Food and Drink

Finding the Best Picnic Areas

Before you pack your picnic basket or backpack there are some fundamental things you may wish to consider before you leave on your picnic party. The question was recently asked, “How does one find a good place to have a picnic?” As the discussion progressed it became more and more apparent that I should write an article and share my own insights on what I have learned and, hopefully, it will minimize any confusion or uncertainty you may have in finding the right place to have a picnic. Make sure you choose a company where is their specialty is picnic catering so that there are no compromises.

Before I get into this I will point out that I do not have enough room to go into any environmental, plant or wildlife concerns that may be inherent in your particular area of inquiry. That will be the subject of a future article. If you have any questions about this please check with the local experts in your area, which you may be able to find in the search resources below.

The first thing I did was to break down my search as to whether our picnic party was going to be local to our area or, if we were looking for the perfect area to dine and relax while we were traveling away from home. In some cases it will be the same so let me point out the differences as I go forward. I personally give great value to the recommendations of my friends and family when I am doing research, and, in this case it was no different. I also use my favorite search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. I go to their search window and type in “picnic areas, (town or county), (state),” press enter and then explore the results. The results window will show the first ten results of my search which are links to websites with information pertinent to my search. Then I just go down the list and click on the links that I am interested in.

Included in the search results are city, county and state websites which often have some useful information. If I am not satisfied I will next, call the local Chamber of Commerce or Visitor Center and ask for their recommendations. They usually have more than enough information as to the best places to go. There are also a number of books which can be purchased at the local bookstore, sporting goods store or many of the places that cater to outdoor activities.

A good book or website on the hiking and biking trails in your area will reveal a variety of places that can be reached by a short hike or bike ride to a more secluded or picturesque area suitable for your picnic outing. There is much more available today for the backpacking picnic crowd than there was ten years ago. One can supply themselves with one of the backpacking cooler totes, which include separate food and beverage compartments, and broaden your choices of where to go for your picnic. Both this and the standard, uninsulated versions have been well received by hiking and biking enthusiasts and should be considered if you are planning more that a short walk from your car.

If you are on a trip out of your local area you may use many of the above methods to find the ideal location for your picnic party. If you do not have Internet access you may wish to talk to the same people listed above or use your GPS, which is good for finding parks and recreation areas. If you happen to be staying at a hotel you can often get information from the front desk or the concierge, if they have one.

Once you have narrowed down your choices of picnic locations, you will have to determine your own needs and wishes in order to finalize your selection. Here are some examples of questions you may ask yourself:

1. Is your picnic going to be a family affair with BBQ grilling, or is it a romantic excursion for two, with a nice, picnic wine basket?
2. Will you be biking or hiking to your final destination, or will you be parking close by your picnic area?
3. What will be your planned activities after you arrive?
4. Will you need to bring in your own BBQ grill or insulated tailgating cooler with charcoal or gas grill?
5. How about picnic tables? Will you need to bring in your own folding table with seats, an umbrella, fold-up outdoor furniture and blankets, or is this sufficiently provided at the site?

Figuring this all out is relatively easy to do and is best done before you leave home in order to minimize any unwanted surprises at your destination. This will be much more conducive to your being able to relax and enjoy yourself once you get to where you are going to have your party picnic.

Dave Lindstrom is devoted to providing quality picnic supplies that are perfect for you, your friends and loved ones. He is the owner of PartyPicnic.Com, an online picnic supply that sells over four hundred picnic supply products that make great gifts. Please check out his website at PartyPicnic.Com and, while you are there, check out his Blog and monthly deals, and sign up for his Newsletter.

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