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We went ahead and made a shopping list for you.

A beach weekend calls for food that’s as easy and breezy as the setting. Because even if you’re staying somewhere that has a fully-stocked kitchen, you don’t want to spend any more time in there than necessary. There’s relaxing to be done! Stock your refrigerator and pantry with these Southern staples so everyone will stay well fed without cutting into precious beach time.

Boiled peanuts

There’s no finer (or easier) cocktail hour snack than a bowl of boiled peanuts, but when you’re on vacation, even boiling water seems like a lot of effort. Most Southern supermarkets carry bags of boiled peanuts in the produce section. Or hit up a roadside stand on your way to the beach for a few freshly boiled pounds.  

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Pimiento cheese

This might be the first item on your grocery list, and rightfully so. No beach trip is complete without some sort of cheese and cracker combination, and you can’t do much better than a tub of pimiento cheese and a few sleeves of Saltines (or Club crackers, if you’re into buttery crackers).

Beer in aluminum bottles

Perfect for beach coolers, these bottles stay nice and cold and have tops you can screw back on to prevent spills.

Watermelon

Summer is watermelon season and Southern-grown watermelons always taste sweeter. Keep your eyes peeled for fresh-from-the-farm varieties at roadside stands or save time and grab some pre-cut watermelon at the store.

Fried chicken

What else tastes just as good hot or cold and doesn’t require any utensils? (Other than pizza.) Deli fried chicken (we’re partial to Publix fried chicken with its crispy, craggy skin and juicy meat) makes a perfect hand-held beach snack and if you grab a container of potato salad and a bag of those sweet, squishy Hawaiian rolls, you’ve got dinner covered too.

Sweet tea

It’s as essential as bottled water. Grab some Milo’s if they have it.

Cookies and Ice Cream

Ice cream sandwiches aren’t a Southern thing per se, but no beach trip would be complete without some sort of ice cream treat. You could buy a pint of Blue Bunny or Blue Bell, but why not upgrade it a little bit? Pick up some nice soft bakery cookies and use them to make homemade ice cream sandwiches. It’s a fun summertime tradition you’ll want to repeat back home.