We’re sharing with you the essentials on how to host a fall beach picnic during throughout these autumn months.
While the rest of the country is enjoying fall foliage, snow capped mountains and chilly temperatures, those of us nestled near the beach are still enjoying warm days and brisk sunsets. What I love about this time of year is that gratitude is in the air and what better way to show your friends or family how much they mean to you by hosting a fall beach picnic. The beach setting does a lot of the work for you, but by gathering a handful of additional items you’ll ensure everyone is comfortable, cozy, well fed and enjoying the sunset with a glass of wine their hands.
I’ve rounded up some of my favorite fall beach essentials along with some key ingredients to make an easy-to-pack charcuterie board and some additional snacks to keep everyone occupied while the sun begins to set.
Cozy Textiles — Grab 2-3 large beach blankets to create a designated picnic area, along with a handful of lightweight throws that your guests can use as the temperatures begin to drop. The best part of a fall beach picnic is arriving 2-3 hours before sunset to enjoy each other’s company, relax, eat food and drink wine. Pack some throw pillows that can be used as back rests or to lean on for added comfort.
Beach Tunes — Pack a portable speaker and play a beach inspired playlist throughout the late afternoon/early evening. Remember it’s background music, so even just instrumental tunes works fine.
Tableware — Include a stack of small appetizer plates, cheese knifes, cutting boards, bowls, napkins and of course, wine glasses. Many of these items can be found disposable in a nice quality, but if you’re transporting ceramic dishes, simply wrap them in your blankets for easy transport. I always like to leave the least amount of trash at the beach trash disposals as possible. Don’t forget a wine opener as well!
Flowers — Ok, so maybe this isn’t an essential but it definitely adds a pretty ambiance to the setting and you can always send them home with one of your guests afterwards. I grab a bouquet at my local market and toss them in with my beach tote so they don’t end up taking up much room.
The Food & Drink
Charcuterie Board — This will act in place of a traditional dinner, so depending on the number of guests, be sure you have a decent selection of meats and cheeses. I like to stick to my rule of thumb of 3 meats and 3 cheeses (because it’s never a bad thing to have extras). As for cheese, select from 3 different regions and provide a few options of salami and in my opinion, always bring prosciutto and plenty of it.
The Extras — The extras are what everyone snacks on in between grabbing bits of meat and cheese. Bring along crackers, a french bread loaf, pretzels, fig jam, nuts, grapes, olives, figs and even a decadent bar of chocolate for those who are already reaching for dessert. Don’t forget to bring along some bottles of water or sparkling water for your guests to sip on in between glasses of wine.
Red & White Wine — With any fall beach picnic, the most important component is bringing along a great red and white wine selection. Choose only two varietals and bring a few bottles of each to keep it simple. You can’t go wrong with bringing Cambria Wines Benchbreak Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Whatever you are able to prep ahead of time before heading to the beach, the better. I like to have a section of the cheeses already sliced, the meat removed from any packaging, fruit washed and stored in their serving containers, etc. It makes it a lot easier once you get to the beach to unpack your fall picnic and start to enjoy your evening.
If you have them, bring along some food cover tents to prevent unwanted bugs, sand and birds from becoming too interested in your food.
Planning to host a fall beach picnic takes a little bit of prep work, but once you get to the beach with your friends or family and enjoy the sunset together you end up telling one another that you should be doing it more often. It’s such a simple, enjoyable way to spend an evening that gives us all such a greater appreciation for the ones we’re with, as well for our beautiful surroundings. I encourage you to take the lead in planning a beach picnic whether it’s for weeks out or an impromptu gathering, it’s a guaranteed good time.
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Written By : Kristin Mansky