One way to celebrate the spring season is with a picnic, which gives you a chance to get outside and reconnect with the great outdoors. Make your experience even sweeter when you include a few Ne-Mo’s treats in your picnic basket. From San Francisco to Tampa, here are the best spots for a springtime picnic:
Nicknamed ‘America’s Finest City,’ San Diego is the perfect place for California dreamin’. The first stop on your picnic itinerary is Balboa Park, a lush green space that makes up 1200 acres. Along with 16 museums, multiple performing arts venues, beautiful gardens, and hiking trails, you’ll also find plenty of spots to enjoy a picnic on one of the many sunny days in San Diego. For a sophisticated wine and cheese style picnic, you can also head to Orfila Vineyards and Winery, which boasts amazing views and great wines.
Grab your picnic basket and head to Centennial Gardens, Denver’s best-kept secret. Inspired by the gardens of Versailles in France, this beautifully manicured green space features five elaborate water fountains, exquisite flower beds, and hiking trails along the river. Once you enter the park, you will feel an instant sense of peace and tranquility that comes from the natural splendor of the gardens. Chessman Park is another picnic hotspot with distant mountain views, lots of shaded areas, and a distinctive Old World charm. Locals particularly love the walking and jogging trails. You’ll also find lots of fields for picnicking and playing sports.
In the Big Apple, there is no shortage of areas offering incredible views and free open-air dining. For an easy afternoon picnic on the go, order takeout and grab a seat on one of the benches along the East River or on the Central Great Lawn for a more panoramic vantage point. In Brooklyn, Prospect Park is an expansive oasis of greenery that features the city’s finest shade trees. Further along in the season, Bryant Park also makes for an ideal picnic area. This lush, verdant lawn usually opens for the season during the first week of May, when it transforms into a popular warm-weather hangout.
The best place for a honky-tonkin’ good time, Nashville also gives you lots of opportunities in the afternoon to have a picnic with friends. A popular spot for locals and tourists alike, Centennial Park offers shady picnic areas under the grandiose columns of the Parthenon or cozied up next to the flower garden. Cheekwood is another unique spot for a picnic, especially with its Japanese tea garden, a beautiful and secluded spot for sharing a meal under one of the pavilions. You also can slip away from the crowds when you hike the sculpture trail located in the wooded area.
It may be a sprawling metropolis of subdivisions, shopping centers, and highways, but San Antonio still has a few remaining parcels of undeveloped land that are truly special. To get a real sense of the natural landscape of Hill Country, check out Hardberger Park, a nature park with wooded hiking trails, picnic areas and playgrounds, and sports fields for soccer, kite flying, or other activities. For an urban style picnic, head downtown and find a spot at the Pearl Amphitheater, a grassy area on the bank of the San Antonio River. Spring is a perfect time to picnic, especially if you enjoy live music; local musicians sometimes play their favorite jams on the small stage at the bottom of the amphitheater.
With the most spectacular natural landscapes in the world, Hawaii has the best picnicking areas in the country. A short distance from Honolulu, Lulumahu falls is perched on a boulder and cascades beautifully into a pool of crystal clear water below. It’s a quick hike to the falls, so bring a backpack full of snacks and get comfortable sitting in close proximity to this dreamy waterfall. For another picnic spot with a background of natural splendor, Hanauma Bay certainly fits the bill. The emerald blue waters lapping up against the white sand beaches make for a tranquil and peaceful backdrop to a beachside picnic. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the natural scenery of this unique and biodiverse nature preserve.
A hotspot for picnics, Dolores Park has some of the best panoramic views of the city. Located in the Mission district, this expansive park is also close to a slew of nearby takeout options for easily filling up your picnic basket. When you can see the cityscape at sunset, it will make your picnic snacks even more delicious. Another picnic area worth visiting is Golden Gate Park, an idyllic green space of sloping lawns and giant eucalyptus trees that provide shade and a kiss of mint in the air. Find a quiet spot next to one of the ponds or lakes and enjoy a snack while watching the mallard ducks and other wildlife.
In New Orleans, spring signals the start of festival season, which means lots of live music and dancing in the street. One of the best places to enjoy your crawfish and jambalaya to go is Jackson Square Park, a historic landmark in the French Quarter. After grabbing a bite to eat on one of the benches, you can wander the grounds and admire the old-fashioned grandeur of its ornate fountains and buildings. For a waterfront picnic, pack up your Cajun specialties and head to Lakefront, which has sweeping vistas of Lake Ponchartrain, a hotspot for runners, bicyclists, and sailboat racing.
There are many beautiful and iconic parks throughout the city of angels, which also has a mild year-round temperature. When you combine those two factors plus your favorite snacks, you’ve got the perfect formula for an epic picnic with friends and family. A popular spot for afternoon people-watching and relaxing is Grand Park in downtown L.A. Within an urban oasis covering 12 acres, there is a bevy of picnic areas, including impressive landmarks such as the restored Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain, a community terrace, and a Grand Event Lawn. Another beautiful picnic spot is Echo Mile Park, home to the famous Lady of the Lake statue at the North end of the lake. With views of the lake and surrounding greenery, the recreation center features picnic tables, children’s play area, and other lighted sports fields.
Situated on the west coast of Florida, Tampa offers plenty of natural wonders along the coastline. For a seaside picnic, head to the expansive white sand beaches at Treasure Island, which has lots of places to lay down a picnic blanket. Further inland you’ll find more natural greenery at Lettuce Lake Park, a 240-acre green space with picnic areas, boardwalks, and hiking trails. After indulging in Ne-Mo’s treats and other tasty snacks, you can work off all the calories on a walk through the enchanting cypress forest. Another popular picnic spot is Riverfront Park, which has picnic areas as well as recreational activities like canoeing, volleyball, baseball, and a ropes course.
As Robin Williams once said, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, let’s party!” So grab your Ne-Mo’s treats and get ready to have some fun in the sun.