It’s getting to be the perfect weather in DC. You know, that fine balance we get maybe a few glorious weeks a year where the thermometer is perfectly positioned between chilly and OVERWHELMINGLY-HUMID-TAKE-ME-TO-ALASKA-WHAT-IS-THIS-PLACE-WE-LIVE-IN hot.
So we must embrace this time, and one of my favorite ways is by putting together a picnic and heading outdoors with the people I love. Here are some of my top picks for picnic spots, along with good places to grab picnic supplies.
Picnic spot: Yards Park. If you haven’t been by now, embrace the season and head on over and soak up the southwest waterfront.
Grab your supplies: If it’s the weekend, try and grab something from one of the vendors at Eastern Market before heading out. If not, I’d recommend either Cornercopia or Spring Mill Bread Company for fresh sandwiches.
Picnic Spot: Founders Park in Old Town, Alexandria
Grab your supplies: Perfect for a brunch picnic, Society Fair offers up plenty of baked goods (try the croissant) housemade yogurt and coffee to go.
Picnic Spot: US National Arboretum
Grab your supplies: Union Market. Grab a sandwich and sides from Red Apron, pick up an adorable turkish towel from Salt and Sundry to use as your blanket, and a cupcake from Curbside Cupcake and you’re good to go.
Picnic Spot: Daingerfield Island (you kinda need bikes or a car for this one.)
Grab your supplies: Since you already need a mode of transportation to get to Daingerfield, the place I’m choosing for you to grab stuff is slightly removed from the actual spot, but it’s worth it. Brabo’s The Butchers Block has amazing charcuterie and a really good wine and beer selection. I’d recommend a sunset picnic while watching the planes and sailboats.
Picnic Spot: US Marine Corps Memorial/Iwo Jima Park
Grab your supplies: Amazing views like the ones this park has to offer up calls for burgers. Head into Ray’s Hellburger and grab some burgers and don’t forget napkins. You’ll need ’em.
Picnic Spot: Dupont Circle
Grab your supplies: Glen’s Garden Market has amazing to-go options (think Whole Foods gone super local). And while you’re at it, pick up two spoons and a pint of Moorenko’s ice cream and I’ll be green with envy at your awesome lunch.
Picnic Spot: Georgetown Waterfront
Grab your supplies: You have lots of choices in Georgetown. Paul, Dean and Deluca, Sweetgreen. The possibilities are practically endless.
Picnic Spot: Meridian Hill Park
Grab your supplies: Sit along the fountain while snacking on local cheeses, crackers and some Capital Kombucha from Smucker’s Farms, a local grocery store on 14th street.
And there are about a million more good picnic spots to choose from. I keep thinking of them! Congressional Cemetery, Rock Creek Park, Hains Point, not to mention the entire National Mall… so please share your favorite spot in the comments!
Gravelly Point is one of my favorites, but I enjoy low flying aircraft.
Who doesn’t, really?
Let’s not forget my favorite — Hains Point. Even though the iconic “Awakening” sculpture has been cruelly removed to a more commercial spot, the park still offers plenty of picnic sites and space to run. There’s even a miniature golf course and a D.C. public pool for those so inclined. And, you can watch planes landing and taking off from National without having to cover your ears.
What about along the C&O Canal? Any of the locks further up as well. Like Fletcher’s Cove.
Here’s another excellent list of in-town picnic spots: ‘D.C.’s Ten Secret or Underrated Parks and Gardens’ (June 18, 2013)