After a long winter, it is about time that spring is upon us. April 23 marks National Picnic Day, so why not bask in the sun and enjoy a leisurely lunch outdoors? If you’re yearning for the ideal picnic spot, look no further than this list of five top places to picnic in our state. Be sure to check out our previous list of Best Spots For Picnics In Minnesota for more ideas on where to break out the baskets and finger foods.
Lake Harriet Park
4135 W. Lake Harriet Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55409
Lake Harriet has many options for the avid picnic-goer. Spread a blanket and enjoy some munchies while taking in a concert or movie at the bandshell. On the northeast shore of Lake Harriet is a bird sanctuary and four gardens, including a peace garden and rose garden, all of which provide a beautiful backdrop. Finish off your picnic with a serene walk around the lake, which is lined with lush trees and luxurious homes.
3206 Highway 61 E.
Two Harbors, MN 55616
As part of Gooseberry Falls State Park, the Picnic Flow area is a fascinating spot for a picnic lunch. This ancient, lava-covered location is already outfitted with picnic tables, however you could also find flat rock to relax on as well. The sound of the waves from Lake Superior makes for a peaceful setting. During certain times of year, there are pools of water along the shoreline that you can search for critters in before or after your meal.
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
1750 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Great people-watching and interesting art, including the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry, make the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden a prime spot for picnickers. The downtown Minneapolis skyline is a perfect backdrop for the occasional entertainment, such as dance troupes and musicians, that grace the garden as well. The fact that this location is free only makes it more of a must-do during agreeable Minnesota weather. Daily hours between 6 a.m. and midnight mean you can even picnic under the stars.
Munsinger And Clemens Gardens
1515 Riverside Dr. S.E.
St. Cloud MN 56304
Finding an ideal picnic spot among the gorgeous grounds of the Munsinger and Clemens Gardens is not hard. This free location is actually two gardens. Munsinger is 14 acres with a large fountain and winding walking paths and Clemens is actually six formal gardens spanning seven acres. The Virginia Clemens Rose Garden is especially beautiful and contains more than 70 varieties of over 1,000 roses in spectacular bloom during the months of June through September.
Hidden Falls Regional Park
1313 Hidden Falls Dr.
St. Paul, MN 55116
Along the bluffs of the Mississippi River in St. Paul is Hidden Falls Regional Park. Take your pick of sheltered or unsheltered picnic tables or spread a blanket beneath a tree, along the beach or on a rocky overlook. Really want a unique spot for dessert? Eat underneath the modest Hidden Falls, which requires a short hike through the woods down to the trickling waterfall. This isn’t the right location for a dessert that requires plates and utensils, but you’ll find some large rocks to enjoy simple treats on.
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.