Planning a Beach Date? A Simple Guide (Plus Ideas)

So you want to have some fun with that special someone at the beach? A beach date is perfect for anyone you are getting to know or have known for a while; the beach is also not the most obvious date location which is why I like it.

In this post, I’ll cover everything to know about planning a beach date; no matter if you have been dating for a while or if this is your first date. If this is your first date, I’d stick to formal locations like restaurants (since meeting on the beach seems a little sketchy to me).

Most of these ideas are ideal if you’ve been on at least a couple of dates with the person. However, most of these tips should be helpful even if you’ve been in a relationship for years!

Ideas for beach date activities

Before you suggest a beach date, do your prep work to schedule exactly what activities you both would like to participate in. Will it be a day trip or do you need to arrange hotels?

I personally think you don’t need to plan every little detail, but instead, focus on a couple of key locations where you can walk and talk for a while.

A beach day trip I’ve found to be a great time with just lunch at a restaurant, and a short walk on the beach.

The boardwalk beach date

For some beach towns on the beach, the boardwalk scene can be a fun way to open up and feel like kids again. Most coastal states have boardwalks with carnival attractions and Ferris wheels;  in some cities like Myrtle Beach or Santa Monica you can have a great time without leaving the boardwalk area.

Always check to see what’s open in these boardwalk towns since many close down in the offseason.

Beach photo session

Whether attending your regular beach or enjoying somewhere special, a photo session can be a sweet way to document your memories.

I personally wouldn’t hire a photographer unless you’ve been dating a while, but you can pick up an old-school Polaroid for some pictures you can take back home.

I found this Polaroid camera kit on Amazon that can make the beach date something memorable you can post on your whiteboard for years to come.

In an age of social media and smartphone camera rolls, leaving that special someone with a classic 3 x 5” photo to pin up at home might just seal the deal.

Oceanfront restaurant date

Eating oceanside comes with some serious perks. Ambient waves lapping at the shore, delicious dishes, sunsets, and an after-dinner walk afterwards.

Be sure you make reservations if needed, but heading straight to an oceanfront restaurant is an ideal destination if you have only been on a couple of dates.

No one wants to roam around a beach town hungry, and you can discuss any nearby beach activities you may be interested in after dinner.

Beach picnic lunch

A beach picnic is one of my favorite ideas on the list; it allows you to go with the flow, pack all of your favorite foods, and enjoy an intimate experience.

You don’t have to plan anything too elaborate, just make sure you pack the necessary plates, napkins, and plasticware to picnic in comfort. Wipes and hand sanitizer also are a must.

Later in this post, I’ll cover a few good snack foods to pack for your beach date.

Fun and easy beach games

There is nothing like a little friendly competition to get things fired up. If playing games is your ideal date, horseshoes, volleyball, or bocce ball on the beach might be perfect for your date.

The GoSport hardwood bocce ball set offers a great look at an affordable price. If your date is fairly active you can’t go wrong with a football, but there’s nothing wrong with a game of checkers if that’s your vibe.

No matter what you decide to do at the beach, be sure to have what you need.

11 checklist items for a beach date

Before you head off on your date, don’t forget to pack a few essentials. Nothing is worse than needing something and not having it. Here are a couple of basic items to take.


Regardless of the weather, you will want to pack sunscreen for your perfect beach date. Overcast days reflect UV rays and can result in burns, just like any sunny day at the beach.

Plenty of drinks and ice

Regardless of your drink of choice, if you are on the beach, you will want water.

Be sure to check the policies for your beach destination for policies on alcoholic beverages, as the fines for drinking can be hefty and possibly the easiest way to ruin a date.

Bottled water, canned lemonade or water, and soft drinks are safe choices.

Lightweight blanket

During your beach activities, you will want to pause and soak up the romantic atmosphere. Packing a thin, lightweight blanket offers a comfortable place to sit while not being a burden to bring along.

A blanket is a must for picnics, but also needed for just sitting on the beach. I recommend packing chairs, even if your date is pretty laid back.

Snack foods

Skip the lines and spend more time with your loved one by packing plenty of snacks.

Pick out something special to impress your date, just make sure what you get won’t melt or be difficult to enjoy in the sand.

Melting chocolate-covered strawberries…sounds romantic, but probably not a great idea in 90-degree weather.


Protect yourself from the sun and stay cool by remembering to bring your hat to the beach. Whether it’s a baseball or a beach hat, you will be thankful you brought it along.

A trip to the local surf shop or souvenir shop can be a really fun experience where you can pick up many items on this list and laugh at some of the funny trinkets most of these shops have!

