America’s best spots for beach picnics vary from dramatic rocky cliffs to tropical aqua lagoons, but they all have one thing in common – they’re absolutely perfect for seaside ‘al fresco’ dining. Pack up your picnic basket, sunscreen and flip-flops and take a trip to these amazing spots for the best outdoor meal of your life!
Siesta Key, Florida – This barrier island off the coast of Sarasota is one of Florida’s best-kept secrets. Long a favorite vacation destination of natives, this island is blessed with warm waters, cool breezes and an incredible variety of animal life. Observe the pelicans, egrets, ibis, storks, cranes, dolphins and manatees as you take in your picnic meal. The beach also has concession stands, volleyball courts, a softball field and a playground.
Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts – This family-friendly beach lies along the 30-mile Cape Cod National Seashore, and is accessible by foot, bike, or car. Eroding glacial cliffs provide a dramatic view, along with the crashing waves and occasional seals. If you’re not so fond of sand, you can sit on the grassy green hills above the shore and enjoy the sight of the royal-blue waters.
Ka’anapali, Hawaii – Multiple sandbars provide a cool, serene spot to set up the lounge chairs and enjoy some snacks while the waves undulate gently at your feet. This beach is located on Maui’s sunnier, drier side and has some of the best swimming spots in the state.
Ocracoke Island, North Carolina – Take a scenic ferry ride from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to the beautiful Ocracoke Island, which is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. This island was the favorite anchorage of the famous pirate Blackbeard, who died in a channel off the shore. Feed seagulls, take a leisurely stroll around the village or visit the Ocracoke Lighthouse, one of America’s oldest.
East Hampton Main Beach, New York – Although the Hamptons are known for rows of multi-million-dollar mansions, upscale boutiques and restaurants, East Hampton Beach has retained its charming, small town feel – no small feat considering it’s an extension of Brooklyn and Queens. This beautiful beach is the perfect coastal picnic spot for Manhattanites who need a break from all the hustle and bustle.
Ocean City, Maryland – If fun for the whole family is what you’re after, Ocean City is the perfect beach picnic destination. There’s so much to do, you’ll have a really hard time making a decision! The oceanfront boardwalk, swimming, surfing, flying kites, jet skiing and windsurfing are just a few of the pursuits you can take up while visiting.
Cannon Beach, Oregon – Take an afternoon to free yourself from your usual hectic pace and enjoy this quaint seaside village, located 80 miles west of Portland. Comb the beach for seashells, ride a three-wheeler on the sand or take in the incredible sights. This beach’s main attraction is ‘Haystack Rock’, said to be the world’s third largest free-standing monolith.
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware – The largest of Delaware’s seaside resorts, Rehoboth Beach features a gorgeous, gleaming sandy shore, a 1 mile boardwalk, a variety of outdoor activities and plenty of perfect picnic spots. Stop by one of their plentiful casual seafood restaurants for some delicious take-out, and enjoy it while lounging peacefully in the sun.
T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, Florida – The winner of many ‘Best Beach’ awards, this beach may well be the most perfect on the mainland. Located along the Gulf of Mexico in Florida’s panhandle, this state park features miles of sparkling white sugar sand, high dunes and sand pine scrub. It is a perfect example of the beauty of Florida’s ‘Great Northwest’, and provides plenty of opportunity for bird watching – over 240 species have been spotted in the park. During warm summer nights, sea turtles can be seen making their way up the beach to nest.
Hamoa Beach, Hawaii – This area has been called the most perfect beach in the world. It is truly a breathtaking tropical paradise – the crystalline turquoise waters, palm trees and white sand will make you wish you could stay there forever. Picnic facilities abound in this area, or you can settle down on a soft comfy picnic blanket and take in the sights and smells of this blissful place.