The 14 Best Picnic Spots in Virginia!

When it comes to beautiful picnic spots, Virginians have a plethora of riches. It is nearly impossible to narrow it down to only 14, as there are many more wonderful spots all over the Commonwealth that are just as romantic, scenic, and otherwise worthy. On a fine sunny day, journey out to Virginia’s many scenic spots to lay out a blanket for a picnic. Here are our 14 favorites! 

1. Theodore Roosevelt Island Boardwalk, Arlington, VA

The boardwalk at Theodore Roosevelt Island in Arlington, Virginia, is known for its romantic ambiance. Surrounded by greenery, set over a marsh near the Potomac River, the boardwalk provides for a perfect place to sit and enjoy your date’s company before exploring the island further. Benches are available, too.

2. Virginia’s Eastern Shore

The Eastern Shore of Virginia offers any number of beaches and bays. While you have to be careful not to get sand in your food, a nice picnic on a hot summer day or during sunset can be a wonderfully romantic gesture. Just make sure you don’t sit too close to the water.

3. Northwest River Park, Chesapeake, VA

The Northwest River Park is a great spot to escape from the rigors of daily life. Located near the Northwest River, the 763-acre park offers year-round boating, fishing, and hiking, as well as golf, horseshoes, volleyball, and more. The most scenic spots are closer to the river, but get prepared for a ¾-mile hike. When you’re done, consider renting a boat for an afternoon on the water.

4. Claytor Lake State Park, Dublin, VA

The Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin, Virginia, is a scenic locale right on the water. In addition to eight picnic shelters, the park offers hiking trails, camping facilities, swimming, and cabins. With the historic Howe House in the background and the lake out in front of you, dining here is like stepping into a postcard.

5. Staunton River State Park, Scottsburg, VA

The Staunton River State Park is located on almost 1,600 acres along the largest lake in Virginia. Nature trails, camping, swimming pools, and picnic shelters are all available. As one of the original six parks opened by the state of Virginia, the Staunton River State Park is filled with history.

6. The University of Virginia Grounds

Named by as the No. 1 most beautiful college campus in America, the grounds of the University of Virginia provide an historic backdrop for a basket picnic. Whether you’re wooing a new love interest, celebrating a special occasion, or simply enjoying a warm afternoon, the bustling nature of academia and history will give you plenty to enjoy.

7. Belle Isle, Richmond, VA

Richmond, the state’s capital, is a busy city. But if you know where to look, Belle Isle provides a welcome retreat from city life. Accessible by foot or bike only, Belle Isle is surrounded by large rocks that one can sit on and enjoy the water before taking a dip. Bring a blanket, pick a rock, and enjoy the get-a-way before returning to the city.

8. Potomac Point Winery, Stafford, VA

Potomac Point Winery in Stafford, Virginia, also allows those who call ahead to bring their own picnics to the grounds. Take a look around the winery and consider picking up a bottle to compliment your meal. Either way, unfurl a blanket and enjoy nature all around you in one of the more sophisticated picnics you’re likely to have. 

9. Elizabeth River Boat Landing Park, Chesapeake, VA

The Elizabeth River Boat Landing and Park located in Chesapeake, Virginia, offers a picture-perfect view of the Elizabeth River and boat ramp. Explore any of the park amenities and watch the other seafarers go by. Your furry friends will love the on-site dog park.

10. The Chesapeake Bay, Multiple locations

Virginia has tons of water access-ways, but perhaps the most famous is the Chesapeake Bay. In days of yore, the Chesapeake Bay was a primary trading route. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction, as well as an important fishing spot. Rent a boat anywhere along the Virginia coast and take your picnic out on the water for a real Virginian experience. 

11. Daingerfield Island, Alexandria, VA

The park at Daingerfield Island marks the spot of the first Alexandria settlement, founded by John Alexander. While the 106-acre park is no longer an actual island, the beautiful views and varied wildlife, including turtles, herons, frogs, and kingfishers, make for a Kodak picnic spot on the water.

12. Hot Air Balloon Ride, Blue Ridge, VA

Enjoy the Virginia countryside from the sky. Blue Ridge Ballooning offers several hot air balloon packages, including sunrise and sunset, romance, wedding vow, and sunrise picnic flights. Enjoy sparkling cider, pastries, and fruit at with the hot air balloon crew after your morning ride.

