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The Ultimate Sarasota Beach Picnic Guide: What to Pack for a Perfect Day

Updated: 16 hours ago

Sarasota beach picnic guide

Going to the beach in Sarasota with a picnic basket full of goodies is a classic way to spend a sunny day. But forgetting something important can put a damper on your fun. This guide is here to help! We'll provide a straightforward list of everything you need to pack for a successful beach picnic. From food and drinks to beach essentials and activities, our Sarasota beach picnic guide covers it all. 

So if you’ve been in the rabbit hole searching for a picnic on the beach near me on the web, you should also consider taking a look at the must-bring list for your upcoming picnic. In this blog, you’ll find important things to bring with you, from food and drinks to beach gear and activities. Ready to pack with confidence and enjoy your perfect Sarasota beach picnic? Let’s start!

Sarasota Beach Picnic Guide for Essentials to Bring

Planning a beach picnic in Sarasota sounds like a fantastic way to spend a day! That’s why we don’t want you to ruin it by missing some of the most important things to bring with you. Our Sarasota beach picnic guide will help you pack all the essentials you need for a successful and enjoyable outing. We’ve categorized them to make it easier for you:

Food and Drinks


When it comes to food, think about easy-to-manage picnic fare that won't get soggy or spoil in the heat. Sandwiches on crusty bread, wraps filled with fresh veggies and protein, and pasta salads are all fantastic options. Don't forget to pack colorful and refreshing fruits like grapes, watermelon slices, or sliced oranges for a healthy and hydrating snack. Packing a cooler with ice packs is crucial to keep your food fresh and delicious throughout the day.


Staying hydrated is key, especially under the hot Florida sun. Pack plenty of bottled water for everyone in your group. Consider adding some variety with juice boxes for the kids or sports drinks for those who need electrolytes after a swim. For a touch of homemade goodness, prepare a thermos filled with iced tea or freshly squeezed lemonade – perfect for a refreshing afternoon drink.

Plates, utensils, and napkins

These picnic essentials are often overlooked, but with this Sarasota beach picnic guide, we won't let you! Bringing these makes a whole lot of difference, so pack enough reusable plates, cups, and utensils for everyone. Biodegradable options are a great choice for a beach picnic as they're eco-friendly and easy to dispose of. Don't forget a good supply of napkins to keep things clean and comfortable.

Beach Gear

Picnic blanket or beach towels

A large picnic blanket or several beach towels will create a comfortable haven on the sand where you can relax and enjoy your feast. Look for blankets with a waterproof backing to prevent sand and moisture from seeping through.

 Umbrella or sunshade

The sun can be intense, especially if you're planning to visit during peak hours. To shield yourselves from the sun's rays, pack a beach umbrella with a good UPF rating or a portable sunshade that's easy to set up and take down.

 Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses

Sun protection is absolutely essential for a beach day. Pack plenty of broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher for everyone. Choose hats with wide brims so that it can provide shade for your face and neck. Don't forget sunglasses to keep your eyes protected from the sun's glare.

Optional, But Useful Extras

  • Chairs: While a picnic blanket is perfectly suitable, some people prefer to sit up off the sand. Lightweight beach chairs offer additional comfort and are ideal for those who might have difficulty sitting on the ground for extended periods.

  • Trash bags: Leaving the beach clean is important, and we want to highlight that in this Sarasota beach picnic guide. Pack a couple of large trash bags to collect all your picnic waste and dispose of it properly in the designated bins.

  • First-aid kit: It's always a good idea to pack a small first-aid kit containing basic supplies like antiseptic wipes, bandaids, and pain relievers for any minor cuts, scrapes, or insect bites that might occur during your beach day.

  • Beach toys (optional): If you have children in your group, packing some beach toys like buckets, shovels, frisbees, or a beach ball will keep them entertained and provide hours of fun in the sand.

  • Entertainment (optional): For some relaxing entertainment, consider bringing a good book, a magazine to catch up on the latest reads, or a portable speaker to enjoy some music while you soak up the sun and enjoy the beautiful Sarasota scenery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What food should I bring to a picnic?

As mentioned in this Sarasota beach picnic guide, you can bring a variety of easy-to-eat and non-perishable foods. Sandwiches, wraps, salads, and fruits are popular choices. Consider foods that can be served cold or at room temperature and remember to pack condiments separately to avoid sogginess.

How do I keep picnic foods safe to eat?

Use insulated coolers with ice packs to keep perishables like meats, dairy products, and salads cool and safe. Keep the cooler in the shade during the picnic and try to pack foods in sealed containers to prevent contamination.

What type of drinks are best for a picnic?

Non-alcoholic beverages such as water, lemonade, iced tea, and fruit juices are great for staying hydrated under the sun, especially on warm days. If you prefer, bring a thermos of coffee or tea. You should also consider the preferences and ages of your guests when choosing drinks.

What kind of picnic blanket is best?

Choose a blanket that is large enough to accommodate your group and your food. Waterproof or water-resistant blankets are ideal as they prevent moisture from the ground from seeping through.

How should I pack for a picnic to keep everything organized?

Use separate containers or baskets for food, utensils, and other supplies. Label them if necessary. Packing items in the order of use can also be helpful (e.g., placing tableware on top if you’ll eat as soon as you arrive).

How can I ensure my picnic is environmentally friendly?

Use reusable containers, utensils, and napkins. Minimize plastic waste and ensure that you leave no trace by cleaning up all trash. It's better to opt for locally sourced and seasonal foods to reduce your environmental footprint.

Final Thoughts

Bringing the essentials to your Sarasota beach picnic can make a big difference in your overall experience. Whether you're having this activity with your family for a fun-filled day of sandcastle building and splashing in the waves or enjoying a romantic getaway with your special someone,  a little planning goes a long way. We hope our Sarasota beach picnic guide helps!

If you want to skip all the hassle of picnic planning, Certified Cupid is a trusted picnic planner in Florida. We can handle everything from customizing a delicious menu to setting up a beautiful and comfortable spot on the beach. All you have to do is show up, relax, and enjoy the day. If you’re interested, fill out our form.

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