5 Great Places to Have a Picnic in Oakland, CA

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 Oakland.

Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park

There is no experience like walking through this sprawling forest of towering redwood trees. They seem to bring you into another world entirely, and the trails at Redwood Regional Park are fantastic and well-maintained. If you’re feeling adventurous, then hike to the top of Redwood Peak and picnic on the bench overlooking the forest and mountains. Or you can stop at Bay Vista Picnic Area for lunch in a grove of redwood trees. 

The Gardens at Lake Merritt

The ideal place for a tranquil, picturesque picnic. There are 7 themed gardens right beside Lake Merritt, including a Japanese Garden, Succulent Garden, a Palmetum, and more. This is the perfect place for a walk and a picnic. It is also not so large that you won’t be able to see everything or will feel overwhelmed by it. After enjoying the wide variety of plant life in the gardens, be sure to walk along Lake Merritt as well.

Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve

Sibley Preserve is a unique place to visit, because (as its name suggests), it is on the site of an ancient volcano. Though it is a bit of a drive from Oakland, this park is included because of its dramatic beauty, excellent trails, and unique history. Although a picnic on one of the many hilltops may require a bit more of a hike than some people want, the views cannot be missed and the adventure to the top is absolutely worth it. You’ll see the San Francisco Bay in the distance as well as rolling valleys and hills. The Grizzly Peak Route has several lookout points that are great for stopping for a picnic.

Joaquin Miller Park

This park is located very close to Redwood Regional Park. There are large meadows, rustic trails for some adventuring, playgrounds for the kids, dog parks for the other kids, and phenomenal picnic sites. I highly recommend Woodminster Cascade as a place to stop for a picnic and Lookout Point as the place to hike to for phenomenal views and pictures.

Snow Park

A small park in a perfect location – only two blocks from downtown Oakland and adjacent to Lake Merritt. There are plenty of delicious restaurants to order food from on the way to Snow Park and when you arrive, you’ll be able to enjoy both city views and lake views. The park has many tables and benches available. From several locations you can even see gorgeous murals on the buildings of downtown. Snow Park is a true city park, with the feeling of escaping into nature without losing the ease of access to all the city’s amenities. 

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