Above: Photo courtesy of Pixabay

The north metro Atlanta area has many comfortable, picturesque spots for you to enjoy a leisurely outdoor meal. Pack your picnic basket with your favorite munchies and drinks, then pick a place to spread your tablecloth.

There are some well-known parks that should be mentioned.

  • Chastain Park in Buckhead is known for its amphitheater, of course. But it also offers a sheltered picnic pavilion and walking trails. 135 W. Wieuca Rd., Atlanta, 30342; chastainpark.org, click on Park Amenities.
  • Piedmont Park has many different options for picnickers, including 22 grills throughout the park and a picnic shelter with grills, electricity and water. Some spaces are first come, first serve and others require reservations. 400 Park Dr., Atlanta 30306; piedmontpark.org, click on Things to Do, then Food and Beverage.
  • Stone Mountain Park offers two picnic areas: the Studdard, with over 200 tables, and Triangle Picnic Areas, closest to the “Crossroads,” where all the action is. While they’re free, you will need to pay for parking. 1000 Robert E. Lee Rd., Stone Mountain 30083; stonemountainpark.com.
  • Woodruff Park is a six-acre premier green space with pavilions and fountains. It’s in the heart of the city amid iconic cultural institutions. 91 Peachtree St., Atlanta 30303; atlantadowntown.com.

National and state parks are other good picnic options.

  • The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is part of the National Park Service. It covers 48 miles, beginning downstream from Buford Dam at Lake Lanier and ending at Peachtree Creek in metro Atlanta. Along the way are several beautiful spots for picnicking, including Johnson Ferry, 4630 Columns Dr., Marietta 30067, and Island Ford, 8800 Roberts Dr., Sandy Springs 30350; nps.gov/chat.
  • Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites number about 70 throughout the state. Each offers its own specific brand of beauty. One of the nearest to Atlanta, Sweetwater Creek State Park in Lithia Springs, includes eight picnic shelters and a 215-acre lake. You will need to pay for parking and make a reservation. 1750 Mt. Vernon Rd., Lithia Springs 30122; 1-800-864-7275; gastateparks.org.

There are many city, county and neighborhood parks in the area that welcome picnickers. Here are a few.

  • East Cobb Park offers pavilions and creek overlooks among its 13 acres. 3322 Roswell Rd., Marietta 30068; cobbcounty.org, search for East Cobb Park.
  • Morgan Falls Overlook Park has scenic views that can be enjoyed from its picnic tables and trails. 200 Morgan Falls Rd., Sandy Springs 30350; sandyspringsga.gov, click on Recreation, then City Parks.
  • Oakhurst Park is an eight-acre neighborhood park with a picnic pavilion and tennis and basketball courts. 307 Feld Ave., Decatur 30030; decaturga.com, click City Government, then City Departments, Active Living, City Parks.
  • Riverside Park provides plenty to do. After a meal at the picnic area, visitors can hike, fish, canoe or relax. 575 Riverside Rd., Roswell 30075; roswellgov.com, click on Government, Recreation & Parks, then Parks & Facilities, Browse Parks & Facilities.
  • Swift-Cantrell Park is Kennesaw’s largest community park. It offers three picnic pavilions and much more in its 42 acres. 3140 Old U.S. Hwy. 41, Kennesaw 30144; swiftcantrellparkfoundation.org.
  • Webb Bridge Park & Arboretum features covered picnic tables and paved walking trails. 4780 Webb Bridge Rd., Alpharetta 30005; alpharetta.ga.us, click on Government, Departments, Recreation Parks & Culture, then Facilities.
  • Windwood Hollow Park has 11 acres that feature tennis courts, a picnic pavilion and natural walking trails. 4865 Lakeside Dr., Dunwoody 30360; dunwoodyga.gov, click on For Residents, then Find a Park.

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is a freelance writer and editor based in metro Atlanta.