Boston’s Best Spots For A Picnic

June 9, 2012 6:00 AM

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Picnic weather is finally here, and with all of Boston’s beautiful picnic areas, you don’t have to travel to the countryside to settle in with a basket and a blanket. Nothing beats these great spots in and around Boston for a little ambiance and a lot of sunlit snacking.

esplanade Bostons Best Spots For A Picnic

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23 David G. Mugar Way
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 227-0365

Price: free

The Esplanade stretches about three miles along the banks of the Charles River, from the Boston University Bridge to the Museum of Science. Along with open parkland perfect for picnicking, it contains walkways, park benches, a tennis court and playgrounds. After your picnic, take a stroll through the wading pool or across the pedestrian bridges. Grab some shade under one of the many trees for solace on warm summer days. Add excitement by scheduling your picnic during a performance at the Hatch Shell, or catch the fireworks display on the 4th of July picnicking here.

brookline park Bostons Best Spots For A Picnic

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Larz Anderson Park
23 Newton St.
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 730-2069

Price: free

Larz Anderson Park in Brookline, a 64-acre estate left to the city by Isabel Anderson in 1948, offers rolling lawns and lush gardens to provide the perfect backdrop for an afternoon picnic. Take a walk across the estate to visit the Carriage House, and view the antique vehicle collection at the Museum of Transportation. If you prefer to use picnic equipment, such as a charcoal grill and table, over packing a traditional picnic basket, the city of Brookline grants permits. Be flexible if you’re looking for a quiet picnic here as the playground does bring in crowds of kids, especially during the summer.

Related: Guide to Boston Walking Tours

forest hills cemetary Bostons Best Spots For A Picnic

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Forest Hills Cemetery
95 Forest HIlls Avenue
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 524-0128

Price: free

A cemetery might not seem like the usual place to have a picnic, but Forest Hills is 250 acres of rural gardens and cultural resources. Along with plenty of space to spread a blanket for lunch, a variety of events here throughout the year are sponsored by The Trust, a non-profit group to preserve and celebrate the cemetery. These events include walking tours, exhibitions, concerts and poetry readings. Visitors are welcome to engage in quiet recreational activities, but are also asked to respect the peace and serenity appropriate for this environment, which makes it perfect for a peaceful picnic.

castle island Bostons Best Spots For A Picnic

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Castle Island
Day Boulevard
South Boston, MA 02127
(617) 727-5290

Price: free

Castle Island, a 22-acre park along the South Boston shoreline of Dorchester Bay, is a great place to bring the family, as the M Street Beach and Carson Beach are just a few steps away. Enjoy a picnic lunch next to Fort Independence, the main feature of the island built between 1834 and 1851, before exploring the area on the pedestrian walkways. If you would like to learn more about the history of the island, guided tours are available from the Castle Island Association. Don’t miss out on hitting the trails, no matter your interests here, as this beautiful area is also a historic landmark worth exploring.

indexelement88 Bostons Best Spots For A Picnic

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Christopher Columbus Park
Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02110
(617) 635-4505

Price: free

Christopher Columbus Park was Boston’s first waterfront park. It includes a wrought-iron-fence enclosed rose garden and a granite fountain honoring Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, who was born nearby, among other memorials. The shade of the wisteria covered trellis or the open lawn are great spots to set up a picnic blanket. Cool off in the spray fountain and notice the statue of Christopher Columbus. Don’t forget to step into the center of the circular granite seating wall where you can hear your echo. The park is open dawn to dusk.

Related: A Guide to Boston’s Most Romantic B & Bs

Kim is the owner of Vareika Personal Training and Yoga in Plainville. She has been in the fitness industry for over ten years, and believes that wellness is about more than just physical health. When she is not teaching, practicing, or writing, she resides in Bridgewater where she enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her nephew Caesar. Her work can be found at

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