Indoor activities have become far and few during this ongoing pandemic, but many scenic Orange County parks are open and expansive, making them the perfect backdrop for a fun and safe summer outing. Don’t forget to pack your favorite meal or pick one up in support of local businesses—there’s some picnicking to do!
Treasure Island Beach Park
In front of Montage Laguna Beach sits Treasure Island Beach Park, a Laguna Beach gem. Benches and a pristine grassy plot overlook the unbeatable Southern California seascape, bringing together fine dining views with casual picnic fun. A ramp on the southern end of the park leads down to the sand and the many adventures to be had.
Food nearby: Lost Pier Cafe
30801 South Coast Highway
Enjoy ocean views from a picnic blanket or table at Laguna Beach’s Heisler Park. Walk down to the beaches below, including Diver’s Cove, Picnic Beach, Monument Point Beach, and Rockpile Beach, or along the garden path above for a thorough summer picnic experience.
Food nearby: Zinc Café & Market
375 Cliff Drive
Crescent Bay Point Park
High above Crescent Bay Beach sits an intimate, blufftop park with a seemingly limitless, panoramic Pacific Ocean view. The lush flora harmonizes with the sea breeze, setting the ideal tone for some picnic pastimes and beach fun.
Food nearby: Asada Tacos and Beer
Crescent Bay Drive
William R. Mason Regional Park
With grassy fields that stretch across 339 acres, wildlife, and open air, this park makes a great setting for picnic merriments in one of Irvine’s biggest parks. Seek shelter from the summer heat under the abundance of trees while enjoying the view of the park’s 9-acre lake. Hiking and biking trails traverse the park for more activity options.
Food nearby: Lagu Café, Cluck Kitchen
18712 University Drive
Galaxy View Park
Restaurants around Orange County offer al fresco dining, and so does Galaxy View Park. Pack a picnic meal and enjoy an afternoon out before ending the day transfixed on the varying hues of a coastal evening sky—a spectacle that never gets old.
Food nearby: Xanadu Café, Pop Pie Co.
1392 Galaxy Drive
Salt Creek Beach Park
A grassy field featuring picnic tables and benches become elevated when in front of Salt Creek Beach, a popular surfing location. Soak up some vitamin D and Dana Point scenery while indulging in a favorite picnic meal before exploring tide pools created by some of the best swells along the coastline.
Food nearby: Moulin
33333 S. Pacific Coast Highway
Carbon Canyon Regional Park
Carbon Canyon Regional Park features a 4-acre lake that has two piers for fishing and a trail that leads to Orange County’s only grove of redwoods. Three acres of Sequoia sempervirens create a canopy over a myriad of potential picnic spots.
Food nearby: Tokyo Central, Mr. Katsu
4442 Carbon Canyon Road
Lantern Bay Park
Lantern Bay Park hosts physically distant yoga in the park every day at 10 a.m., but after means an open expanse just waiting to be decorated with picturesque picnics. Plenty of flat grassy space as well as benches and picnic tables allow for plenty of safe alternatives.
Food nearby: Kamea Poke
25111 Park Lantern
Irvine Regional Park
Nestled among a grove of Heritage oak and sycamore trees is shaded turf area and tables, providing a serene setting for leisure picnic activities. After indulging in an afternoon meal, you can rent a paddle boat or explore the many winding trails throughout the 491-acre park.
Food nearby: Taco Mesa
1 Irvine Park Road