Umbrella or canopy

If you plan to be on the beach all day or for any extended period of time, I highly recommend packing an umbrella or  simple canopy to sit under.

You can use whatever you have, just be sure you have the proper equipment to anchor the umbrella or canopy to sand.


If you’re bringing drinks (and snacks) grab a basic cooler to keep everything cool. You don’t have to go with a 200-pound Yeti cooler full of ice, but something that will at least store what you need for an afternoon.

Portable beach speaker

You might want to bring along a beach-worthy speaker o add a personal touch to your date.

Make sure to find a speaker that can withstand the sand and water, like the JBL Flip 5 speaker, so you can enjoy your personalized playlist while at the beach.

Beach chairs

If you’ll be eating, talking, and sitting on the beach for a while, I highly recommend picking up a nice set of beach chairs. Tommy Bahama makes an excellent line of beach chairs (probably the best in my opinion) that come with headrests, pockets, and cupholders, and are simply well made.

Be sure to find lightweight chairs will make sure they add to your beach experience instead of being cumbersome to carry to the beach.

Beach bag or wagon

Last but not least, keep all of your beach accessories for the date organized in the perfect-sized beach bag.

If you have several oversized items to carry like coolers and chairs consider the convenience of a wagon instead. Many of them are collapsable and lightweight as well

Just be sure you know the access points of the beach before bringing too much stuff.

You really only need two chairs (with straps to make carrying easier), a beach bag, and a cooler for the most simple on-the-beach beach dates. Don’t go too overboard if you don’t have to.

Beach date outfit ideas

When selecting a beach date outfit, make sure you wear something that feels good to you and is appropriate based on the date. Nothing is more attractive than someone comfortable in their own skin.

Beach outfits should be light and breezy and be suitable for the day’s activities. if you’re planning dinner at a nice restaurant, wear semi-casual attire. If you’ll be on the beach, keep it casual.

For him

  • Swim trunks and a tank top – The perfect go-to for an active, ready-to-do anything type of date. From bike riding to deep sea diving, this outfit can transition to various beach activities.
  • Lightweight t-shirt – If you aren’t feeling particularly proud of your pecs or biceps, you can trade out your tank top for a well-fitting t-shirt.
  • Linen pants or jeans and a button-down shirt – Ideal for sitting on the beach after a dinner date, or a walk (just not all day). Lightweight linen will help keep you cool and create a fashion-forward look.
  • Khakis and a button-down shirt – If you’re considering an updscale date at the beach, you can’t go wrong with khaki shorts or pants and a lightweight shirt.

For her

  • Swimsuit and coverup – Your coverup should be appropriate to your activities. It’s also a good idea to pack another set of clothes just in case.
  • Dresses – An easy and elegant beach outfit option. Your dress should reflect your personality and
  • T-shirt or tank – You can’t go wrong with a lightweight or oversized t-shirt at the beach. Consider a stop at the local gift shop for a t-shirt; this is a great item to remember the date by for years to come.

Food ideas for beach dates

Dates on the beach present a host of challenges. Make sure to pick food that is sand a heat friendly. Step one is deciding whether or not you are bringing a cooler with you, as this will influence which foods you choose to pack.

Packing a bottle of baby powder will help remove sand from your hands before you eat to eliminate any extra crunch.

Cooler worthy snacks

These snacks should be kept on ice. Using icepacks will prevent there being excess water from melting. If you want to bring ice to use for your beverages pack it in a resealable bag for easy access.

Here are a couple of simple ideas you can place on a charcuterie board.

  • Watermelon
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Salads (stay away from leafy salads and opt for pasta salad)
  • Cheese
  • Cured meats
  • Pepperoni stick
  • Fresh peppers

Prepackaged snacks

It’s good to have a mix of both cold and dry food; pick snacks will hold up well in the heat and are easy to bring along. Here are a few ideas:

  • Trailmix
  • Popcorn
  • Chips
  • Gummy bears
  • Beef jerky
  • Animal crackers

One last note

If the beach is a few hours away for the two of you, consider booking hotel rooms; I personally recommend staying in separate rooms, or even separate hotels not to make the other person uncomfortable. You can obviously hang out together, but giving the other person a little space at the end of the night (and time to talk with their friends about you) is typically a good thing.

If you’re not in a relationship with the other person, separate (but nearby) hotels can give each of you a place to hang out after the date, while still respecting each other’s privacy.

Make a beach date your own by planning each detail specific to your interest and theirs.

Your date will appreciate all your thought and efforts, which is what will make the day so special. Let me know how the date goes in the comments, and if this post was helpful!

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