Snacks are as essential to beach trips as popcorn is to the movies. But not all snacks are cut out for the hot and sandy business of beaching.
Let’s talk about what makes a good beach snack: For one, it has to withstand the heat. For the sake of this list, I’ll assume you’re not bringing a cooler, but if you are, the world’s your oyster! (Don’t bring oysters though; even coolers have their limits.) It has to be portable. It has to tolerate a little bit (or a lot) of sand. And it has to be beachy—that hard-to-describe vibe that we all know when we experience it.
These snacks, ranging from the salty to the sweet to the sweet-and-salty, would make the perfect addition to your next beach trip.
- Cape Cod Potato Chips
Chips belong at the beach. And no chip is better suited for a beach trip than Cape Cod Potato Chips. Why? I think it’s because they’re just a dependable, top-quality potato chip with a rugged crunchiness that can hold up to a little heat and moisture. And, of course, there’s the marketing. These chips literally have a beach on the bag; they are from Cape Cod! They are born for beach eating. I believe Mesquite Barbecue is the champ of Cape Cod chips, but you do you, honey.
Watermelon is probably the fruit you see most often at the beach or any other outdoor summer hotspot. And there’s a reason for that: It is sweet, delicious, and fun to eat, but messy, making it the perfect thing to eat before jumping in a body of water. Also, it’s full of water (the name does not lie) to help you stay hydrated in the sun, because lord knows that water bottle in your bag is lukewarm by now. Just make sure to eat your watermelon early in the day because warm watermelon, like warm water, is no fun in the sun.
- Tuna and Crackers
Is it weird to eat tuna at the beach? Is that like returning to the scene of the crime? Maybe. But if you can get past the idea of eating fish after swimming in close proximity to its relatives, tuna and crackers make a perfect beach snack. Tuna is light, but packed with enough protein to keep your energy levels up for a day of body surfing and beach volleyball. Starkist sells tuna pouches that are portable, require no can opener, and can be squeezed right on a cracker. Crackers are for sure the way to go with this one (I recommend Triscuits, because they’re extra-hardy and crunchy, but you have options). Don’t bring a tuna sandwich to the beach unless you like soggy fish bread (in which case, go for it, weirdo!).
- Peanut Butter Stuffed Pretzel Bites
Peanut butter has the perfect vibe for a beach snack. But it’s sticky as hell, so don’t pack a PB&J unless you want to really put the sand in sandwich. Peanut butter stuffed pretzel bites are the perfect vessels to keep your peanut butter sand-free. Also they’re so good—a major upgrade on pretzels, which I find pretty boring on their own (unless we’re talking about Snyder’s Pretzel Pieces). This is a 10/10 beach snack right here. Trader Joe’s carries a great version of these and they come in a smaller size to save space in your beach bag for all the other snacks you’re bringing.
I know I said Cape Cod chips were the perfect beach chip, and they are, but Pringles deserve a spot on this list, mainly because of the packaging. No need for a chip clip, a tube of Pringles famously comes with its own lid. So if once you pop you can stop, you can preserve the remaining chips from the elements while you take a quick dip in the ocean to “cool off” and secretly pee.
- Seaweed Snacks
There’s something very meta about eating seaweed snacks at the beach that I enjoy immensely. These paper-thin delights already have such a salty, ocean-y taste to them that a little moisture and sand might make them taste even better? Or at least, you won’t notice the difference. The only downside is that they can and will blow away if you leave them lying out, so you probably want to eat them in one go. Luckily, they’re basically salted air, and deliciously addictive, so that shouldn’t be too hard. (Oh and check out our ranking of the best seaweed snacks.)
- Twizzlers (or Red Vines)
Whether you’re Team Twizzlers or Team Red Vines, or you prefer that bitter black licorice that grandmas always keep in their cars, licorice-type candy makes a great beach snack because it can withstand heat, even prolonged high temperatures, without melting or losing its flavor (that’s how it’s able to survive for years in Grandma’s car). Twizzlers are probably the biggest crowd-pleaser of the bunch (unless you’re going to the beach with a bunch of grandmas, in which case, bring black licorice and also have fun because that sounds awesome). But I am a Red Vines gal myself, so just follow your bliss.
Not only are lollipops fun, delicious, long-lasting, and able to withstand the heat, but they are highly Instagram-worthy. And let’s be honest, that’s a big part of why you went to the beach in the first place. For the content! If you pack a bag of lollies for your next beach trip, everyone (from the gals to the cool guys and everyone in between) will want one as an instagram prop, I promise. The photos will be fun ‘n flirty, and make all of your exes jealous. What more can we ask from a beach snack?!