5 Great Places to Have a Picnic in Jacksonville, FL

When the weather cooperates, we all love to get outside and explore the world around us. There is nothing more refreshing and soothing to the soul than a picnic in the sun, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every city in the United States has incredible locations for picnicking. Below are 5 Great Places to Picnic in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens

120 acres of landscaped, curated and labeled plant life. This living museum is free to the public (though donations are encouraged) and shows nature at its most beautiful. There are rustic trails through the entire arboretum with pavilions, open fields, and docks overlooking a small lake.

Mandarin Park

Located on the Julington Creek just beyond Old Bull Bay, this park is known for its tranquility, beauty, and fantastic picnic areas. There are large pavilions and benches right beside the water. Playgrounds are nestled under the shade of trees and wooded trails for exploration are abundant. 

Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

Take a surf in the ocean or spend the morning fishing on the lake; hike along the trails or get a tan on the beach. Hanna Park is an excellent place for picnickers because there is something for everyone. Very few parks offer such diversity of plant life and natural views. I recommend finding a small, shaded cove along one of the lakes if you’re in the mood for a quiet, romantic picnic. A visit to Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park also makes for an excellent beach day and picnic by the ocean.

Oceanfront Park

Shaded picnic pavilions adorn this park, appropriately named “Oceanfront”. The entrance to the park features a beautiful, open lawn with several pieces of artwork and statues to enjoy on your way down to the beach. Then, its only a short boardwalk to the sand and waves. Much like Hanna Park, this park is perfect for beach picnics and is not too crowded.

Mom’s Park aka Yacht Basin Park

A true hidden gem in Jacksonville, this park is located on Willowbranch Creek and feels like a beautiful secret when you picnic here. The park was originally named after its neighbors, the Florida Yacht Club. It has existed since the early 1900s. In 2001 the park underwent renovation and Jim Overton, who contributed to the fund, placed a statue in memory of his mother – this statue is known as “Mom’s Statue” from which the park gets its second name. Willow trees cover the park and stone pathways through lush foliage lead you to a one-of-a-kind gazebo filled with colorful mosaic tiles. 

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