Sunny days are finally starting to greet us, and we know that it’s a bit hard to believe that we’ve already welcomed June into our lives by now. As days go by, some of the stay-at-home restrictions are being lifted, allowing people to resume some of their much loved outdoor activities, while maintaining a certain caution and safety measures. That being said, and with the help of this sweater-less weather, you might be wondering: “Is it finally possible for me to go on a picnic? And if so, where?” Worry not, because we’re here to give your outdoorsy needs a helping hand.
All across America states are starting to slowly open, and so are the many once-closed state parks and endless locations that just seem to invite you over to lay down your blanket and grab a bite. A picnic can give you the opportunity to explore somewhere you’ve never been and get you to relax for a couple of hours, all at the same time. And the ultimate perk: if you decide to have a picnic while traveling, it can make you feel like a local! From the park right next to your home to a completely different state, the world is your oyster. Taking that opportunity in the midst of a hectic week might just give you a chance to sit back and enjoy what nature has to offer.
Forsyth Fountain tucked in the middle of the lush greenery in the iconic Forsyth Park, Savannah by @canuckrunningamuck
Staying safe while getting back in touch with the outdoor world can be challenging, so how can you protect yourself—and others—if you want to go picnicking? Start by planning out your park visit in advance. Check opening hours and if there’s any need for a reservation or specific rules you’ll have to abide by. And now more important than ever, try to go at off-peak hours to avoid crowds. Another important piece of advice to keep in mind is to pack for any inconvenience. If you’re not sure if the park you’re visiting has working services, why not bring plenty of water and hand sanitizer with you? That way you’ll make sure you stay hydrated and germ-free. Last but not least, just remember that not sharing is caring. Avoid borrowing things from strangers or sharing food.
To help you narrow down your choices, we thought about giving you a list of the best places to pack a picnic in the Northeast and Southeast regions of the United States:
Northeastern Picnic Spots
Located in Casco Bay, this state park has acres and acres of forest and rocky coastline. From hiking to catching some sun and enjoying the view, Wolfe’s Neck Woods is also the perfect place for an afternoon picnic near the water. If stargazing is more your style, then you’ve also found the right spot for it. Guaranteed that it will be so relaxing that you’ll leave thinking you’ve just come from a week-long vacation!
If you happened to be browsing some postcards on a stand, you would likely take a moment to just bask on one from Walden Pond. It’s a spot with enough space and surroundings for all different kinds of outdoor cravings. From picnicking to hiking, swimming and even taking out your boat or kayak for a spin on those calm waters.
Walden Pond, Concord is a true adventurer's dream by @erinspldng
Golden hour over Patterson Park is a sight to be admired. Hues of gold and orange run across the entire park’s greenery, welcoming you to stay just a bit more. Besides the many pavilions you can find spread through the park for family-sized picnics, the main attraction you must lay your gaze upon is the Pagoda—a Victorian-era lookout that truly stands out and allows for a great view of downtown.
Bird's-eye view of the magical Padoga at Patterson Park, Baltimore by @evanwoodard_
Southeastern Picnic Spots
Bruceton Mills, West Virginia
Coopers Rock State Forest is a well-known and adored spot for locals but a hidden gem for tourists. The miles of stunning landscapes make it the perfect place in West Virginia to enjoy a picnic with your friends or family, followed by hiking or rock climbing, if that’s up your alley.
Coopers Rock Overlook found in Coopers Rock State Forest is a locals' favorite by @wanderlustinohio
Don’t miss out on the breathtaking 360º degree view of this state’s natural beauty in Coopers Rock Overlook!
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Forsyth Park is its fountain, one of the most well-known (and beautiful) icons of Savannah. Surrounded by lush greenery, it makes it the ideal place for a relaxing picnic. If you don’t enjoy staying under the sun too long, there are many cozy and shaded spots for you to lay down your blanket and basket to enjoy a good meal.
If you love to see flowers bloom and spend some time relaxing in a garden, then this botanical garden is just the place for you to visit. A nature-filled oasis in the big city, sounds impossible right? Birmingham’s Botanical Garden has over 30 gardens, stunning glasshouses, and miles of paths and flowers for that perfect picnic you’ve always dreamed of. Your Instagram will thank you later for those photos you’re surely going to take.
Birmingham Botanical Garden, housing 30+ stunning gardens, located in Birmingham, Alabama by @bunnyplayshere
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
A quite small and undisturbed beach in Northwest Florida, Grayton Beach is the place you’ll surely have one of the most peaceful picnics you’ve ever experienced. With a view of the pristine deep-blue waters of the Western Lake and the (seemingly so) endless coastal dunes, it’s where you can truly enjoy the relaxing sound of the waves as you eat just one more strawberry from your basket.