Best Places in Northern California to Beat the Heat and Celebrate National Picnic Month

Who doesn’t love a summertime picnic? Whether it’s at a park, the beach, or a winery, dining alfresco is good for the soul. It’s so simple really...a bottle of wine, a loaf of bread, some cheese, and fresh fruit makes for an instant meal under the sky. Derived from the French word piquenique, summer picnic adventures touch on that ideal space between food and culture, and says “hey free-spirit who refuses to be tamed by traditional ways of eating indoors...wander, explore, indulge.” Since we’re all about being untamed, and we work and play in one of the most beautiful places in the world, let’s celebrate National Picnic Month by satisfying that wanderlust in all of us. Here are five of the best places to picnic in Northern California this summer. 

1. Sharp Park Beach

We’re obsessed with picnics on any Northern California beach, but we especially love this one. Located in the scenic town of Pacifica, Sharp Park Beach has picnic facilities, pier with cafe, a walking promenade, parking and nature trails for post picnic hikes. Try some of these tasty “just for the beach” picnic menu ideas and enjoy!

2. Yountville or Anywhere Else in The Napa Valley Really

Nestled in the heart of Napa Valley and surrounded by miles of vineyards, Yountville and several other areas are home to some of the most enjoyable and peaceful picnic spots in Northern California. It’s easy to say yes to a gourmet lunch and an amazing glass (or bottle!) of wine. 

3. Picnic Rock, North Lake Tahoe

Well it’s named Picnic Rock so it must be a good right? Hike about a mile and a half on the breathtaking Tahoe Rim Trail near Kings Beach and you’ll find the ultimate spot with a view for dining al fresco. Settle down on the vista and enjoy stunning views of the lake and the sunset. 

4. Golden Gate Park

Icon and authentic San Francisco, spend the day relaxing on a blanket on the park lawn. If you live close, ride your bike there to save on parking. And be sure to rent a boat and paddle to the top of the island in Stow Lake and enjoy your picnic there. 

5. Palace of Fine Arts

Another favorite place to picnic (and it’s right in our backyard) is the Palace of Fine Arts. Located in San Francisco’s Marina district, the Palace of Fine Arts was built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. One of the most relaxing places for picnics in San Francisco, it features lush greenery and beautiful water feature, and is also a favorite spot for weddings.