With spring in full bloom, it’s time to bid adieu to eating indoors in favor of a good old-fashioned picnic. If you’re looking for one of the best picnic spots in the East Bay area, consider this your go-to guide
Located next to Downtown Oakland, Lake Merritt is the perfect place to nosh on sandwiches and chips while enjoying panoramic views of the 3.4-mile Lake Merritt shoreline. If you’re visiting on the weekend, stop by the Grand Lake Farmers Market on Saturday morning to pick up some fresh produce to snack on. And be sure to keep an eye on the local calendar: local bands sometimes perform live music on the shoreline.
Tilden Regional Park
Known as the Jewel of the East Bay Park District, this 2,079-acre park in the Berkeley Hills is perfect for families with young children: there’s a carousel, a botanic garden, a steam train, and even a Little Farm. After enjoying the sites, lay down your picnic blanket and dine with the whole family.
Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park
Dine among the giants (the giant redwood trees, that is) at Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park just outside of Oakland. Spread across more than 1,800 acres, this massive redwood forest has creeks, walking trails, and even rare species like the golden eagle. If you’re picnicking with the whole family, reserve one of the park’s picnic sites to accommodate everyone. Otherwise, you can simply dine among the trees before embarking on a hike.
Lake Chabot Regional Park
Situated just north of Castro Valley, Lake Chabot Regional Park is a 315-acre establishment with first-come, first-served picnic tables and barbecue spots. (There are also picnic spots that can be reserved for big groups near Lake Chabot Marina). While no swimming is allowed in the lake, you can opt to go fishing, boating, and camping on the grounds.
Briones Regional Park
If rolling, grassy hills and sweeping views of the vast countryside sounds like your cup of tea, plan a picnic at Briones Regional Park. Located in the Briones Hills of central Contra Costa County, this 6,117-acre regional park is outfitted with three picnic areas with tables and barbecue stands. After enjoying a meal with your squad, play a game of kickball, or go on a hike.
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