When the weather is fantastic in Minnesota, residents want to get out and enjoy it as much as possible. This includes dining outdoors as frequently as possible. Before the ground is coated in that powdery white stuff once more, plan on enjoying a picnic. For some of the best picnic spots in the state, check out this list of must-visit locations. For other ideas, read up on our previous list of Best Spots For A Picnic In Minnesota.
Along The North Shore
Highway 61 and North Shore Scenic Drive
Between Duluth, MN and Grand Portage, MN
The stunning drive between Duluth and Grand Portage in northeastern Minnesota provides an immense amount of opportunities to take out the blanket and picnic basket. Along Highway 61 and the North Shore Scenic Drive, you’ll find jaw-dropping sites overlooking Lake Superior. There are plenty of areas to pull off and make an easy and short walk to the water, even while carrying your picnic supplies. Be sure to stop off at Betty’s Pies in Two Harbors to pick up a delicious pie to complete your meal.
University Of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Drive
Chaska, MN 55318
Soak in the gorgeous floral gardens as you sit under one of the many large trees at the 1,137-acre arboretum for a picnic during the spring, summer or fall. Visitors over the age of 12 must pay $12 for admittance, but it is well worth it if you plan on enjoying the other offerings while you are there. Take the three-mile drive throughout the grounds via bike or motorized vehicle, hike through prairie and wetland areas or check out the sculpture garden. If the weather becomes an issue, take in some indoor activities at the learning center, art galleries and gift shop.
Minnehaha Park And Falls
4801 S. Minnehaha Park Drive
Minneapolis, MN 55417
As one of Minneapolis’ oldest and most scenic parks, Minnehaha Park and Falls will no doubt please the most finicky picnic-goer. Make the fairly easy hike down to the base of the falls and continue to some of the more secluded areas along the stream for a serene eating spot. There are also plenty of picnic shelters and flat areas for those looking for less of a trek. To add on to your picnic outing, try the seasonal outdoor concerts, bike rentals, off-leash dog park and definitely don’t miss the waterfall.
Related: Best Playgrounds In Minnesota
Como Park Zoo And Conservatory
1225 Estabrook Drive
St. Paul, MN 55103
The expansive grounds of Como Park offer many options for picnickers. There are eating pavilions, including the beautiful Lakeside Pavilion, and picnic shelters available. Grassy areas around Como Lake or the conservatory also provide nice spots to spread a blanket and relax. If you’re looking to make a day of it, add on a visit to the Como Zoo, Japanese Gardens, Cafesjian’s Carousel or rent a paddleboat on the lake.
Minneopa State Park
State Highway 68 & U.S. Highway 169
Mankato, MN 56001
Sit atop the flat grasses near Seppmann’s Mill in Minneopa State Park for a peaceful picnic with a scenic view. This area overlooks the vast grassland and wildflowers below and sits next to the old wind-powered grist mill. For a more lively locale, head to the waterfalls of Minneopa Creek. Here you can hike around the falls and set up your picnic to overlook the water.
Cortney Mohnk is a freelance writer covering all things Minnesota. She is also a public relations and event planning professional. Her most important job is mother to her young daughter, who is her partner-in-crime when checking out the family entertainment scene in the Twin Cities. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.