One worthwhile activity that can be woven into almost any travel itinerary is picnicking. But not all al fresco dining locations are created equal. To help you decide where to set up your blanket and basket we consulted savvy travel bloggers, who shared their favorite picnic spots from around the globe.
Laura and Lance from Travel Addicts: Our favorite picnic spot in the world has been the Saturnia hot springs in Tuscany. For millennia, travelers have been visiting these warm pools in the Italian countryside. Along the banks of the creek, visitors can sit under a cypress tree and enjoy their picnics. We recommend wine, bread, cheese and cured wild boar (a local specialty). After lunch, dip into the warm waters, wash the crumbs away and imagine what it was like when the Romans came to this spot.
Ashley Fleckenstein: As eating at restaurants can be expensive in Paris, picnicking is a great way to save money. Plus, the locals do it all the time, too! All you do is pick up cheese, charcuterie, fruit, a baguette and wine, and then head to a park or the Seine. In the summertime young people crowd the banks of the Seine at night, so it’s a fun spot for a sunset picnic. Or you can head to one of Paris’ beautiful parks — my favorites are Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Jardin du Luxembourg, Place des Vosges and Parc Monceau.
Dave and Deb of ThePlanetD agree: Our favorite spot to picnic anywhere in the world has always been Paris. That city was made for eating outside. Pop into a supermarket and pick up a bottle of wine with some fresh bread and cheese and find a spot really anywhere in the city. People will eat on church steps, along the canal, on the River Seine or on a park bench anywhere. Our personal favorite is in the Jardin du Luxembourg. This picturesque garden is filled with trees, statues, hedges, and fountains offering plenty of space to enjoy a quiet lunch outdoors.
Becky Pokora of The Girl and Globe: My favorite picnic spot is a recent find in Mount Rainier National Park. As you’re approaching Sunrise Visitor Center, which is seasonally accessible, there’s a small picnic area tucked off to the left. Since most day visitors head to the larger picnic area in the other direction, it can be quiet here and the view is awe-inspiring on a blue sky day. Rainier looms in the background with a snow-capped peak, framed by the many pine trees on other mountains. Beyond the beauty, it’s also a great picnic spot since anyone can get there. Seattle’s about two hours away, the perfect distance for a road trip, and there isn’t a long walk from the parking lot to the picnic area, so anyone can bring along coolers or run back to the bathroom if needed! It combines nicely with day hikes in the Sunrise section of the national park.
Tara Cannon of Pint Size Pilot: There are plenty of beautiful picnic spots in Vancouver, Canada, but one of the top locations is Jericho Beach Park. With miles of sandy beaches and nature trails to explore, it is the perfect place to spend a day with friends or family. Arrive early to score a prime picnic table with stunning views of English Bay and the North Shore Mountains. Stay long enough to enjoy an ice cream cone and watch the sun set from the nearby Jericho Sailing Centre.
Alyssa Ramos of My Life’s A Movie: Lake Powell has tons of areas for a great picnic, from grassy meadows to sandy beaches, to campsites with their very own tables. For a quaint grassy area to picnic, head to Lake Powell Resort and Marinas; you don’t have to actually stay at the resort, but you can still enjoy their lake-side picnic areas. There’s also a campground there with picnic tables, as well as down the road at Lone Rock Campground.
Anthony Bianco of The Travel Tart: Mission Beach in Far North Queensland in Australia is one of my favorite beaches in the country, and is a great place to have a picnic. That’s because the place is so laid-back and isn’t overrun with tourists, the water is calm and safe for kids, and the weather is pretty good for most of the year. There’s nothing like spending an afternoon lazing around on this beach with views across the water to Dunk Island, drinking an ice-cold beer and grazing on some munchies!
Anna Kate of The Legendary Adventures of Anna: O’ahu, Hawaii is one of my favorite places to enjoy a picnic. Pack some tasty Hawaiian poké (a seasoned raw fish salad) and hike a crater for a scenic view of Hawaii’s stunning rugged cliffs, go to many of O’ahu’s beautiful waterfalls surrounded by lush green tropical foliage or take it to the beach for a sunset picnic by enchanting turquoise waters.
Laurie Norton of tacogirl.com: Secret Beach, located on Ambergris Caye in Belize. Imagine yourself on a deserted stretch of beach with a cooler full of tasty treats, exploring Maya territory and a secret underwater cave. This little known about cave is full of colorful tropical fish and guarded by large barracuda. In addition to the cave and marine life, you will experience natural streams of bubbles and feel temperature changes in the water as you wade far out in the shallow clear crystal waters of the Caribbean Sea. Pure picnic paradise.
Nicole Melancon of Thirdeyemom: Imagine hiking for seven days through the French Alps in Vanoise National Park. For me, every single day was a magical opportunity for a picnic of French cheese, meats and of course Vin de Savoie, the regional wine. I indulged in creamy brie on crunchy baguettes, pinching myself to make sure I was truly in such a spectacular place.
Tim Leffel of Cheapest Destinations Blog: My favorite picnic spot was between Cuncani and Huacahuasi on a Lares Trek in the Andes Mountains of Peru. We sat on rocks and ate lunch after hiking uphill for a couple hours, stopping at Cruzccasa Pass. This was at 13,780 feet, so it was windy but magical to watch the clouds dance across the lake as the sun darted in and out and changed the color of the water and the grass. We ate in peace, the only sounds besides nature being the bells on a few llamas that stared at us and then moved on. I felt completely at peace there.