The 33 Best Beach Snacks

The 33 Best Beach Snacks

The water’s stellar. The sun’s a warm blanket. You feel the waves’ ebb and flow in your bones.

And then — hunger strikes. Get out of the water! Reach for the beach snacks, stat! 

But where to begin? What are tasty on-the-go snacks that sate post-swim cravings without making you feel sluggish? Beach foods and snacks are legion, and it’s easy to fall for whatever’s nearby (hi there, doughnut stand).

We’ve got you covered in the Jerky Universe with these primo beach snack ideas. After all, seaside hunger is a singular sensation — and the best beach snacks should satisfy both body and mind.

[Related: Traveling With Beef Jerky: What You Need To Know]

How To Choose Good Snacks for the Beach

Finding snacks to take to the beach can be deceptively difficult. 

Like we said, you clearly don’t want to feel groggy after eating. But what else factors in? Here are a few things to keep in mind when packing beach snacks:

  • Portability. Can you travel with and carry it easily?
  • Nutrition. Does it make your mouth and your metabolism happy?
  • Waste. Will you have a bunch of leftovers?
  • Spoilage. Will it fit in a cooler or go bad quickly? 
  • Sealability. Can sand, rain or critters get to it while you’re in the water?

Ideally, you have easy-to-make and simple-to-carry healthy beach snacks

Now, we can’t promise you won’t get sand in your mouth, and seagulls may harass you relentlessly. But we’ll do our darndest to recommend snacks for the beach that meet the criteria!

[Related: Can You Mail Beef Jerky?]

What To Pack Before You Snack

Before we dive into the list, let’s run through a few items that’ll make carrying and eating beach snacks simple:

  • A cooler with plenty of ice and ice packs
  • An insulated bag
  • A couple extra beach towels
  • Bottled water
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Compostable utensils
  • An extra beach tote
  • Zip-seal plastic bags
  • Plastic wrap
  • A wide-brimmed hat and UV-protective sunglasses (to stay cool while eating ... and look cool while eating)

We’re guessing you have access to a chair and a beach umbrella — if you don’t, try to take those, too! Compact versions that don’t weigh you down are easy to find and affordable.

Granted, the list seems long. Don’t let that dissuade you — most items should fit into one big beach tote. You’ve got this.

[Related: Can Beef Jerky Make You Sick? What To Know]

Our Favorite Beach Snack Ideas

We promised we’d deliver. Here are 33 snacks to bring to the beach that won’t leave you adrift.

1. Jerky of All Stripes

It’s protein-packed, portable and palm-sized. What more could you ask for? Jerky strips are simply the best snacks for the beach

Whether you buy your standard brand or make your own, a serving of jerky puts pep in your step (or backstroke). Just open the bag, nosh, reseal and head back into the water. 

With beyond-beef jerkies like shark jerky and salmon jerky, the predators might be scared of you…

[Related: 10 Beef Jerky Flavors You Have To Try]

2. Pretzels

You won’t notice if your hands are salty from the sea when eating pretzels! Simply stick a sack of crunchy pretzels atop your tote bag — ta-da, your beach snacks are ready. 

They’re not particularly nutritious, but they’re light on the stomach. And there are unsalted and gluten-free versions, if you prefer. Plus, you’ll get your crispy fix with less fat and calories than in standard potato chips.

3. Mixed Nuts

Another salty beach snack, mixed nuts in pretty much any permutation give your body protein, fiber and healthy fats

We like almonds, pistachios, walnuts and cashews as our divine quartet. (They’re also some of the healthiest nuts, by the way.)

4. Popcorn

Still in need of crunchy goodness? Low-fat, air-popped popcorn is your answer. We know it takes up space in your bag, but it’ll take up just enough space in your stomach with fiber and whole grains.

5. Granola Bars

You can technically opt for loose granola, but bars are easier to grab. Go for granola bar brands that are actually full of good stuff — not candy bars disguised as health food. It sucks, but you’ll find the latter everywhere.

As a little bonus, commercial granola bars are some of the easiest beach snacks to buy at supermarkets.

6. Trail Mix

The salty protein of mixed nuts with the sweet nutrition of fruit? Trail mix is it. 

For healthy beach snacks, buy or make trail mix without sweets like milk chocolate and fried add-ins like sesame sticks. Although delicious, they add sugar and saturated fat to your beautiful concoction.

[Related: Two of Our Featured Beef Jerky Flavors for Gym Junkies]

7. Oranges, Grapefruit and Tangerines, Oh My!

For the best beach snacks, bring chilled citrus in any form! After a warm dip, nothing hits the spot quite like tangy-sweet, juicy citrus with vitamin C and heart-healthy fiber.

