Top 7 places to picnic along the East Coast

Aug 12, 2013 at 9:49 a.m. ET

Summer and autumn are good for two things: exploring and eating. By now, the back-to-school madness is here, but that doesn’t mean you can’t escape for some much-needed rest and relaxation, complete with a favorite dish and an epic destination as the backdrop. Whether you like the park, beach or woods, we’re bringing you to some of our favorite picnic spots along the East Coast for your next outing.


Chilmark: Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Chilmark: Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Photo credit: normanack via Flickr

Why we love it: Not only is this area the cream of the crop in terms of East Coast destinations, Martha’s Vineyard is known for its luxuriously quaint culture. Soak up the sun and enjoy the view at a number of beaches and parks around the island.

What to do: In the Chilmark area, feel free to roam along the public beaches or get lost in a book, overlooking the southern bay.


Spectacle Island: Boston, Massachusetts

Spectacle Island: Boston, Massachusetts
Photo credit: alice719 via Flickr

Why we love it: Accessible only by ferry (or your own boat), Spectacle Island is a little-known gem with few tourists, leaving only spectacular panoramas and endless park space.

What to do: Bring a Frisbee or other outdoor games to take advantage of the open spaces or try beach yoga, offered by the Boston Harbor Island Alliance.


High Line Park: New York, New York

High Line Park: New York City, New York
Photo credit: David Berkowitz via Flickr

Why we love it: With great views of the Big Apple and bridging a modern aesthetic with natural accents, High Line Park is a novel concept, an industrial area turned chic picnic spot.

What to do: Sip and savor during your walk through High Line Park. Vendors offer gourmet snacks throughout the park, and don't forget to stop by some of the park's water features and gardens.


Francis Scott Key Park: Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Francis Scott Key Park: Georgetown, Washington DC
Photo credit: Elvert Barnes via Flickr

Why we love it: Set in the Georgetown Historic District, Francis Scott Key Park was once the dwelling place of the man who wrote our national anthem. Today, it stands as a stunning memorial with gorgeous landscaping and sweeping views of D.C.

What to do: Visit the Old Stone House nearby, one of the oldest known structures remaining in the nation's capital.


Kill Devil Hills: Outer Banks, North Carolina

Kill Devil Hills: Outer Banks, North Carolina
Photo credit: via Flickr

Why we love it: Often regarded as the Southern California of the East, the Outer Banks is loaded with beaches. We love Kill Devil Hills for its location and family-friendly attractions.

What to do: With sand, sunshine and lots of waves, Kill Devil Hills is an open playground for both kids and adults. If you want to try your hand at fishing, take advantage of Outer Banks Kayak Fishing.


Forsyth Park: Savannah, Georgia

Forsyth Park: Savannah, Georgia
Photo credit: Jeff Gunn via Flickr

Why we love it: Spanish moss and Southern charm — what more could you ask for in a park? The 30-acre Forsyth Park features picture-perfect scenery and a huge fountain, attracting many visitors to Savannah.

What to do: Designed to fuel inspiration, artists of all mediums find this park the ideal place to express themselves creatively. The park also houses recreational space and playgrounds for children.


South Pointe Park: Miami, Florida

South Pointe Park: Miami, Florida
Photo credit: jared422_80 via Flickr

Why we love it: With mild year-round weather and endless stretches of white sand, it’s only appropriate to give a nod to Miami’s plethora of picnic-perfect parks. South Pointe Park offers a little something for the whole family.

What to do: Make a beach day of your picnic time or a romantic night setting, thanks to the park’s lighting features.

More picnic ideas

Top 10 best places to picnic along the west coast
How to plan a romantic summer picnic
How to plan the perfect family picnic