Top Picnic Destinations in America

Perfect places to celebrate the arrival of spring with an outdoor meal

The dictionary defines a picnic as "an excursion or outing with food usually provided by members of the group and eaten in the open." But according to me, a self-proclaimed picnic fanatic, the dictionary definition should read "the act of food and beverage consumption performed outdoors for a period of time that exceeds at least one hour, and may include activities such as board games, people watching, or napping. See heaven."

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The sun is out and flowers have just begun to bloom, but absolutely nothing screams spring like a picnic. Homemade sandwiches, wine and cheese, pita and hummus — everything tastes better outside on a blanket with good company. Even the most humble fare seems magically transformed into ambrosia when eaten under a cloudless sky on a warm day.

To help celebrate the arrival of warmer temperatures, we’ve scoured the nation to find the best locales for a little nosh alfresco. From family-friendly parks to romantic spots for two, we have you covered. Think picnics are boring? Think again. The art of the picnic has evolved to include everything from film screenings to DJs spinning to spots where you can watch planes take off. Welcome to Picnic 2.0.

We’ve even suggested a few tasty eats for certain locations, so there is no excuse not to dust off the old wicker basket, grab the classic red-and-white checkered blanket, and head outdoors this weekend. With all of the fresh, exciting ways to enjoy this centuries-old activity, what are you waiting for?

Pack up the essentials — shades, corkscrew, sunscreen — and check out our list of the top picnic destinations in America. Round up a few friends and see how many destinations you can cross off your travel to-do list this spring.