5 Perfect Picnic Spots in Orange County

Here are 5 of our favorites.
5 Perfect Picnic Spots in Orange County
View from Crescent Bay Point Park; Photograph by Michelle Pagaran

The spring season invites us to spend more time with friends and family outdoors with a picnic. Here in Orange County, there are luckily many picnic-friendly (and Instagram-worthy) spots to do just that. To narrow it down, here are 5 of our favorites:

Crescent Bay Point Park Crescent Bay Drive, Laguna Beach
Crescent Bay Point Park is the perfect Instagram-worthy picnic spot. This little park is also great for a date night, as it overlooks the sparkling Pacific Ocean and tide pools. Featuring lush grass and benches, there are many areas where you can set up a picnic.
Parking: Free residential parking and metered stalls available on Main Street
Tip: Walk down to secluded Crescent Bay beach afterwards.

Carbon Canyon Regional Park 4442 Carbon Canyon Road, Brea
A local favorite that’s definitely not overrated, Carbon Canyon offers the best all-around picnic spot due to its beautiful redwood trees, serene lake, and convenient location right off the 57 freeway. The park also offers many picnic tables throughout to choose from, including 6 shelters surrounding the beautiful 4-acre lake.
Parking: $3 on weekdays and $5 on weekends
Tip: End the picnic with an easy 1-mile hike down the Carbon Canyon Loop, or head to the park’s 10 acres of redwood trees. Simply start at the southwest end of the park, find a sign pointing to the redwood trees, and follow the dirt path south. You will pass the Carbon Canyon dam on your right.

TeWinkle Park 970 Arlington Drive, Costa Mesa
A hidden gem tucked away in the suburbs of Costa Mesa, TeWinkle Park is perfect for families with small children. Due to its smaller size, you won’t have to feel overwhelmed or lost. Walk over to the lake and see the abundance of wildlife such as squirrels, rabbits, geese, ducks, and turtles.
Parking: Free
Tip: Pick up some delicious acai bowls at Blue Bowl across the street before you go.

Top of the World 3300 Alta Laguna Blvd., Laguna Beach
Although Top of the World is usually known as a hiking trail, it’s also a great place to have a picnic with a view. Bring a mat and walk around until you find the perfect secluded and scenic spot.
Parking:
Free
Tip: Time your trip to take in the beautiful sunset over the ocean.

Orange County Great Park 8000 Great Park Blvd., Irvine
Previously an air base, the large space is now one of the roomiest parks in Orange County, boasting 1300 acres. It’s suitable for ample, socially distanced picnics.
Parking: Free
Tip: Visit the Farm+Food Lab and see the butterfly garden, “pizza and spaghetti” garden, and the chicken coop!

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