Enjoying an afternoon outdoors is easy in Maryland. There are plenty of beautiful parks and gardens where you can have a picnic lunch, relax, take a walk, and play. Given the diversity in our state, you can picnic near the mountains, on the beach, or anywhere in between—all in the same week. Some of our favorite picnic spots even have restaurants within walking distance if you forget to bring your basket. Here are our favorite picnic spots in Maryland.
The views are so spectacular that they will take your breath away, if you get to the right spot. There are numerous places to have a picnic at Quiet Waters. You can relax by the large fountain, eat in the gazebo, or pick a bench by one of the playgrounds. These are all fantastic spots but cannot come close to comparing with the views you have when going to the end of the park. Unobstructed views of the Chesapeake Bay make for an afternoon picnic as the sun glistens off the water and sailboats float by.
This is a fun place to walk around and completely be secluded. There is a large pond where ducks gather and you will see nothing but trees, plant and wildlife. As one of the Park Services premier research facility, it is completely protected land which makes for amazing scenery and the perfect spot for a nature lovers picnic. Bring your picnic lunch here if you like to bird watch.
Expose your family to innovative art by exploring the gallery and then picnic among the sculptures outside. This is an excellent place to visit if you are an art-lover or if you simply want to experience something new. The sculptures are attention-grabbing and they have events on a regular basis, such as concerts that you can enjoy outdoors.
This is a huge park with wide open spaces and historical context. Beautiful, relaxing and peaceful, you can enjoy your picnic and then play the free 19-hole disc golf course or ride your bikes.
The views here are spectacular and you can enjoy them from the land or water. If you own a boat, you can dock at the marina and picnic here while your kids enjoy the play equipment. Non-boaters love this park as well because there is a nice promenade where you can walk, picnic areas and a waterfront restaurant where you can get food to go in case you forgot to pack your lunch.
The Manor was built in 1792 and is stunning architecturally with large white pillars and southern charm. Now a children’s museum, you can take the family and let them play inside. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxing picnic in their well-maintained gardens, full of flowers and sitting areas—perfect for a family stepping back in time.
For those who love the beach and want incredible views of the Chesapeake, you cannot beat the convenience of Terrapin Beach Park. Driving across the Bay Bridge is enough of an adventure and stunningly beautiful. Once you reach the other side, you are in Stevensville and will find the beach park convenient for you, your family, and your dogs. The park is free so bring your picnic lunch and spend the day enjoying the Maryland sunshine.
This picture-perfect setting is found on the cover of many Maryland magazines, especially during wedding season. The grounds of this historic home have been impeccably maintained and you feel like you are stepping back in time with visiting this Georgian mansion. William Paca was a three-term governor of Maryland after signing the state’s declaration of independence and the opulence of the manor and grounds reflect that.
It can be hard to find a place to relax in the city but if you want to get food to go and enjoy an outdoor picnic in between work meetings, Exeter Gardens is a good place to visit. This is an urban oasis, community garden that was designed, built, and is maintained by the local community. Keep that in mind, because what you will find may be different every time without set groundskeepers. However, for some peace and quiet in the middle of Baltimore, you can’t beat it with an afternoon picnic lunch.
Eat your picnic and catch your dinner! You can enjoy the large open fields, picnic areas and play equipment at Great Marsh Park and then get out your fishing gear to catch what you’ll eat later that night. Since you can walk to downtown Cambridge, you can also spend the afternoon shopping or grab a pint at one of the local pubs.
If you like to people watch while enjoying a picnic, head to Annapolis City Dock where you can sit on a cement bench at the water’s edge and watch as the people and boats go by. There is often entertainment here and you can top off your lunch with a large ice cream cone by simply crossing the parking lot.
For a quiet park with good parking near D.C., Veirs Mill Park is the place to go. It is set back and secluded so that you can enjoy a relaxing picnic lunch and your kids will enjoy the play equipment. The creek right there, makes for a fun stroll after lunch where you can expect to see deer and beautiful foliage in the fall.
On the Eastern Shore lies the small town of Crisfield. Here you will find a beautiful and relaxing beach park but since it’s on the Bay side, you don’t have too much wind. You can enjoy your picnic and then head out in kayaks for exercise and sunshine. You can also fish, crab, and camp here if you want to make a weekend out of it.
At the southern-most tip of Maryland, you find Point Lookout State Park with a lovely little beach and rustic cabins. Being so rural, it is quiet and peaceful, making it the perfect spot to picnic and swim. If you like Civil War history, you will enjoy learning more about the role of Scotland, Maryland. In key battles.
Patterson Park is perhaps most famous for its towering pagoda that you can climb to the top of for incredible city views. It has sports field, a pool, ice rink and more, making it a go-to destination in the city and somewhere that you can enjoy a picnic after spending a day playing at the park. You can’t go wrong when picnicking here.
Grab your lunch and enjoy! Let us know what your favorite picnic spots are!