We love picnicking. Be honest, you do too. There’s just something about packing a basket and blanket, munching on some delicious food, and sitting outside in the sunshine that’s makes picknicking the perfect way to spend the day.
But if you’re going to do it, you have a responsibility to do picnicking right. Fortunately, urban backdrops, open space, and grab-and-go healthy eats make the Pittsburgh picnic-scene pop. So, when you’re overdue for an outdoorsy, adventurous snack (you are), hit up these prime picnic spots.
OTB’s lakeside patio.There’s a few different kind of picnics you can have. There are those blanket, basket, hope-you-don’t-sit-on-a-root picnics.There are those dreaded, extended family picnic shelter blowouts (complete with lawn games). And then there are those picnics that just turn into eating on a patio somewhere. North Park is your opportunity for all of them. Lay a blanket around beautiful North Park Lake, rent a shelter for a reunion pig roast, or leave the basket at home for a paleo snack in an Adirondack chair on
The Porch at Schenley, where you can score an outdoor healthy meal on the plaza (made with locally-sourced ingredients!).There’s just too much to like about a picnic in Schenley Plaza. Looking for the perfect spot to nom? Settle onto the impossibly soft lawn, gather ’round the semi-circular benches, or park it on the edge of the fountain. It’s the perfect amount of green space in the heart of Oakland. And if you forgot your picnic supplies at home, make for
Frick Park Market in Point Breeze (thanks for the tip, Mac Miller) for a fresh sammich or snacks to take into the park. And if your picnic happens to include some kibble for your best furry friend, take them to the ever-popular off-leash dog exercise area in the center of the park.Wherever can you picnic amongst 644 acres of summer green space, endless fall foliage, trails for days, and playgrounds galore? We think you’ll be able to find a spot…somewhere at Frick Park. Planning this picnic on the fly? Swing by
If you’re looking to show off to your friends, snap a picture of your picnic from the West End Overlook (aka Elliot Overlook Park). Here, you’ll get such a sweet view of the Pittsburgh skyline that you’ll openly weep while eating your peanut butter sandwich. Fitt tip: Get there mid-morning on a sunny day to claim your spot under the shade of the perfect tree right next to the railing.
When ‘picnic’ means trading items with your co-workers from brown bag lunches, flee your office for a Point State Park picnic. At the tip of the Golden Triangle, whether you’re taking a long lunch or looking for that iconic Pittsburgh hangout to grub, you can take advantage of the enormous lawn, a bench along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, or time dipping your toes in the fountain. It’s gonna be one great Pittsburgh picnic.
If you’re planning a picnic for like, months and months from now, there’s no better spot than the Chapel Shelter in Riverpark Park. It’s the most-requested Pittsburgh shelter rental for a reason. Inside this Perry North neighborhood park, the Chapel Shelter is a historic, recently refurbished, and absolute drop-dead gorgeous picnic spots in the Burgh. With a wrap-around porch, functional kitchen, and surrounding green space, this is the upscale picnic you’ve dreamed about.
A state park is an easy pick for an outdoorsy, nature-loving picnicker. But playing favorites, we happily skip with our baskets all the way to Raccoon Creek State Park for one amazing set-up (nah, we drive. It’s 30 minutes west of the city). Once you’re there, though, work up an appetite with 44 miles of hiking, swimming in Raccoon Lake in the summer, or mountain biking before settling down at any of the 200(!) picnic tables throughout the park. Pack it up, pack it in, and take your pick from endless spots to nom on some trail mix.
Settlers Cabin Park near Robinson has green space to lay your blanket and trails to hike, bike, jog, and horseback ride, plus tennis courts and deck hockey rinks. So it’s safe to say you’ll earn a whole basket-full of food. But if it’s just too Pittsburgh humid for a picnic on the grass, pack everything up and head for the Settlers Cabin Wave Pool. And once you finish your feast and start to roast on the astroturf, wade in when the waves start to cool off (after waiting a half hour after eating, of course).
We think that any place with picnic tables that lets you bring your own food classifies as a picnic spot…the beer is just a huge bonus. Grist House Brewing in Millvale does more than just a great craft brew – they invite you to BYOF to their outdoor bier garden. Organize a healthy potluck with your crew and pair it with pitchers of local beer. Though, if you don’t want to scrape together a meal’s worth of treats, Grist House also frequently invites a number of food trucks to sling some delicious eats your way.
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