9 Great Picnic Spots in the DC Area

You Need to Picnic Like an Heiress . . .

Hillwood Property

Shortly after Marjorie Merriweather Submit, the cereal heiress, purchased her Northwest DC mansion, she determined that sometime the property could be open to the general public. And open it’s: Hillwood, with 25 acres of spectacular gardens and woodlands, not solely welcomes picnickers, however the customer heart will lend you a blanket and a picnic map. You’ll be able to usher in exterior meals (although not alcohol); beer, wine, and different drinks and meals are on the market on the Hillwood Café.

Insider tidbit: The urged admission payment additionally will get you into the mansion—gleaming with Fabergé eggs and hundreds of different treasures Submit collected—the place, beginning June 6, the exhibit “Ingenue to Icon” is displaying lots of her robes and different couture.

See more: Places to picnic in dc

4155 Linnean Ave., NW; 202-686-5807. Steered donation: $15; seniors, $12; school college students, $10; ages 6 via 18, $5; below age 6, free.

You Need to Drink Some Wine . . .

Chrysalis Vineyards

Pointing a digital camera in any path at Chrysalis Vineyards frames a view like a wine-country postcard. Lay out your picnic at one of many many tables that dot the rolling panorama, fringed by picket fences, grazing cattle, and inexperienced mountains within the distance. Extra tables can be found on a big patio, and grills are arrange for patrons’ use on a lined pavilion. Wine by the glass or bottle, contemporary baguettes, and various cheese and charcuterie can be found for buy. Observe that picnic areas are reserved for vineyard prospects, and no exterior alcohol is permitted. A household space is put aside for guests with kids.

Insider tidbit: Chrysalis has the world’s largest Norton vineyards, with greater than 40 acres of that varietal alone. Washingtonian meals and wine editor Todd Kliman writes concerning the vineyard and the historical past of Norton—Virginia’s native grape—in his e-book, The Wild Vine: A Forgotten Grape and the Untold Story of American Wine.

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23876 Champe Ford Rd., Middleburg; 540-687-8222. Open day by day; winetasting, $7 to $10.

You Need To Put on Out the Children . . .

Wheaton Regional Park

This Montgomery County park has all of the necessities for an exhaustingly full day with the household: a miniature prepare, a historic carousel, and an enormous, state-of-the-art playground topped by a rubbery hill—all in view of clusters of picnic tables with grills you should use. (You too can reserve picnic shelters for giant teams.) For an additional-special alfresco meal, stroll a couple of half mile via the wooded space to Pine Lake, the place you’ll be able to unpack your picnic on a bench subsequent to the quiet five-acre lake.

Insider tidbit: Remember to enter the total handle of the park on Google Maps, as a result of merely typing within the identify could go away you at a random intersection in Kensington quarter-hour away. And arrive early on weekends.

2000 Shorefield Rd., Wheaton; 301-905-3045.

You Desire a Romantic Spot . . .

Meridian Hill Park

Wedged between the chaos of Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights, Meridian Hill Park might simply be ignored when driving alongside sixteenth Road. However the park presents a wide range of good picnic spots. The higher stage of the park is a protracted rectangular garden with benches, statues, and bushes across the perimeter. Staircases lead down from there alongside a spectacular, cascading fountain—the most important in North America. Benches on the backside overlook the fountain and a reflecting pool, an excellent location for a romantic picnic set to the great sound of that waterfall. Don’t miss the Joan of Arc statue on the terrace.

Insider tidbit: In a rush? You should buy picnic provides at Sure! Natural Market, Harris Teeter, or Dealer Joe’s, all inside a number of blocks of the park.

Between fifteenth and sixteenth sts. and W and Euclid sts., NW. For info, go to bnok.vn/mehi.

You Need to Spot Birds . . .

Piscataway Park

This Maryland park presents greater than only a shady picnic space overlooking the Potomac River throughout from George Washington’s Mount Vernon. A brief distance from the customarily empty picnic tables is a fishing pier extending into the river. The park has a simple three-mile loop path to stroll, two small boat launches, and a historic farm with calves and sheep for youths to see—plus it’s one of many premier spots within the area for bird-watching. There are additionally open areas to unfold out a blanket and bask within the sunshine.

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Insider tidbit: Should you plan to be there close to nightfall, carry bug repellent. The stunning marsh that pulls birds additionally attracts mosquitoes.

For extra info, go to bnok.vn and seek for Piscataway Park.

You Need One thing Straightforward . . .

Nationwide Arboretum

On the lush arboretum, plentiful tables adjoining to a parking space make for a simple, impromptu picnic. Positioned on the Nationwide Grove of State Bushes, the picnic space, paradoxically, presents extra sunshine than shade. Whereas this grove is the one a part of the arboretum the place you’ll be able to picnic, the 412-acre protect additionally options beautiful floral gardens, wooded trails for strolling and biking, a group of bonsai bushes, and the Nationwide Capitol Columns—22 Corinthian columns that after shaped a part of the US Capitol.

Insider tidbit: Take the 35-minute public tram tour (adults, $4; ages 4 via 16, $2), supplied on weekends, for a fast roundup of all of the arboretum’s reveals.

3501 New York Ave., NE; 202-245-2726.

You Need to Bike There . . .

Woman Chook Johnson Park

You’ll be able to journey your bike to this pretty spot alongside the Virginia facet of the Potomac River. Woman Chook Johnson Park—which presents decorative bushes and expanses of tulips and daffodils in spring—is definitely an island on the river, and a part of the District. The Mount Vernon Path cuts via the park. Lay a blanket on the shallow, grassy slopes and benefit from the view of Memorial Bridge and Washington’s monuments. You too can attain the park by parking on the Columbia Island Marina.

Insider tidbit: Get there early (and keep late to keep away from visitors) for a improbable view of the Fourth of July fireworks.

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For extra info, go to bnok.vn/gwmp; click on on “plan your go to,” “locations to go,” then “Woman Chook Johnson Park.”

You Need To See Some Wildlife . . .

Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens

Most guests come to Kenilworth to expertise the beautiful crops and animals that thrive in these marshes on the Anacostia River. However along with watching the birds (geese and geese and egrets and herons aplenty), photographing the water lilies and lotuses, and strolling the boardwalk that zigzags the ponds, you’ll be able to carry a picnic to the well-shaded financial institution of tables in a grassy discipline simply previous the customer heart—a peaceable spot on the fringe of the ponds. Don’t be shocked if some monarch butterflies, turtles, or dragonflies cease by to watch your meal.

Insider tidbit: Be looking out for poison ivy amid the luxurious vegetation.

1550 Anacostia Ave., NE; 202-692-6080.

You’re a Sucker for Flowers . . .

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

With rolling hills, serene ponds, and shaded pathways, Meadowlark Gardens is extra of a nature protect than a botanical backyard. It could be great to sit down on a grassy hill and open a picnic basket. Sadly, carry-in picnics aren’t allowed within the gardens. A delegated picnic space with tables, surrounded by bushes and subsequent to an expansive garden, sits simply exterior the doorway. So you’ll be able to take a stroll after which get pleasure from your out of doors fare.

Insider tidbit: Drinks and snacks purchased on the reward store could also be consumed throughout the gardens. If all you want is chips or a sweet bar, you’ll be able to have a mini-picnic on one of many benches overlooking the contemplative surroundings.

9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct., Vienna; 703-255-3631. Adults, $5; seniors and kids ages 7 via 17, $2.50.

This text seems in our June 2015 concern of Washingtonian.

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