Best Picnic Spots in Virginia

A picnic blanket spread under a large oak tree, with a wicker basket, sandwiches, fruit, and a thermos. Wildflowers dot the grassy meadow
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Virginia offers a rich tapestry of landscapes for outdoor enthusiasts and families seeking the perfect spot for a picnic. From the historic Humpback Covered Bridge in Covington to the tranquil shores of Yorktown Beach, the state caters to a diverse array of preferences, whether you desire a backdrop steeped in history or the calming whisper of nature.

Shenandoah National Park

In Shenandoah National Park, your picnic experience is accompanied by spectacular valley views and the serenity of nature. Accessible from Skyline Drive, you can immerse yourself in the park’s panoramas and wildlife. Choose a spot with all the essentials like tables and restrooms for a hassle-free outing.

Embrace the park’s natural beauty on one of the many hiking trails. Paths like the tranquil Shenandoah River or scenic routes along the ridge offer you a blend of leisure and adventure. Hike, picnic, and then relax amid Virginia’s treasured landscapes.

Great Falls Park

Great Falls Park offers a stunning natural retreat along the Potomac River, just a short drive from the nation’s capital. Here, you can witness the majestic falls from various overlooks, ensure a delightful picnic experience with available picnic shelters, or embark on one of the many trails that meander through this scenic area.

If boating is your interest, Gravelly Point is a great spot to observe planes flying overhead from the nearby airport. Remember, while the park is conducive to many activities, your safety by the powerful and sometimes unpredictable Potomac is paramount. Enjoy the picturesque views and the calming chorus of water at Great Falls Park.

Virginia Beach Boardwalk

As you stroll along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, the combination of soft sand and the rhythmic sounds of the waves creates an inviting ambiance for a family picnic. Conveniently lined with benches and spacious enough for spreading out a picnic blanket, you have your pick of settings for a seaside meal.

In the afternoon, you can enjoy activities like volleyball or swimming in the nearby ocean. As the day wanes, the boardwalk presents the perfect vantage point for a breathtaking sunset over the Chesapeake Bay, leaving you with lasting memories of a day well-spent.

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

When you visit Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, you’re stepping into a haven for a diverse array of stunning wildlife. Meander along the many scenic hiking trails, where you have a chance to spot wild ponies and migratory birds amidst the backdrop of coastal dunes and marshlands.

Though camping is not allowed within the refuge, you’ll find ample shade under the maritime forests for a restful picnic. Bask in the serene blend of nature’s splendors, from the gentle rustling of the pine trees to the tranquil views of the wetlands. Your picnic at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge will be a delightfully peaceful encounter with Virginia’s natural beauty.

First Landing State Park

When you visit First Landing State Park, you’re stepping into a landscape brimming with history and natural beauty. Tread along 20 miles of trails, where each path promises a new discovery, from the sight of a majestic sunrise to the quiet lull of the Chesapeake Bay.

Your outdoor escape isn’t complete without a stop at the picnic area, perfectly placed for you to enjoy a meal amid Virginia’s diverse flora and fauna. Should adventure call, launch a kayak and embrace the serenity of the gentle waters.

James River Park System

Located in Richmond, the James River Park System offers a diverse array of recreational activities along the scenic James River. Your experience can range from peaceful picnics to adventurous outdoor excursions. Trails and biking routes are abundant, offering both leisurely rides and challenging terrains for the more experienced.

When you’re looking to relax, spread out your blanket at one of the numerous picnic spots nestled along the riverside. For the fishing enthusiasts, the James River provides ample opportunities with its rich aquatic life. Access these activities easily within the urban landscape of Richmond, and enjoy the unique blend of city convenience and natural beauty.

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway offers breathtaking scenery with numerous overlooks and picnic areas for you to enjoy. Hiking trails of varying difficulties beckon along the route, inviting you to explore the lush woodlands and capture panoramic views.

One particularly romantic spot is Ravens Roost Overlook, where you can watch a stunning sunset with your loved one. Picnic tables are available at many overlooks, giving you a restful place to dine amidst nature’s splendor.

Mount Vernon

Nestled along the Potomac River, Mount Vernon, the storied estate of George Washington, offers both rich history and scenic views. Your exploration of American heritage is complemented by ample outdoor spaces ideal for picnics. The lush greenery and tranquil river provide a perfect backdrop for dining al fresco.

Just a short drive from Alexandria and the George Washington Memorial Parkway, this historic area not only captivates with its past but also with its picturesque landscape. Prepare for a serene escape where you can indulge in a leisurely lunch while immersed in the very setting that once inspired a nation’s founding father.

Natural Bridge State Park

Natural Bridge State Park offers a picturesque landscape that you’ll find both tranquil and breathtaking. The centerpiece is the Natural Bridge, a 215-foot tall limestone arch, carved out by Cedar Creek and steeped in historical significance, once belonging to Thomas Jefferson.

Amidst Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, your visit includes stunning nature and diverse hiking trails. Commence your adventure at the Visitor Center, before embarking on scenic paths that highlight the park’s karst terrain and surrounding mountain vistas.

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