Favorite Picnic Spots for Memorial Day

Favorite Picnic Spots for Memorial DayPlanning a classic Memorial Day picnic in the park? Lots of green grass, barbecue pit, picnic tables, a place for the family and friends to gather and kids to run free? We have been researching some favorite picnic spots for Memorial Day that we are excited to share. So pack a basket, spread a blanket in the grass, or fire up the grill, and enjoy the long weekend.

Redwood Regional Park lies just a few miles over the ridge from downtown Oakland. The park features a variety of habitats ranging from redwood forest to open fields, and a wonderful creek to explore. There is a great network of hiking trails and diversity of wildlife.

Redwood has a picnic table area near the Roberts Pool entrance, and some of our favorites are a relatively flat walk in from the main gate off Redwood Road.

Tilden Regional Park has been called the jewel of the East Bay Regional Park system, and for good reason. It is filled with great hiking trails and amazing attractions that include the Botanic Garden, Merry-Go-Round, Steam Trains, swimming in Lake Anza, and the Little Farm. It’s a great place to take children. We recommend you reserve one of their many picnic areas as a home base. And from there you can go on adventures.

Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area was once a portion of the 17,754-acre Rancho San Pablo. There are lots of picnic tables, hiking trails, and a big meadow for games. And, there is the opportunity for kayak rental and boating on the San Pablo Dam.

Visitors to Anthony Chabot Regional Park can explore miles of beautiful hiking, riding, and bicycling trails through grasslands, chaparral, and shady eucalyptus groves, or along the shores of Lake Chabot. The East Bay Skyline National Trail, which traverses 31 miles of East Bay hills from Richmond to Castro Valley, runs the length of the park.

At the adjacent Lake Chabot Regional Park, there is fishing and plenty of picnic spots. However, it is closed to swimming due to toxic algae bloom.

The Lafayette Reservoir is just on the other side of the hills, off Mt. Diablo Boulevard in Lafayette. You can bring your rowboat, canoe, kayak or sailboat, or rent a rowboat or paddle boat by the hour or half day. There is also fishing and trails for hiking and biking. Thirty-five picnic sites and barbecue pits surround the reservoir.

Golden Gate Park, one of SF’s greatest treasures, is perfect for people watching this weekend. It’s filled with gardens, playgrounds, lakes, picnic groves, trails, and monuments, plus an array of cultural venues, events, and activities. Since it is almost too large to walk, bikes are a great alternative. The biggest decision is where to spread your blanket to enjoy the feast.

Angel Island State Park is for the more adventuresome, as it is only accessible by boat. The ferry leaves from Tiburon or San Francisco, and if you are one of the lucky ones with access to a sailboat, you can navigate your way across the Bay on your own. There is hiking, bike rental, the old U.S. Immigration Station, and guided tours. But mostly, amazing views 360 degrees around the Bay. Everyone should make this trip at least once.

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