We’re big fans of grapefruit on the beach, even though it’s notoriously a diet food. There’s something about its utterly unique, bittersweet flavor that matches surf and salt.

8. Mozzarella String Cheese

If you’re not avoiding dairy, mozzarella string cheese sticks make great beach snacks for kids and adults alike. With low fat, high calcium and a good dose of protein, they hit the spot. Just make sure to toss wrappers in the right receptacle!

9. Whole-Grain Crackers of All Kinds

Real whole-grain crackers bring your body light and satisfying nutrition, including fiber and iron. Eat per the serving size, and you won’t feel tired when you head back into the waves. 

If you’re feeling fancy, pair whole-grain crackers with jerky, string cheese and olives for an impromptu charcuterie board. Who doesn’t like a tasty upgrade with beach-party snacks?

10. Baby Carrots

Crisp, cold baby carrots in the bottom of the cooler make healthy beach snacks a breeze. Behind their mild sweetness and refreshing crunch, you’ll get a smorgasbord of vitamins and fiber.

11. Mini Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Whole-grain bread, tuna in water, relish and mayo high in omega-3 fatty acids equal basic tuna salad sandwiches. You can get adventurous with your choice of extras (boiled eggs are a standby). Cut sandwiches into quarters, stick them in zip-close bags, put the bags in the cooler and head to the shore! 

Come to think of it, are they beach-themed snacks? After all, you’re eating the chicken of the sea (we’re sorry … we’re truly sorry). 

12. Hummus-Plus-Pita

Well, this one doesn’t take much explanation — use your compostable spoons to serve up nutrient-rich hummus on pita (ideally whole-grain). Both hummus and pita are compact, fit easily in your cooler and don’t make you tired! We see no downside.

13. Protein Bars

Are you putting heft behind your beach-day snacks? Protein bars — the truly nutritious kinds — are easy answers. With that in mind, find brands not loaded with refined sugars and saturated fats.

Of course, if you’re following the keto diet, balance good fats with saturated fats. (Keto beach snacks are in a category all their own.)

14. Ham-and-Cheese Roll-Ups

Hear us out: Make simple sandwiches with lean ham and extra-sharp cheddar, but make them on whole-grain tortillas. They make for tidy eating while packing protein, calcium and fiber. 

If you need beach snacks for kids, we won’t snitch about the whole-grain part if you don’t. 

15. Dried Fruit or Fruit Leather

Raisins are just fruit jerky — mull it over, won’t you? 

For easy snacks for the beach, bring store-bought or homemade raisins, prunes or fruit leather. You get a satisfying chew, fiber and a happy stomach (plus vitamin C, of course).

16. Veggie Straws

Concerned about the kids? Finding beach snacks for toddlers can be tricky. But veggie straws might just be the answer when you need something a tad more nutritious than tater tots.

Now if you want the best beach snacks for adults, upgrade veggie straws to kale chips. Honestly — they’re delicious and don’t deserve the bad rep.

[Related: Considering Beef Jerky for Weight Loss? Read This First]

17. Animal Crackers

We have a confession. When we want good beach snacks, sometimes we want cookies. Well, at least we want light, airy ones that don’t weigh us down. 

Yes, you can go for thin-cut cookies, but animal crackers might be the next best thing. They’re light, packaged and easy to tote, and they sate the sweet tooth without going overboard. Hint: You can always bake a healthy version!

18. Celery and Peanut Butter

Celery has fiber, peanut butter has protein —- and together, they’re great beach-day snacks. We forewarn you that sand is not ideal in peanut butter, but that’s where plastic wrap comes in. 

And, you know, bringing the peanut butter’s worth it. Besides the protein boost, think of all the pairings: crackers, animal crackers, granola, pretzels…

[Related: Looking for Healthy Jerky? Try JustMeat]

19. Yogurt

Break out the cooler and compostable spoons because yogurt is one of the best beach snacks for adults. Up the ante with Greek yogurt for a dose of protein. With a belly full of calcium and probiotics, you’ll be prepared to dive back in.

20. Watermelon, Cantaloupe and Any Other Melon You Can Tote

Yes, a melon may be the heaviest snack you can bring, but think about cracking open an ice-cold cantaloupe on a piping-hot summer day. Is anything more refreshing?

We didn’t say you shouldn’t bring it diced and prepackaged. When you split it yourself, there’s just something incredibly satisfying about the whole beach snack experience.

21. Pineapple

It’s delectable when canned in juice and chilled. But see above: For the full beach snack vibe, slice an actual spiky pineapple. Warm or right out of the cooler, you’ll get a wallop of vitamins, minerals and flavor.

