Your Blue Ridge Summer Picnic Guide
It’s summer, and that means spending as much time outdoors as possible, embracing mother nature and soaking up some vitamin D. From greenspaces to water views (and even a surprise location) we’ve got your next nosh-fest covered with these five places for the ideal picnic in Blue Ridge, GA.
Where to Picnic
Horseshoe Bend Park
We try not to play favorites, but if we had to pick the best spot for a picnic, Horseshoe Bend is tops. Spread your blanket along the banks of the Toccoa or grab a spot at one of the myriad of tables in the park.
The kids will have a blast clamoring the new playground or splashing in the river. (Parents will appreciate the clean restrooms here.) Bring your poles to catch a fish, hike the trail along the water, or just enjoy the shade under the enormous trees.
For the ultimate summer picnic, bring the family on Thursday for Pickin’ in the Park where you can enjoy live music from 6pm to dusk. Admission is free.
This Forest Service recreation area charges $5 per vehicle, but the amenities are worth the Lincoln. Access to the picnic area at the beach includes the ability to sit at one of the tables or throw a blanket along the lakeside.
For a more remote spot, take the trail into the park where you’ll find additional picnic pavilions, benches and lake access.
When you’re finished with your lunch, the water is waiting. Launch your boat, swim at the beach, or paddle the lake. You can rent kayaks and SUP boards from the The Point located on the beach or launch your own.
If you're looking for a quiet escape then head below the Lake Blue Ridge dam. The park provides nice picnic tables and a small playground with restrooms. Bring your baseball and glove or just a soccer ball, they have a field and nets set up for that too.
They have a kayak launch area here, see our map guide for locations to paddle to.
You’ll love relaxing on the dock that overlooks the water, and on a good day you might even catch your dinner. There is a handicap fishing area, as well.
Lake Blue Ridge Day Use Recreation Area
The Day Use area is a bit more rustic without some of the amenities we discussed above (You won’t find restrooms here.) but sometimes that’s exactly what your picnic calls for. Spread your blanket on the grass field or use one of picnic tables, and take in the peace and quiet.
This is a fantastic place to launch your kayak, with multiple coves within paddle distance. You can swim in the water here, or hike the 1-mile loop along the lake. Bring your bike to peddle the paved biking trail in the old campground area, or launch your motorized boat from the ramp within walking distance.
For another great spot on the lake check out the Lake Blue Ridge Dam Recreation Area, complete with educational billboards at the pull off, the park has handicap accessible ramps to picnic tables and fishing areas. Beautiful view of the lake!
Finally, if you’re looking for a unique twist on your next picnic, consider a stop at Serenberry Vineyards (and yes, you can bring the kids if alone time is off the table.)
The vineyard welcomes guests to enjoy the view by spreading chairs, blankets, lawn games and more Thursday thru Sunday. Just save a place in your basket for a bottle or flight from the winery.
Keep an eye on their Facebook page, as well, for notices about live music events. It’s a great time to take a tour, stroll the grounds, or escape the rain in the open-air barn offering covered seating.
WHERE TO FIND PICNIC SUPPLIES
You can always order “to go” from your favorite Blue Ridge restaurant for your perfect picnic (I’m looking at you, Rum Cake Lady.) They usually include serving dishes, utensils, napkins and a bag to carry everything in…that’s half the effort of the picnic.
If you’re looking for a more traditional picnic option then consider a stop at these markets:
Nomad Market will pack a Lake Lunch for you - a simple sandwich, drink and bag of chips that are certain to hit the spot. You can also get fruit pies, pasta salad, a “Trailblazer Biscuit” (don’t forget the brownie), or my favorite - the Hoity Toity Chicken Salad Sandwich on a croissant.
The Pasta Market
I know what you’re thinking; home-made pasta is delicious but you can’t bring a packet on a picnic. The Blue Ridge Cafe (inside the market) offers far more than dried noodles. Find pre-packaged salads, charcuterie boards, flatbreads, and an assortment of perfect picnic appetizers.
Taste of Amish & General Store
Head to the deli for an assortment of sandwiches and wraps, then pick up your sides within the general store. Specialty sandwiches here include Kettle Chicken Quesadillas, Hot Buttered Roast Beef Sandwiches and more.
WHAT TO BRING
If this is your first rodeo…er, I mean first picnic, then this simple picnic packing list might come in handy.
- Food and drinks. Think cheeseboards, finger foods, wraps, etc. The key is to bring delicacies that are easy to eat, don’t require much (if any) refrigeration, and that will not melt in the sun while you’re off playing Frisbee.
- Picnic basket. You don’t need a formal one; even a plastic tub or laundry basket works in a pinch. You’re just looking to make it easy to haul things to and from the car.
- Picnic blanket. Make sure there is plenty of space for everyone to sit, lay, eat and stretch out. You can always bring multiple blankets and overlap them. If it rained the previous week, you might also include a tarp to lay under your blanket, to keep your bum dry.
- Plates and glasses. Paper or plastic, fancy or plain. Don’t forget forks and knives if your food selections require them. You’ll also want to consider any necessary serving utensils (like a big spoon for the bowl of potato salad.) Throw in napkins or a roll of paper towels while you’re at it.
- Sun protection. If you’re not sitting under the trees, the sun can get hot. You might consider a sun-brella or shade cover.
- Games. Frisbee, corn hole, disc golf, soccer, horseshoes…the options are endless. If this is a relax-only event then you might consider a book, board game or deck of cards.
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