There's an article in today's New York Times about negotiating the beach house kitchen: the pans that stick, the dull knives, the stale spices and oddities left behind by other beachgoers. We once rented a beautiful house on an island off the Gulf Coast of Florida. The groceries came over on the boat with us, the kids were very young, it was way too much work for a vacation. The stale spices in that kitchen were occupied by some exotic Florida wildlife.
I've pared down our beach packing a lot since we're driving a Prius now, but I still take a good knife and a few recipes and groceries for our favorite beach meals. At the Outer Banks you can get most anything you'd like at the local grocery stores, but I still take a case of wine from kybecca. It's a lot less expensive than the beach wine shops, and I'm guaranteed to find my favorite bottles here.
I like to plan ahead for the first meal at the beach. After the drive, the unpacking, the last thing I want to do is compete with all the other Saturday arrivals for space in the supermarket and wine shop.
Most houses have one, but don't take it for granted: bring your own corkscrew!