It's that time of year when you start looking through your phone contacts, searching for friends who have access to a beach house. You need to get out of the city for at least a couple days of saltwater therapy, a golden glow and crab cakes.
If you manage to lock down an invitation to "the shore," "out east," Fire Island, The Cape, the Outer Banks or any other place complete with a boardwalk and multicolored umbrellas, make sure you show your deep and sincere appreciation! Yup, I'm talking about the host/hostess gift.
It's especially fun to pick out a beach house gift. Everyone takes themselves--and their decor--a little less seriously. As long as you choose something mildly useful, you won't mess it up.
Here are my picks for beautiful, useful and deceptively sustainable gifts that will knock your host's flip-flops off, and be a treasured beach house amenity for years to come.
Home Made Summer and Live Fire Cookbooks
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Your hostess finally has time to pursue her dreams of baking pies from blackberries picked nearby. Feed the dream (and benefit yourself) with this cookbook, which incorporates seasonal, summer ingredients into every recipe. For the male host, light a fire under his butt with this cookbook on all things grilled.
$30 at Rodale's; $35 at Rodale's.