There’s nothing like pitching a blanket and plopping down for a picnic on a beautiful day. It’s nice to relax in nature with some fabulous food, cold beverages and open areas for the kids to play. But preparing said picnic ain’t always a walk in the park. After a week of making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and stuffing cheese sticks and apples into lunch boxes, sometimes you just need a break. Don’t fret. We pre-packaged five scenic intown picnic spots with nearby provision providers that will happily supply you with all the ingredients you need to enjoy your day.

picnicbasket

Park: Candler Park
This sprawling intown park has a great playground, a picnic pavilion, a few tables and plenty of rolling hills on which to pitch a blanket. There’s also tennis courts, a golf course and a trail that connects to Freedom Parkway if you want to ride bikes and explore.

Candler Park

Provisions: Candler Park Market Deli and Kitchen
Located just a few blocks from the park, is a handy little corner store that boasts a gourmet deli. You can grab a hot panini or a “Candler Club” stacked high with turkey, ham, bacon, pimento cheese, lettuce, tomato and red onion. There are also burgers, salads, daily specials and sweet treats for the tots. Don’t forget the wine!

1642 McClendon Avenue, Atlanta, Ga 30307

candlerparkdeli

Park: Piedmont Park
There’s plenty of space to spread out at this “granddaddy” of public parks. Grab a table in one of the park’s covered picnic pavilions or spread a blanket out near the lake or by the Mayor’s Grove Playground. There’s also a dog park if your four-legged friend comes along – and, in the summer, a pool and splash pad for the kids.

PiedmontPark

Provisions:  MetroFresh or Trader Joe’s
Located walking distance from the southeastern edge of the park is MetroFresh. It’s in the same shopping center as Trader Joe’s which is wonderfully convenient. Pop into either for all the ingredients you will need to make your picnic a success. At MetroFresh you’ll find fresh-made gourmet sandwiches, soups and salads. Offerings change daily. Trader Joe’s is best for snacks (try the Herbed Popcorn), dips, cheeses, cured meats, sweets and other goodies. There are plenty adult and kid beverages to choose from, too!

Midtown Promenade, 931 Monroe Drive, Atlanta, Ga 30308

Metrofresh

Park: Grant Park
The oldest public park in Atlanta, beautiful Grant Park offers plenty of picnic tables and shady spots to pitch a blanket. There are also a few covered pavilions, a pond, tennis courts, playground and pool to keep everyone entertained. If that’s not enough, there’s Zoo Atlanta and the Cyclorama right next door.

Grant_Park_field

Provisions: Grant Park Coffeehouse
There’s way more than coffee at this locally owned café. Located directly across from the park and Zoo Atlanta, you can simply walk across the street to your picnic destination. Grab a shot of caffeine (if you need it) and a fresh made chicken salad sandwich or a tomato avocado wrap. And don’t forget dessert! All of the baked goods here are made in house by the owner who also happens to be a pastry chef.

753-A Cherokee Avenue SE, Atlanta, Ga 30315

Grant Park Coffeehouse

Park: Lullwater Park, Emory University Campus
This hidden gem of a park is located on Emory’s campus surrounding the Lullwater House, home of the university’s president. With meandering creeks, waterfalls, rich hardwood forests, nature trails, and a scenic pond, it’s easy to feel like you are in the wilderness – not on an urban college campus. It’s open to the public and especially quiet during university breaks.

lullwater-emory

Provisions: Community Q BBQ
What is a picnic without barbecue? No need to set the woods on fire — just let Community Q smoke some meat for you. You can even call ahead and order a family pack to-go which includes 1 ½ pounds of meat, two sides and buns. For the non-meat eaters, there are several vegetarian sides like slaw and insanely rich and delicious macaroni and cheese.  Everything is fresh and flavorful.

1361 Clairmont Road, Decatur, Ga 30033

communityq

Where do you like to go for a family picnic? Tell us below!

–Rachel Quartarone

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Photos courtesy of Community Q, Grant Park Coffeehouse, Candler Park Deli and MetroFresh via Facebook, Creative Commons via Flickr and Emory University