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There’s not much better than sitting on the dock with sunshine on your face—unless you’re doing that with a cold drink in your hand. But we always strive to make good things even better, so we came up with a game plan to help you live your best dock life.

Straight snackin’

Snacks matter. A lot. Fill a plastic tray with some basics for grazing. Here’s what you’ll need to build the ultimate cheese-and-charcuterie board: a soft cheese (goat works well), a semi-soft cheese (try brie) and firm or hard cheeses (extra-old cheddar fills the bill); juicy grapes; crunchy nuts; and a mixture of dry sausage, salami and prosciutto. Throw on some crackers, olives and chutney to round it all out, and now your dockside snack game is on point.

Keep your brews cold

Who wants to be running back and forth to the fridge? Keep a cooler handy for max relaxing. Stock it with a mix of drinks and water to keep everyone happily hydrated. If you’re keeping beer in the cooler, know that putting warm ones on ice won’t cool them down quickly. Instead, start with chilled beers and add plenty of ice: one bag per every eight standard cans or bottles of beer. And keep that cooler in the shade, if you can.

Enjoy lakeside cookies and beer

Milk might be the classic dipper, but beer’s a great match for cookies, too. Classic chocolate chip goes well with an IPA (any citrus notes will blend well with the chocolate). If oatmeal raisin is more your speed, try pairing with an ale. Bring a plate down to the dock for sunset snacks.

Stock a drinks cart

Behold, one of our most genius ideas yet: Set up a rolling drinks cart that has everything you need to avoid the bothersome schlep from the kitchen to the dock. If you don’t have a bar cart, a wheelbarrow or your kid’s wagon will work just fine.


Stock up on clever doodads to elevate your lakeside leisure. Towel clips help towels stay put on your lounger, and fun beer koozies help keep cans cold. Planning on some nighttime dock hangs? Grab some LED candles to set the mood and lower the chance of getting a flashlight aimed at your face.