Spring is upon us and, while most of us will celebrate Earth Day on April 22, don’t forget a wonderful little holiday that follows. Yes, National Picnic Day is April 23 and it’s the perfect day to pack a lunch — or take-out — find a perfect spot and enjoy nature.
Here are some of our favorite places to picnic.
- We’ve all heard of progressive dinners, how about progressive picnicking? In Allegany County, Md., there are 60,000 acres of natural beauty, which is just perfect for a two-hour, self-guided scenic driving tour through the Green Ridge State Forest. Start at Headquarters Overlook with some Basecamp Coffee and a fresh Man and M Bake Shop donut, then after a while, how about some Western Maryland Lemonade at Zumbrun Overlook? Stop for a pepperoni roll at Caporale’s Bakery, then a packed lunch from Queen City Creamery at Banner’s Overlook. End the day at Point Overlook with some McFarland Candies’ chocolate.
- Just 55 miles from New Orleans in Bayou Country is Terrebonne Parish. Influenced by its Cajun roots, this unique destination is defined by its people, culture and community. Check out the works of local artist Kenny Hill while picking at the Chauvin Sculpture Garden at Nicholls State University Art Studio. Part of the quintessential Louisiana experience is – of course – the food, and pick up such staple picnic items as shrimp po-boys and muffuletta from Mr. Po-boy’s in Houma.
- From welcoming downtowns to beautiful landscapes and incredible food, Southern hospitality abounds in Spartanburg, S.C.A perfect picnic spot here is The Rail Yard on the Mary Black Rail Trail. Make your picnic southern-style by ordering to-go from The Flock Shop, a funky hot chicken spot that backs right onto the Rail Yard. If you’re looking for more traditional picnic items, stop by the Wall Street Gourmet Exchange for meats, cheeses, breads and other specialty gourmet items from local and global producers.
- The twin cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are home to 32 miles of sugar-white sand beaches and turquoise water. While the number of beach picnic venues is countless, a fan favorite “surf” option is Alabama Point that sits on the Gulf at Perdido Pass in Orange Beach. Picnickers here can hop on a bike and follow the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail to The Overlook at Gulf Oak Ridge, the highest point in this popular state park The Pantry at The Wharf in Orange Beach is the perfect grab-and-go specialty grocery store to pick up items for your surf-or-turf picnic experience.