Checkered blankets, a basket, lemonade and yummy food, there is nothing like a great picnic during the summer. But where to go to enjoy this seasonal pastime? Here are five best places for a picnic in Massachusetts to consider: a beach, a state park, an island, on a hill, and near a pond!
Hopkinton State Park has twelve tree-shaded, first-come, first-served picnic areas with a total of 300 picnic tables and 165 charcoal cooking grills. In addition to typical cold-cut picnic fare, bring some coals, burgers and hotdogs for a fun picnic outing. Then stay and enjoy the beaches and fishing. Restrooms are available and parking is a nominal fee.
The Boston Harbor Islands are made up of twelve islands and peninsulas ready for a picnic lunch. Georges Island or Spectacle Island are favorites because you can also buy lunch on the island. There are great shaded tables and picnic sites with hiking or fort exploring, too. Other good picnic spots are on Grape Island, Bumpkin Island, Peddocks Island, Lovells Island, and Webb Memorial. Ferries leave from Long Wharf Pier in the North End of Boston. Ticket prices reasonable and there are discounted fares, for families. So plan a full day around a picnic to maximize the cost and your time to get to the islands.
A great place for a picnic is on the beach, and Massachusetts has a lot of them. Yet, one beach stands out with its beautiful shoreline and mesmerizing views. Crane Beach is a great picnic destination, and there are five miles of trails winding through beach dunes with plenty of sand to pitch a blanket or portable tent. There are lifeguards and rangers, bike racks, bathhouses (with toilets and changing area), outside showers, and picnic tables. Parking prices are steep, but are half price at a certain point in the afternoon. A late afternoon picnic may be ideal.
Henry David Thoreau's life experience inspired the book Walden and this beautiful sanctuary. There is a visitor center and plenty of swimming, hiking, and picnicking opportunities. Parking is reasonable but can fill up in the summer months, so call to see if there is availability or head there early.
Pack a lunch in a backpack and enjoy one of the 125 miles of trails at the Blue Hills Reservation. Pick a trail to take you to the top of Great Blue Hill, which is 635 feet tall and has the Blue Hill Observatory and Science Center. Spread a blanket and enjoy amazing views of the Boston Skyline. Leave some snacks in the backpack as you hike back down to reality. No matter where you decide to have a picnic, pack the blankets, sunscreen and bug spray!
Don't forget to pack the ice to keep the food cold and clean up to make sure the spot is perfect for the next family picnic!
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