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10 easy picnic ideas in Richmond

Enjoy the warm weather and dig in to all the local food Richmond has to offer

maymont - rodney martin

The Japanese gardens at Maymont. | Photo by Rodney Martin

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Now that the weather has warmed back up, picnicking is a delightful way to spend a shady afternoon afternoon or a breezy evening in Richmond. We’ve put on our excursion-expert hats and thought up some ideal spots matched with nearby eats.

Forest Hill Park

If you want a bit of outdoor adventure with your meal, head to Forest Hill Park. The park has picnic shelters close to several trails perfect for walking, running and biking. Swing by Gold Lion Community Cafe before you arrive to pick up a refreshing smoothie and lunch.

Libby Hill Park

Eat and enjoy the view that gave Richmond its name at Libby Hill Park in Church Hill. Ideal for watching the sunset, the park also has picnic table seating, several fountains, and space to spread out a blanket and relax. If you want to grab something to eat, Proper Pie, Cobra Burger, and The Hill Café are only a few blocks away.


Enjoy a meal with a view at Libby Hill Park.

Photo by RICtoday


There’s plenty of scenic spots at Maymont to picnic, whether you’re in the mood to sit in the Japanese Garden, on a shady hill, or near the Children’s Farm. Pack a lunch or grab a bagel at Lamplighter before you get to the park. Pro tip: Don’t forget a blanket.

Scuffletown Park

Nestled between Strawberry Street and Stafford Avenue, Scuffletown Park is perfect for a picnic with a few friends. If you’re headed out in the early afternoon you can snag a treat from Idle Hands. Looking for a full meal? Grab a bite at . Remember a blanket or sit at one of several benches and tables.

Bryan Park

Located in Northside, Bryan Park is a sprawling area with a playground, picnic shelters, and the 17-acre Azalea Gardens. Get a fresh local lunch at the RVA BIG Market on Saturday mornings and walk to a more secluded area if you prefer to be away from the market’s hustle and bustle.

Oregon Hill Overlook

Bring a blanket, spread out in the shade, and settle in to watch the river flow. There are also several benches — plus one rope swing — if sitting on the ground isn’t your style. Grab a pizza from Pupatella or some donuts from Oh! Mochi and enjoy one of the best views in the River City.

Belle Isle

If you’re looking for a closer view of the James, trek across the pedestrian bridge with your basket and settle in at one of the several riverfront spots Belle Isle has to offer. Approach from the east to grab some takeout at Casa Del Barco or Soul Taco and enjoy your tacos on the rocks.

Sunset over the James river.

Belle Isle has plenty of riverside spots to stop for a picnic.

Photo by RICtoday

VMFA Sculpture Garden

Surround yourself with art and soak up some sun at the VMFA. Get coffee from Black Hand or Paix, grab a burger from the Texas Inn, or snag a bite from the Best Cafe in the museum itself, then set up shop on the grassy lawn.

Byrd Park

The lakes of Byrd Park provide a perfect opportunity for a waterside snack. If you’re really feeling ambitious, the Fountain Lake has public grills by the pond. Grab a steak from Belmont Butchery and get in touch with your inner grillmaster — just watch out for hungry geese.

Pony Pasture

Pony Pasture and the Huguenot Flatwater has rocky riverside spots similar to Belle Isle. Head out in the morning, stop by Eat 66 on the way over, and meditate on the placid waters over a breakfast sandwich or two.

There are so many places to picnic in Richmond — we know we left a lot off the list. Tell us where you go to get some fresh air and enjoy a snack.

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