Tips for Summer Host Gifts

So you’ve snagged yourself an invite to a friend’s beach house. How do you thank your gracious host?

You’ll need a host gift, but choosing one can be tricky. Put that obligatory bottle of wine down: Here are our tried-and-true gift ideas for every kind of summer getaway:

A Beach Weekend  
If you’re lucky enough to stay at someone’s beach house, thank them with an appropriately summery gift. These hanging wire mason jar lamps are easy to pack in your duffel, and your host will use them over and over again on warm summer nights. Even better, they can fill them with flowers and treat them like vases in their down time. Beeswax baguette wrap is an option for a smaller gift -- it keeps bread fresh for days, is helpful for any kitchen, and is unique enough to surprise most hosts.  

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More: There'll be cocktails on your trip. Bring some brass coasters and Prosecco glasses.

A City Apartment
Traveling to other cities to visit far-flung friends? Bring something small and tasty, like small-batch almond butter, pastel-colored gummy candy made with real fruit, or potato chip-strewn peanut brittle. They won’t feel like they need to eat it right away, but they’ll remember you (fondly) when they do.


More: Get bonus points for making your own small-batch jams to gift.

A Family Vacation
We’ve tagged along on many family vacations of friends over the years. Next time we do, we're bringing something neutral and useful for any kind of household, like linen tea towels, painted porcelain plates, or hand-crafted steak knives


A Camping Trip
Say your most adventurous friends organize a camping trip, or a week at a lake of swimming, sailing, and hiking at a lake. A heavy, fragile gift isn’t very practical. Instead, bring something that will make the trip even more fun, like a travel coffee kit from Stumptown (complete with filters and a miniature grinder), or a ceramic flask.


If you're still stuck, we've got gift collections for the host who has everything, the new cook, and the bar aficionado

What’s the best host gift you’ve ever gotten from a guest? We want to know! 

Photos by James Ransom

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Jan Perrone Greco
    Jan Perrone Greco
  • AntoniaJames
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.


Jan P. July 3, 2014
I like to bring something the host wouldn't normally by for themselves. Something like these hand stitched coasters or table runners.
AntoniaJames July 3, 2014
Not something available from Provisions, but . . . . .a pint of local (as in, within my urban zip code) honey, from my Food52 pal whose husband keeps bees! Best tasting honey, ever. Really. ;o)