With the trees changing colors and the weather cooling down, fall is the perfect season for picnics. Here in Boulder, we’re lucky enough to have many great locations to choose from. A few spots have withstood the test of time – we’ve listed our favorites to help you narrow it down:
With its central location in Downtown Boulder, Central Park is an annual favorite if you’re looking for a convenient picnic spot. Boulder Creek provides great background noise, and the perfect opportunity for kids to splash around. The local farmer’s market is an awesome go-to for any last minute picnic ingredients – vendors drive in from as far as Western Colorado, with a host of delicious, local goodies every Wednesday through October 7, and every Saturday through November 28.
Nestled on the edge of Boulder, Chautauqua Park is one of the best places to enjoy a picnic with amazing views of the flatirons. This area is truly iconic, and has great trailheads (that happen to be perfect for those on a site-seeing mission). With large expanses of green space, Chautauqua Park is perfect for getting your kids outside. Expect to see cyclists, runners, and ultimate Frisbee as you walk around. Grab your picnic blanket and choose the perfect spot in the shade. If you need help in the nosh department, Cured has great pre-made picnic baskets available.
Eldorado Canyon State Park
Enjoy some family (or alone) time while riverside in Eldorado Canyon State Park. The sandstone cliffs add to the gorgeous setting, and offer over 500 great climbing routes. Eldo is also perfect for a quiet hike, with brochures for self-guided nature walks available at the visitor center. It has been named one of the “Ten State Parks You Can’t Miss” by SmarterTRAVEL, and the raving TripAdvisor reviews only add to the park’s appeal. If you’re looking for an escape that’s surprisingly close to Boulder, this is definitely the spot. P.S. Be sure to pack a sandwich from Alpine Modern Café before you hit the road.
The Estes Valley Recreation and Park District provides picnic areas all around this small town. Estes Park is also home to two golf courses, a lake marina, plenty of hiking trails, and phenomenal camping. Resting on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, you might notice local wildlife hanging out, especially this time of year. Epic views of the Rockies surround you 360 degrees, and town is just a short drive away. Be sure to check this place out when the leaves start peaking – the breathtaking aspens that dot the sides of Trail Ridge Road will amaze you.
Wonderland Lake Park
Located in North Boulder, Wonderland Lake Park is a great location to take your kids for an afternoon picnic. With both open space and mountain park hiking trails, this area is meant for family fun. Its location is just on the edge of town, allowing for more wildlife watching than other areas around Boulder…plus it offers easy access to yummy treats from local favorites like Lucky’s Bakehouse. This park is perfect if you’re looking for a little tranquility without all of the additional prep it may take to go to further picnic locales.
All of these areas offer some of the best visitor experiences around. Each with its own wow factors, it really depends on personal preference when deciding where to take your friends and family. Where’s your favorite picnic spot? Tell us in the comments below!