Summer is finally here! Away with school and being inside for the majority of the day, and in with outdoor living for Vancouver Islanders. The warm weather is teasing us already, you are ready to start planning a fun summer afternoon outing with family or friends and we are here to help!
With just three considerations before you drive away with your picnic basket and a car full of kiddos, friends, or dogs - you will be well on your way to enjoying all that this island life of ours has to offer. Also, is it just us, or does food taste 100 times better when you are outside?
Willows Beach - Photo by: West Coast Rose
STEP 1: Picking a good beach.
Like any adventure you embark on, having an idea about the destination is always a great start! Here are some classic picnic locations for you to choose from based on where you live and how far you are willing to drive!
East Sooke Park - Aylard Farm Beach Access: This is the beach to picnic at if you have a whole day to kill and are looking for an adventure. With the softest white sand beach and beautiful black rocks, you are transported to the island of Maui… just with evergreens instead of palm trees! A beautiful spot to soak in the scenery with a delicious basket of food to enjoy! Directions Link
Cadboro Bay Beach: For those that live in Uplands or Gordon Head, this is a great local beach to enjoy a summer afternoon picnic. The nice thing about this location is that there are plenty of logs to sit on as well as a few picnic tables. If you are bringing the kids along, this is ideal as the playground will keep them busy and engaged. Directions Link
Mount Doug Beach: Another local beach for Gordon Head residents and a beautiful, secluded location for a picnic. While it can get busy on the weekends in the day time, the evenings are slow and secluded. You can choose to eat in the grassy area by the parking lot at the picnic tables there and head down to the beach after - or have the picnic on the beach! Directions Link
Willows Beach: If you are located in the Oak Bay / James Bay / Uplands area, this beach is great as a local. It has the best of both worlds - park and beach. For the kids, there is a playground and for the adults, an impressive view of the Olympic mountain range. If you are the type that likes to walk off the meal, there is a beautiful boardwalk along the beach and you are sure to see many happy dogs here. :) Directions Link
STEP 2: Planning the menu.
Usually bringing three different items makes for a great picnic. This means you can have the choice of dragging and dropping your menu. Here are the three categories and ideas for each one!
Snacks to munch on when you arrive:
- Charcuterie board with meats, cheeses and crackers
- Chips with dip
- Hummus and Veggies
A filling, main meal:
- Quinoa Salad with protein (Chicken or Chickpeas)
Best practices: Wrap your food to-go in beeswax wraps to keep it fresh and avoid plastic wrap! Didn’t use all of your ingredients for your picnic? Save them for later in your fridge by wrapping the remaining food in wraps!
STEP 3: Make a list and check it twice.
The last and final consideration is to make a list and use it when packing up your picnic lunch or dinner! Make sure you have:
- A basket or bag to put everything in
- The food!
- Plenty of blankets or towels for everyone to sit on
- Chairs if required
- Sunscreen / Hats
- Layers (it is often cooler on the water and at the beach!)
- Water and other refreshing drinks
Some of the most memorable family time happens outdoors and picnics are a fun way to shake dinner or weekends up. Are you taking your beeswax to-go on a picnic? Post a picture on your instagram story or feed and tag @naturebeewraps for a chance to be featured on the Nature Bee Instagram! We LOVE being apart of your adventures!