There is nothing sweeter in summer than sharing a meal outdoors with family. Picnics are one of life’s simple luxuries. Whether you are traveling or at home, dining alfresco can transport your family to a simpler time and make any day a special occasion. Picnics are also portable, free, and one of the few meals where you can let kids run wild while you eat. Planning a family picnic this summer? This week HipTravelMama will inspire you with fun picnic destination ideas, yummy picnic fare and stylish picnic gear to make your picnics this summer hip and fun.
Here’s a round up of a few of our favorite West Coast picnic spots to inspire your next family picnic. Travel + Leisure has some great recommendations for America’s Best Picnic Spots for ideas closer to your backyard.
Blankets on the Beach
Whether by sea or lake, nothing beats throwing a blanket on the beach for a picnic while your kids splash in the water and dig in the sand. Here in Seattle we are surrounded by water and endless beaches. Some of our favorite places to picnic in Seattle are on the shores of the Puget Sound at Alki Beach in West Seattle and Golden Gardens in Ballard.
I was born and raised in Oregon and there is nothing more beautiful than the Oregon Coast on a sunny day. It does rain a lot on the Oregon coast, but chances are if you visit Cannon Beach or other coastal towns in the summer, you will have the setting for a perfect play day and picnic for your family. If warm California surf is more your style, then head south to the states numerous beaches including one of our favorites, Laguna Beach.
Dine out in Wine Country
One of my all time favorite places to picnic is at a winery. There is nothing better than a simple meal of wine, bread and cheese and the beautiful views of a vineyard. I recommend you pick your favorite wines in a region and then call the winery to see if it is picnic friendly. There are endless wineries for picnicking. Here are a just a few fun winery picnic spots on the West coast:
Washington Wine Country: Saint Laurent Winery has great views, gazebos and open areas perfect for picnicking with a glass of wine. If you visit on a Saturday you can also indulge in a relaxing game of bocce ball. The Tasting Room Yakima has acres of grassy areas to sample Harlequin Wine Cellars, Naches Heights Vineyard and Wilridge Winery wines.
Oregon Wine Country: Many wineries in the Willamete Valley offer beautiful vineyard views and grassy areas for picnicking. Farm to Fork in Dundee offers gourmet picnic lunches to go. One of our favorite wineries in the Willamete Valley is Archery Summit. Canas Feast in Carlton also has a beautiful setting for a picnic, with bocce ball, delicious food and Italian style wines.
Napa Valley Wine Country: With so many wineries to choose from, its hard to pick just one…so don’t! Napa Valley Vintners has a full list of picnic-friendly wineries in the Napa Valley and SFGate.com has a great round up of Best Wine Country Picnics for every palette.
Make Every Day a Picnic
If heading to the beach or winery is too much of a stretch, why not consider your local park or zoo? Some of our best family picnics are spur of the moment and involve exotic locations such as our neighborhood park or hiking trail. So grab a picnic blanket, basket and some peanut butter sandwiches and make lunch or dinner an outdoor event!
Where is your favorite place to picnic with your family in the summer? Share it with us in the comments!