dirtied, throw them in the bag to wash when you get home. If you’re aiming for an Instagram-worthy picnic, you can even set up your blanket with fancy folded napkins for a gorgeous tablescape — or should we say “blanket-scape.”

Sunscreen and Bug Spray

The beach is not as fun when you’ve forgotten sunscreen and bug spray. No matter what time of the day you’re hosting your picnic, you should bring both of these essentials. Look for reef-safe sunscreen and natural bug spray to protect coral reefs and your local ecosystem. Even if you don’t end up needing either, you’ll have peace of mind that you and your guests don’t have to worry about getting sunburns or mosquito bites. 


Depending on what kind of picnic you’re hosting, you may not be too concerned with decorating. But it really can make a difference. Adding fresh flowers, electric candles, gorgeous cloth napkins and a beautiful arrangement of snacks is a simple, effective way to present your picnic. If you don’t want to decorate, then don’t. The perfect beach picnic is one that is enjoyable for you and those you are with. 

What to Eat and Drink at a Beach Picnic

A beach picnic would not be complete without a delicious meal. There are a few charming ways to provide food for your picnic:

Charcuterie board. These beautiful snack arrangements aren’t just trendy — they’re also delicious. These are perfect for a busier picnic where everyone is coming and going.

Finger food. You really can’t go wrong with sandwiches, chips and watermelon slices for a beach picnic. This food is especially great for kids who are busy playing. 

Potluck style. Have everyone bring a side dish and have a great time trying everyone’s dishes. Some easy ideas are pasta salad, fruit, dips and sandwiches. 

These are only three ways that you can plan a tasty picnic meal. Of course, you can do it any way you please.

When it comes to what to drink at your beach picnic, consider bringing reusable water bottles or drinks that come in aluminum cans that you can later recycle. If you want to get fancy, bring a bottle of champagne or sparkling juice and some nice glasses to enjoy with your friends and family. 

FiveADRIFT: Sustainable Summer Essentials

The most important part of any beach picnic is to have fun and make memories. We have got the sustainable towels, water bottles and tote bags that will make your picnic that much better. At FiveADRIFT, we are committed to making a better planet. To further that commitment, all of our towels are made with organic hemp, cotton and other naturally derived materials.

Want to learn more about our mission at FiveADRIFT? Click here.
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