It may be a bit messy, but you won’t regret a thing.

[Related: Moku Foods: Our Go-To Mushroom Meat Substitute]

22. Pickles

Let’s do a 180. Do you need super easy snacks for the beach? Pickles are your friends.

Just grab a couple of cold dills and enjoy the brine — in moderation, you’ll get vitamins A and K without overdosing on sodium. Plus, they’re high in potassium to keep you hydrated in the heat. 

Oh, and we’ve heard tell of pickle-flavored beef jerky (just putting that out there in case you want to air-fry your own).

23. Sushi

In terms of beach snacks, ideas run wild. And with this one, you might think we’ve officially gone bonkers. 

But here’s the thing: Sushi at the beach is totally doable. It also happens to be one of the best snacks for beach get-togethers — it’s unexpected and pretty darn fancy. The key is avoiding sashimi or raw seafood because you could get seriously ill if it spoils. 

Instead, pack vegan or vegetable sushi, stash it in the cooler and enjoy. It’s light and healthy, and nori matches the environment. 

[Related: Japanese Jerky, aka Salmon Jerky]

24. Olives

Remember that ad hoc charcuterie board? Well, toss in olives in any color! They’re more than good snacks for the beach — you get vitamin E, antioxidants and healthy fats (just don’t overdo it because sodium can run high).

25. Ginger Snaps

When fruit doesn’t sate your sweet tooth and you have to get some kind of cookie, pack ginger snaps. Ginger relieves nausea and eases digestion, and that’s handy if you’ve overdone it while riding the waves or overindulged in other beach snacks

The ticket is buying or baking goodies with real ginger!

26. Dry Cereal

It doesn’t get much simpler: Toss your favorite (or your kid’s favorite) cereal into a couple zip-close bags. Open, munch and get back to building that sand castle. If you’re sneaky, you can bring great beach snacks for toddlers by using whole-grain cereals. 

27. Tortilla Chips and Salsa

You might think of run-of-the-mill chips and dip as beach-party snacks, but chunky salsa and tortilla chips are excellent alternatives. The tortilla chips fit nicely in bags, and the salsa sits at the bottom of the cooler.

Don’t think we forgot about the nutrition — simple salsa has vitamin C and lycopene, among other perks. Make it even better with a little capsaicin-heavy chili peppers.

[Related: What’s the World’s Hottest Beef Jerky?]

28. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Now we know you think we’ve gone sideways. And maybe we have … but hear us out one more time: Bring hard-boiled eggs as beach snacks

With lean protein, healthy fats and choline, you’ve got a tiny powerhouse in boiled eggs (and they’re Whole30- and paleo-friendly). They call them “brain food” for good reason. But please, please keep them chilled in the cooler.

29. Peanut Butter and Jelly

The best beach snacks for adults absolutely include PB&J. To get the most nutrients, use whole-grain bread, raw peanut butter and whole-fruit, no-sugar-added jam. 

Make sure to seal them tightly — again, sandy peanut butter is not ideal.

30. Whole-Fruit Frozen Pops

What better way to kick off a day in the waves than with icy whole-fruit pops? 

If you break out this beach snack, break it out early! With calcium, vitamin C and just a little sweetness, you’ll be refreshed and ready to soak in the sun.

31. Roasted Edamame

With edamame’s light, savory crispness and nutrition (like protein and folate), you’ll be satisfied and ready to swim. You can also find an array of spiced versions, so pack a can or two as healthy beach snacks

Psst … roasted edamame is a perfect complement to beef jerky flavors. They taste great together, and edamame’s high fiber balances jerky’s high protein. Trust us — we’re jerky experts.

[Related: Exploring Beef Jerky in the Mediterranean]

32. Bananas

Beach-day snacks get a major upgrade with bananas. They’re not just prewrapped and ready to eat — you get loads of potassium, magnesium and calcium. And that means you’re ready to combat fatigue and muscle cramps!

As a perk, you don’t have to chill them (more room in the cooler).

33. Fig Bars

We’ll finally dip back into the sweets department. Fig bars are delicious, fairly nutritious beach snacks when they’re not syrupy. For the healthiest kind, make your own — it takes only an hour.

But hey, indulgence is fine every now and again. Snag your local grocery store’s standard brand in a pinch. You still get some of figs’ health benefits ... but with more sugar.

[Related: Is Beef Jerky Healthy?]

Explore the Jerky Universe

The sun’s setting, you’re toasty in a towel and the tide's rising. Your best beach snacks haven’t made you sleepy or sluggish. Few things are better in this Jerky Universe

If you have jerky-centric beach snack ideas or experiences, let us know. We’d love to hear your stories! 

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