The 15 Best Picnic Spots in Connecticut!

Pack some sandwiches or fire-up the grill to roast the perfect marshmallow for a s’more at one of these picnic spots in Connecticut. These excellent picnic spots are all situated among beautiful surroundings such as acres and acres of vineyard, sandy beaches, or lush forests.

1. Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford, CT

Harkness Memorial State Park is a wonderful place to make memories with family and friends on a warm summer day. Unpacking a picnic or eating takeout grinders on one of their picnic tables makes for a tasty evening. Finishing the picnic with a stroll around the 230 acres of beautifully manicured gardens and beachfront is certainly memorable.

2. Bigelow Hollow State Park, Union, CT

Adjacent to Nipmuck State Forest, the combined land 9,000 acres. There is an 18-acre pond, miles of hiking trails, and ample space for picnicking.

3. Burr Pond State Park, Torrington, CT

Enjoy swimming, fishing, and hiking at Burr Pond. After working up an appetite, setting up a picnic on one of the picnic benches or under a picnic shelter will certainly be a tasty treat.

4. Saltwater Farm Vineyard, Stonington, CT

How about a glass or bottle of wine to go with your picnic? The stunning grounds at Saltwater Farm Vineyard are free to visit during opening hours when you enjoy a wine tasting or purchase a glass or bottle of wine from the Saltwater Farm Vineyard. Bring along your own picnic to go with your wine and you’ll certainly have a merry time.

5. Arrigoni Winery, Portland, CT

Arrigoni Winery allows you to bring your own picnic and enjoy it with a bottle of their house wine. In the spring and summer, they also feature live music, making this a great budget option for a fun picnic out. One of their top wines is Chocolate Love, which is a red wine infused with chocolate. Or follow their sangria recipe using a bottle of their Orchard Valley Wine combined with a bottle of their Rosso Wine, for a fruity drink.

6. Stonington Vineyards, Stonington, CT

Have a side of romance with your picnic at another bring your own picnic option—Stonington Vineyards. Enjoy their beautiful building and stunning grounds with a bottle of Stonington Vineyard’s wine and your own picnic. This is perfect for a romantic date.

7. Lighthouse Point Park and Bird Sanctuary, New Haven

Setup your picnic area near the inactive lighthouse and take note of the octagonal shape, which is representative of lighthouses in Connecticut. Check out the waterfront view, bring along your binoculars for some birdwatching, and spread your blanket for an afternoon of picnic fun.

8. Elizabeth Park, Hartford, CT

Visit Elizabeth Park in June to experience a stunning display of roses in flower and don’t forget to take along a picnic. Great for botanical lovers or those seeking a bit of romance, Elizabeth Park is free to visit and picnics are welcome. More than just a rose garden, Elizabeth Park also features a tulip garden, perennial garden, and playgrounds.

9. Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison, CT

A two-mile-long beach, large campground, and nature center (Megis Point Nature Center), Hammonasset Beach State Park is an excellent park for swimming, enjoying nature, and picnicking. Lay your blanket in the sand or in the park and slice open your watermelon for a great picnic snack.

10. Gouveia Vineyards, Wallingford, CT

One of the top-rated places for wines and picnics in Connecticut, feast on 32 acres of vineyards with a glass or bottle of one of their 11 types of wines. Indoors you can enjoy a warm fire for picnicking in the winter. Outdoor seating is also available for picnicking.

11. Fort Trumbull, New London, CT

Eat your picnic on the grounds of the historic Fort Trumbull, which played a crucial role in the defense of Connecticut’s shoreline during the Revolutionary War. Fishing is also allowed at the piers, and the park is a great place for walking during lunch breaks.

12. Devil’s Hopyard, East Haddam, CT

Cook up some burgers and s’mores on a pedestal grill at Devil’s Hopyard. Picnic shelters and picnic tables are conveniently available for public use. After your picnic, marvel at the natural craters created by the waterfall. Fishing is also allowed and birding here is considered top-notch.

13. Mystic River Park, Mystic, CT

How about a picnic and a show? Watch the Mystic River Bascule Bridge raise and lower to allow boats to enter and exit the river while enjoying a picnic at the Mystic River Park. Mystic River Park is the perfect vantage point to watch boats go by and the bridge go up.

14. Greenwich Point Park, Greenwich, CT

Greenwich Point Park is a great area for jogging, walking, biking, boating, fishing, birdwatching, swimming, and picnicking. Beaches with fine sand and sand dunes provide a beautiful natural area to enjoy a picnic. The surrounding park has long grass, wildflowers, and shrubs to protect the beach. Lifeguards are also on duty from Memorial Day through Labor Day if you plan on swimming before or after your beach picnic.

15. Niantic Bay Boardwalk, Niantic, CT

With free admission and a long strip of beautiful beach, the boardwalk or beach is a great place to bring a picnic. The numerous benches provide ample place to sit with friends or family to enjoy a picnic. The beach itself is also nice to go for a swim on a hot day, but keep in mind that lifeguards are not on duty. 

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