They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, but it’s what’s hidden inside that really makes a beach day.
Whether it’s a crisp new Yeti or a dilapidated old igloo that’s been seen more than its fair share of days at Norton Point, choosing the right treats to put in your beach cooler is an important part of any sunny getaway.
The role of a cooler keeper has been coveted since the dawn of beach trips, and with so many snack and drink paths to navigate, the selection process can be overwhelming at times.
But the islanders know how to pack a cooler – a wise skill to have when living just over 10 minutes from the ocean.
The local traveled to several Vineyard beaches on scattered days to ask people, “What’s in your cooler?” In the hope of finding the freshest foods and the most outstanding cooler drinks.
On a calm afternoon at State Beach, Drew Honeycutt and Taylor Gramkowski were getting ready to pack their bags after a relaxing outing to the beach.
Honeycutt said his parents live on the island and State Beach is one of the places he frequents when he visits, although it was only his second time this season.
The two had just finished making homemade sub sandwiches, but their cooler was still stocked with Ruffles, an onion dip to go with the savory crisps, and a Crunch bar to take care of those sweet cravings after a long day listening to the lapping of the waves.
A little further down the beach, Kate Goldberg sat down with her family and watched her children bounce in and out of the water in their brightly patterned floats.
“This is the first time that we have come to the Vineyard for a long time. We have a family trip so we are here for the week, “said Goldberg,” We were here at the beach yesterday and today – State Beach was recommended to us by another family member.
There is no doubt that the gem of the Goldberg Cooler was a container of Grillo’s Pickles from Needham, Mass., But the family had all of their bases covered for their day at the beach.
“We’re big fans of Grillo, of course. We’re from Needham, so they’re a local buy for us, ”Goldberg said.
The family also had ham and cheese sandwiches they made at home, string cheese for the kids, and Starbucks coffee drinks for more energy in the late afternoon.
“We don’t usually drink it, but it’s the holidays, so why not,” Goldberg said with a laugh.
Just before the terns began to dive for their evening meal and the sun began to set under Sengekontaket Pond, two sisters sat down and took in the last bit of vitamin D of the day.
One of the sisters, Simone, said she had a home here but was visiting her sister, who lives in Edgartown.
“It’s Sisters’ Day,” said Simone, “so we meet up late in the afternoon to catch up. We’ve been shopping all morning so now it’s fun, drinks and snacks at the beach.
Simone added that her son also lived on the island and had entertained her at his home the previous weekend with food and drinks.
“I grabbed some Coronas for later,” laughed Simone. “I also took water bottles with me because you need to stay hydrated at the beach.”
As people walked to their cars, Simone commented on the pleasant conditions they encountered for their beach meeting.
“State Beach is such a beautiful place. It’s really easy to find parking, easy to walk and easy to get out of. A little bit of waves, a lot of people watching, and you have a day at the beach, ”she said.
Simone’s sister, who preferred to remain anonymous, said she opted for the “hydration theme” for her fresher selection, featuring Bubly sparkling water, a Synergy kombucha drink for healthy probiotics and some High Noon hard salts (please bathe responsibly).
In South Beach on a particularly sunny but windy afternoon, another anonymous beach-goer from Newport, RI, was relaxing in his beach tent sipping adult drinks and munching on tasty homemade tapenade when The Local brought him down. asked “What’s in your cooler?” “
He held up a box of pub crackers, then pulled out what could make the podium in the fresher competition snack category – homemade olive tapenade and spicy jalapeño dip.
“I do everything myself, apart from the crackers,” he laughs. “You might call it a hobby, but I really think they taste better than the ones you buy in the store, and they’re not too difficult to put together.”
Down on South Beach on the right side of the fork, Greg Whitaker reclined in a lounge chair next to his wife as they watched their children dance along the shore while dodging the smashing beach break.
He munched on roasted honey peanuts while sipping classic Pepsi. When asked if he was on Team Coke or Team Pepsi, he replied that he was a “die-hard Pepsi fan,” although he won’t drop another soda or another sweet soft drink.
“The Coke is right behind,” he said.
Whitaker said his family lived in New Hampshire and this was their first visit to the island.
“There aren’t a lot of beaches up there, and I’ve never even been on a beach like this,” he said. “I am amazed at how clean it is here. It is a great place to bring my family and just relax. We’re only here for the weekend, but it’s been a great time – I’m sure we’ll be back soon, and we’re definitely bringing the cooler.