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The 10 best places to picnic in Atlanta this spring

Whether you’re looking for a romantic date or a rendezvous with friends, a picnic is a great way to soak up Atlanta's amazing spring weather.

There’s no shortage of fantastic picnic places, both inside and outside the Perimeter. Here are 10 parks that not only offer a grassy spot, but also active and scenic settings for picnics. 

1. Candler Park

One of Atlanta’s first suburbs, Candler Park is located about 5 minutes east of downtown Atlanta. The park is known for its walkability and events, such as the annual Fall Fest. During the day, golfers on its classic course mix with kids and adults visiting the Candler Park Pool, tennis courts and more. But you also can pack a picnic for a family night out during special free outdoor movie nights.

What to pack: Make a version of peanut butter fudge balls on a stick, called Camie’s Buckeyes, and grab a blanket for a night under the stars in Candler Park.

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Where to go: 585 Candler Park Drive, Atlanta 30307

2. Sweetwater Creek State Park

Beautiful rapids and duck ponds make Sweetwater Creek State Park a must-see location. A few locations within the park, located west of Atlanta, may look familiar, if you’ve seen The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1. During spring and summer, visitors can rent canoes, stand-up paddleboards and boats.

What to pack: Enjoy the peaceful park with homemade picnic goodies, such as apple bread.

Where to go: 1750 Mt. Vernon Road, Lithia Springs 30122

3. Historic Fourth Ward Park

Located on the Atlanta BeltLine behind Ponce City Market, the Historic Fourth Ward Park offers 17 acres of greenspace, a two-acre lake, skate park and athletic fields. The kid-friendly spot has climbing structures, slides and a splash pad. If you’re there on one of Atlanta’s hotter days, you may find relief underneath shade structures topped with solar panels.

What to pack: Pick a spot on the green or around the lake for a fancier version of traditional picnic fare with these refreshing Balsamic Melon Bites.

Where to go: 60 Dallas St., Atlanta 30308

4. Rogers Bridge Park

Gwinnett County’s Rogers Bridge Park in Duluth sits adjacent to the Chattahoochee River with running trails that run through the park. The historic steel bridge provides a picture-worthy setting. Greenspace covers about two-thirds of the park, giving visitors almost 17 acres to spread out for a picnic.

What to pack: Pair these homemade toasted pita chips with a favorite dip of your choice for an afternoon picnic.

Where to go: 4291 Rogers Bridge Road, Duluth 30097

5. Alpharetta Arboretum at Webb Bridge Park

Native trees fill Alpharetta Arboretum at Webb Bridge Park, which has a large green space and forest trails. You’ll picnic among trees that represent the mountains, the Piedmont and the coastal plain regions of Georgia.

What to pack: The setting just begs for a respite from your busy day, so pack your basket with items such as a chilled berry salad and relax in the scenery.

Where to go: 4780 Webb Bridge Road, Alpharetta 30005

6. Peachtree Hills Park

This cute Buckhead park is home to a community garden, tennis courts and playground. Depending on the time of year, you will get to see the strawberries, yellow squash, tomatoes, and other fruits and veggies grown by Peachtree Hills residents who have their own plots.

What to pack: Enjoy a morning or midday meal by making ahead this blueberry and strawberry ricotta crepe and bringing it along with you.

Where to go: 308 Peachtree Hills Ave., Atlanta 30305 

7. D.H Stanton Park

Southwest Atlanta’s D.H Stanton Park, located in the Peoplestown neighborhood, covers 8 acres of space that includes a baseball field, playgrounds and a splash pad. It is the first energy cost-neutral park in Atlanta and has solar panels used for shade structures. Visitors can take fitness classes or use the running trails for exercise in the park.

What to pack: Make a banana smoothie at home before heading to park, then bring along your favorite granola bars and fruit to refuel yourself.

Where to go: Martin Street, Atlanta 30315

8. Cochran Mill Park

In Chattahoochee Hills’ largest park, visitors can enjoy hiking, jogging and horse trails, plus wildlife habitats. Take a date along the red hiking trail at Cochran Mill Park, a popular route that passes streams and flowing water, leading to the Henry Mills Falls waterfall at the end of the hike.

What to pack: Stop for a picnic with snacks such as Kroger’s Simply Classic trail mix, then continue along your journey.

Where to go: 6875 Cochran Mill Road, Palmetto 30268

9. Sope Creek Park

Over 3 miles of hiking and running trails wind through Sope Creek Park in suburban Atlanta. The trails lead to the ruin of a multi-story paper mill that was destroyed during the Civil War. A forest area surrounds the streams and ponds. Boulders and flowing waterfalls are found throughout the trails. The park is generally less crowded than other trails around the Marietta area.

What to pack: To make sure your food survives the trails, use this cool technique from Real Simple to create a cushion in Ziploc bags that won’t crush snacks.

Where to go: 3760 Paper Mill Road, Marietta 30067

10. Vickery Creek Trail at Roswell Mill

The hiking trails in Vickery Creek Trail explore the historic remains of Roswell Mill. The wooden covered bridge is a popular attraction at the park and makes for beautiful photos. The 5-plus-mile trail leads through forest and dam waterfall views.

What to pack: Prepare a few banana oatmeal bars with chocolate as a sweet snack.

Where to go: 85 Mill St., Roswell, GA 30075

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