13. The Hermitage Museum and Gardens, Norfolk, VA

Take your picnic basket and blanket and spread out on the lawn of the Hermitage Museum or in the Gardens on site. The museum was once the mansion home of the Sloane Family, a prominent Norfolk clan, but is now part of the Smithsonian Affiliations program. With six gardens, including the grottos, rose garden, and wetlands to choose from, you could easily spend an entire morning exploring the grounds before lunch. Once you’re finished eating, stroll through the museum to take in over 5,000 art exhibits. 

14. Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, Harpers Ferry, VA

Historic Harpers Ferry rests at the axis between Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland along the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. Peruse the quaint, small-town streets before taking a walking hike through the park. The park offers around 20 miles of hiking with various difficulties and paths that snake around Civil War battlefields. Pack a light picnic and stop along the route at one of the picnic tables to enjoy the history and beauty of the park while chowing down on homemade grub.  

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Find Picnic Spots Near You
Find Picnic Spots Near You
1235 State Park Road, Huddleston, VA
On the second largest freshwater lake in the state, this picturesque park is the water enthusiast's paradise. There are numerous water activities, ... Read More
788 Twin Lakes Road, Green Bay, VA
In the heart of central Virginia, this 495-acre, historic park offers many cultural, environmental and recreational activities. Overnight accommoda... Read More
2854 Park Boulevard, Marion, VA
Long a family favorite known for beautiful woodlands and a placid 108-acre lake in the heart of the mountains, Hungry Mother has a sandy beach with... Read More
1170 Staunton Trail, Scottsburg, VA
Tucked neatly into the heart of Virginia, about 25 miles from the North Carolina border, Staunton River offers much to families and outdoor enthusi... Read More
967 Fairystone Lake Drive, Stuart, VA
About Home of the legendary fairy stones, this park is well known for its 168-acre lake adjoining Philpott Reservoir. The park is just minutes fro... Read More
350 Daughter of Stars Drive, Bentonville, VA
This park is on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River and has more than 1,600 acres along 5.2 miles of shoreline. The park opened in June 1999. In... Read More
1192 Occoneechee Park Road, Clarksville, VA
Named for Native Americans who lived in the area for hundreds of years, Occoneechee is on the John H. Kerr Reservoir, better known as Buggs Island ... Read More
11012 Edmonds Lane, Delaplane, VA
Rich in history, this 1,864-acre park has scenic views, woodlands and the rolling pastures of a historic farm that captures the colonial through po... Read More
8051 Wilderness Rd, Ewing, VA
Wilderness Road offers picnicking, hiking, and nature and living history programs. Visitors can enjoy the visitor center, home to a theater showing... Read More
116 Orphanage Drive, Max Meadows, VA
New River Trail is a 57-mile linear park that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way. The park parallels the scenic and historic New River for ... Read More
6888 Green Bay Road, Green Bay, VA
High Bridge Trail is 31 miles long and ideally suited for hiking, bicycling and horseback riding. Once a rail bed, the trail is wide, level and gen... Read More
6541 Saylers Creek Road, Rice, VA
On April 6, 1865, nearly a quarter of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's army, more than 7,700 men, were killed, wounded or captured here. Lee surren... Read More
11617 Caledon Road, King George, VA
A National Natural Landmark known for its old growth forest and summer home to many American bald eagles, Caledon attracts bird watchers of all age... Read More
1632 Belle Isle Road, Lancaster, VA
Belle Isle has seven miles of shoreline on the Northern Neck's Rappahannock River and provides access to Mulberry and Deep creeks. The park lets vi... Read More
900 City Park Drive, Chesapeake, VA
This 90-acre site has 60 acres of open space with the remainder rows of reforested pine trees.Dog Park:There are separate small dog and large dog a... Read More
6620 North 18th Street, Arlington, VA
This open, grassy 11-acre park features trail access, picnic tables with charcoal grills, a combined school age and preschool playground, a multi-u... Read More
US 58/US 19 West, Big Stone Gap, VA
Cave Springs Recreation Area is situated within the picturesque farming community of Olinger Gap. Highlights of this recreation area include a smal... Read More
9801 York River Park Road, Williamsburg, VA
The park is known for its rare and delicate estuarine environment, where freshwater and saltwater meet to create a rich habitat for marine and plan... Read More
695 Chippokes Park Road, Surry, VA
Just across the James River from historic Jamestown in beautiful Surry County, Chippokes Plantation is one of the oldest continually farmed plantat... Read More
145 Cliff Road, Montross, VA
On the Potomac River's Northern Neck, this park offers many opportunities for family fun. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places a... Read More
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