Best Picnic Spots in San Diego

Best picnic places in San Diego

Are you looking for the best places to picnic in San Diego?  Fortunately for you, over the last 30 years, we have picnicked everywhere in the city and beyond, so we can share with you some of the prime picnic real estate San Diego has to offer.

Where should you host your annual picnic this year?

San Diego Parks

Picnic Venues:  Mission Bay Parks, including:

  • De Anza Cove
  • Crown Point Shores
  • Ski Beach
  • Ventura Cove
  • Bonita Cove
  • 10 other beautiful parks

Why we love it:  There are tons of amenities here at these parks, and the views are great.  Alcohol is allowed with a permit as long as it’s confined to a beer garden. Website

Picnic Venue:  NTC Park

Why we love it:  The flowers, the panoramic waterfront views, trails, parking…we love this picnic spot for so many reasons.  The wide open spaces of this park have given us some of the largest picnic spaces for just about any type of picnic game or activity that we could think of.  This park also allows alcohol (without a beer garden restriction), which is a definite perk for many picnics. Website


Picnic Venue:  San Diego Port Parks, including:

  • Spanish Landing
  • North & South Embarcadero Parks
  • Coronado Tidelands (Note: San Diego Port Park that does not allow alcohol)
  • Harbor Island Park
  • Shelter Park

Why we love it:  Talk about fun in the sun.  There are over 20 different parks here with ample picnic space, many including such amenities as playgrounds, stages, tree coverage, bike and walking paths, water access and more.  Whether you’re planning a busy picnic with tons of games and activities, or a relaxing picnic with plenty of food, drinks and places to lounge, these parks can be your answer.

North County Parks

Picnic Venue:  San Diego County Parks, including:

  • San Dieguito Park
  • Felicita Park
  • And dozens more

Why we love it:  These parks allow picnics to have alcohol without a beer garden restriction.  We also love that you can choose your picnic location based on some of the activities you’re interested in providing at your annual picnic.  There are sports parks, nature preserves, historic sites, botanical gardens and more at the North County Parks.  You’d have to see the impressive list to believe the vast number of options available for your picnic event. Website

Picnic Venue:  Carlsbad Parks, including:

  • Poinsettia Park
  • Stagecoach Park
  • The BRAND NEW Alga Norte Park

Why we love it:  This is yet another set of parks that allow alcohol without restricting it to a beer garden.  The Carlsbad Parks feature a variety of amenities such as tennis courts, softball and baseball fields, synthetic turf athletic fields, basketball courts, playgrounds, restrooms (at most parks), plenty of parking and tons of large, open green spaces.  For any type of picnic theme or size, you’ll find plenty of fun space in these parks.

East County Parks

Picnic Venue:  Santee Lakes

Why we love it:  For those who love the waterfront park venues, you can’t go wrong with Santee Lakes.  We love this unique space that includes an amphitheater, gazebos and even small islands in the lakes all trimmed to be the perfect backdrop to your afternoon of fun. Website



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Fun Facts

  1. We donate food, equipment and service valued at $500,000 annually to San Diego Charitable organizations.
  2. We have over 10,000 entertainers!
  3. The largest single event in San Diego is the US Navy Single Sailor Group Day – 15,000 people

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