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America is full of gorgeous picnic spots from coast to coast. Here are five dazzling places to unravel a blanket and enjoy an outdoor feast.

Some food just tastes better outside, which is why the picnic has become an American pastime. But where are the best picnic spots across the nation? Here are five great spots to roll out a blanket and have an outdoor feast.

Walden Pond, Massachusetts

Henry David Thoreau’s Walden is credited with ‘helping to inspire respect and awareness’ for nature, according to the Walden Pond State Reservation. Thanks to the resulting preservation effort, you can explore Thoreau’s natural inspiration today. The park is open from 8am until sunset, so pack a lunch tote and stay for the whole day. Designated trails wind around the pond, and the water is still crystal clear – visitors claim they can see to the sandy bottom even at the water’s deepest point.

Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York

For urbanites, the Brooklyn Bridge Park is a haven, combining natural and man-made beauty. Located, of course, along the Brooklyn waterfront, the park offers gorgeous views of the water and iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. The park opens at 6 am, so grab some local bagels and a thermos of coffee and watch the sunrise over the East River. Or pack dinner and enjoy one of the parks many evening activities, which range from SyFy movie showings to Shakespeare performances.

Blue Ridge Parkway Roadside, North Carolina

If you’ve ever driven along the Blue Ridge Parkway, you’re very aware of the number of roadside pull-offs complete with picnic benches. So why not make this Appalachian meal your easiest picnic ever? The pull-offs are there for a reason: every view is spectacular. Enjoy the scenery while you drive, and unpack your picnic basket whenever the hunger pangs strike. A table will be surely be nearby, waiting in the shade of the lush mountains.

Redwoods Park, California

The four parks – three state and one national – provide a bounty of trails through the old-growth Redwood forests. Many trails have benches or picnic tables tucked into curves in the path, offering idyllic spots to snack in the shade of the towering trees. The parks also have specified picnic areas that can be reserved and are handicap accessible.

Clayton Lake State Park, New Mexico

This is a great spot to picnic with young children. Their imaginations are set to run wild, as Clayton Lake is one of the best accessible tracksites on the so-called ‘Dinosaur Freeway.’ Bring the kids to see the well-preserved footprints, before heading to the lake for fishing and relaxation. Enjoy the beautiful, azure water, while you eat at the water’s edge.

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