Menus for a week of sun, sand, surf, and seaside meals.
Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Hours spent scuffling along the water's edge, gazing at the waves or beachcombing, swimming, and fishing. Total relaxation. That's what a beach vacation promises. But while your rental house might be long on charm, it may be short on basic necessities such as large pots or a can opener. And unless you're staying at a superdeluxe beachfront community, the local grocery store is more likely to carry dozens of brands of snack chips and pretzels than sourdough bread or imported Parmesan cheese. But we've got just the ticket to help you enjoy your vacation without anxiety attacks or fruitless trips to the store: an easy-to-follow cook's care package for your week at the beach.

We've created six menus so you won't have to plan any meals for your trip (although you will need to bring along some of the ingredients).

Take Six (Any Six)
A week at the beach should be spontaneous. Do whatever you want to do every day―and eat what strikes your fancy. These six flexible menus give you a week's worth of meal plans. You can follow them in the order found here or switch them around as your mood and appetite develop.

Menu 1
French-Bread Pizza With Sausage, Clams, and Mushrooms
Tossed salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Fresh fruit*

Menu 2
Lemon-Garlic Shrimp Kebabs
Two-tone Roasted Potatoes
Caramel Mudslide

Menu 3
Creamy Pesto Rigatoni With Chunky Tomato Vinaigrette
French bread*
Cherries With Rum-Sugar Cream

Menu 4
Rum-Pepper Steak Sandwiches
Fresh corn on the cob*
Chunky Plum-and-Ginger Ice Cream

Menu 5
Sunset Chicken With Grilled Vegetable-Rice Pilaf
Greens With Creamy Berry Dressing
Angel food cake with chocolate sauce*

Menu 6
Pineapple-Rum Slush
Grilled Tuna With Papaya Chutney
Mixed greens with Dijon Vinaigrette

*No recipe necessary