Top Picnic Spots in the DMV
Posted on August 07, 2014

top 5

Treat yourself to a day in the great outdoors!

Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to enjoy your favorite summer read or a location that has plenty of entertainment for the entire family, check out our top 5 recommendations for picnic spots in the DMV!

Yards Park
355 Water Street SE, Washington, DC 20003


Located along the Anacostia River, this newly opened park provides a quiet oasis from urban life.  Only 2 blocks from the Navy Yard Metro station, bring a picnic and enjoy the views of the river and allow children to play in the Splash pool. No open flames are permitted.

Open daily from 7:00am-10:00pm in the summer months and 7:00am-8:00pm in the winter months. Admission is free.

Great Falls National Park
9200 Old Dominion Road, McLean, VA 22102
OR 11710 MacArthur Boulevard, Potomac, MD 20854


Pair your picnic with a hike along the River Trail to get a great view of the waterfalls at Great Falls National Park.  Enter on the Virginia side and choose your picnic table  along the wooded paths or carry a lunch in your backpack and find a place to watch the falls  while hiking the rockier side in Maryland.  Either side offers miles of trails great for walking or off-road biking.

The park opens at 7:00am and closes at dusk.  Admission is $5 per vehicle or purchase an annual pass for just $20.

Burke Lake Park
7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station, VA, 22039


In addition to the seemingly endless acres of picnic space, Burke Lake has something for everyone – carousal and train rides, boat rentals, frisbee golf, mini golf, 4+ miles of trails, even an ice cream parlor!  This hotspot for family fun gets busy on the weekends, so arrive early to reserve your spot.

Admission to the park is free for Fairfax County residents and is $10 per vehicle for non-residents.  The park is open sunrise to sunset.

Sandy Point Park
1100 East College Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21409


Whether you prefer a picnic in the grass or in the sand, this Maryland State Park along the Chesapeake Bay  offers the perfect place for both.  Beyond relaxing with scenic views and grilling your summer favorites, you can also purchase concessions at South Beach or launch your own fishing or crabbing vessel from one of its docks.  The beach at Sandy Point is also safe for swimming!

This park is open from 7:00am to sunset through October 31 and charges $4 per person if you are a resident of Maryland and $6 per person for non-residents.

Downs Park
8311 John Downs Loops, Pasadena, MD 21122


For then nature enthusiast, Downs Park boasts of 5 miles of paved hiking and nature trails in addition to their picnic areas and 2 playgrounds.  Volleyball and basketball courts are available on a first come first serve basis and for those that enjoy fishing, they may do so from the fishing pier  or directly from the beach.

While the beach is not open for human swimming, your dogs are more than welcome to enter the water.

The park is closed every Tuesday, but is open from 7:00am to dusk every other day of the week. The daily parking fee is $6 per vehicle, however it is free for veterans.

Do you have a favorite park in the DMV for a picnic, bike ride or swimming? Share them with us in the comments!

Post by: Shelley W.