16 places to picnic around Charlotte

16 places to picnic around Charlotte
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share by Email
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share by Email

This content was created in partnership with Bojangles.

If you’re looking for ways to socialize safely this summer, grab a blanket and check out these nearby spots that make for the perfect picnic location.

And no matter where you’re picnicking, swing by Bojangles for a low-effort spread. Their drive-thrus are open, or you can order online through Doordash and Postmates.


Keep in mind that because of the restrictions in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, visitors are being discouraged from using shared picnic facilities (such as tables) at many parks. Instead, head to open areas and practice social distancing from other groups.

Related Agenda guide: Fashion picks: 5 outfits for picnic and patio season — plus the No. 1 accessory right now

When you’re looking for a classic park picnic…

Charlotte has lots of beautiful parks to enjoy. These are the ones we deem most ideal for picnicking. 

Pairs well with: Anything with pimento cheese. A picnic in the park is a classic summer pastime, so we recommend a classic Southern food to pack in your basket – pimento cheese. Add Bojangles pimento cheese to your biscuits, on top of your seasoned fries, and even in your mac ‘n cheese. Snag a half-gallon of Legendary Iced Tea® and you’re all set.

(1) Freedom Park

98-acre park centered around a lake in the middle of Dilworth.

Address: 1908 East Boulevard
One lot off of Princeton Avenue, two off of the East Boulevard entrance, and one across East Boulevard
Pro tip: For optimal social distancing, bring a blanket and set up your picnic on the grass in front of the amphitheater. Plus, you get a great lake view.

(2) Romare Bearden Park

5.4-acre park in the middle of Uptown with skyline views and a grassy area to spread out.

Address: 300 S. Church Street
Parking: Various public parking areas – check out this map for locations

(3) First Ward Park

4-acre park in Uptown just off the light rail.

Address: 309 E Seventh Street, Charlotte
Parking: Various public parking areas – check out this map for locations

picnic first ward park

(4) Latta Park

Long and narrow 32-acre park with wooded and grassy areas in Dilworth.

Address: 601 East Park Avenue
Parking: Small lot along Park Avenue

(5) McAlpine Creek Park

114-acre park with trails, a pond, dog parks, and more accessible by car and the Campbell Creek Greenway.

Address: 8711 Monroe Road
Parking: Via main entrance on Monroe Road, plus overflow parking across the street.

Campbell Creek Greenway leading to McAlpine Creek Park.

(6) Colonel Francis Beatty Park

265-acre park with a lake and multiple picnic areas in Matthews.

Address: 4330 Weddington Road 
There are four parking areas in the park accessible from the main entrance.

When you want a picnic with a view…

What’s a beautiful spread without a beautiful backdrop. From nature preserves to a winery, these spots will give you #views. 

Pairs well with: A Big Bo Box®. We say go for the 12-piece Super Tailgate Special, which comes with 12 pieces of perfectly seasoned chicken, 3 picnic fixin’s, 6 made-from-scratch biscuits, and a half-gallon of Legendary Iced Tea®. You won’t even need an actual picnic basket.

(7) Anne Springs Close Greenway

2,100-acre nature preserve and recreational park with trails and other activities.

Address: 2573 Lake Haigler Drive, Fort Mill, SC (main entrance), 288 Dairy Barn Lane, Fort Mill, SC (Dairy Barn entrance)
Parking: Multiple parking areas by each entrance, check out this map for details.
Driving time: 30 minutes from Charlotte.
Pro tip: General admission for non-members is $5.

(8) McDowell Nature Preserve

Sitting on 1,132 acres, McDowell is the oldest preserve in Mecklenburg County, protecting mostly forested, rolling terrain along the banks of Lake Wylie.

Address: 15222 South York Road
Parking: You’ll find multiple parking lots throughout the park. Check out the map here.
Driving time: 30 minutes from Charlotte.
Pro tip: McDowell Nature Preserve is also home to Copperhead Island, a 20-acre island with hiking trails, group camping, and fishing access.

Agenda related guide: The ultimate guide to beaches, water activities, and lakeside restaurants on Lake Norman and Lake Wylie

(9) Crowders Mountain

State park with multiple picnic spots and tons of hiking trails. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could have your picnic at the summit while you soak in the views.

Address: 522 Park Office Lane, Kings Mountain
Parking: There are three parking areas: Linwood Road, Sparrow Springs, and Boulders Access – check out this map for details.
Driving time: 40 minutes from Charlotte.

Note: As of right now, the picnic facilities are closed but other areas are open. 

(10) Latta Nature Preserve

1,460-acre preserve bordering Mountain Island Lake. Includes 16 miles of trails and endless opportunities to check out wildlife as well as the local flora and fauna. 

Address: 6211 Sample Road, Huntersville, NC
Parking: You’ll find multiple lots off of Sample Road
Driving time: 30 minutes from Charlotte.

Latta Plantation

(11) The Quarry at Carrigan Farms

Popular swimming hole in a natural quarry in Mooresville.

Address: 1261 Oakridge Farm Hwy, Mooresville
Parking: Near the quarry, accessible from the 213 Oak Ridge Farm entrance.
Driving time: 45 minutes from Charlotte.

Note: No coolers allowed, must make advance reservations for open swim.

the quarry at carrigan farms

(12) Veronét Vineyards

70-acre winery serving flights and wines by the glass and bottle. Reserve a table and enjoy the views of Kings Mountain.

Address: 1549 Ike Brooks Dr, Kings Mountain
On-site parking available.
Driving time: 40 minutes from Charlotte.
Details: Reservations are required. Make one online here. Outside food is allowed, plus there are food trucks.

Note: Outside chairs and blankets are not allowed but you can reserve outdoor seating ahead of time.

veronet vineyards

When you want a laidback campus vibe…

Sometimes you want to sit in a quad, read a book, and enjoy the breeze. Here are some nearby campuses to check out. 

Pairs well with: A 12-piece Chicken Supremes® Box. There’s something about a campus picnic paired with Chicken Supremes® that just feels right. The box comes with 4 handmade biscuits and we recommend adding on pimento cheese dipping sauce or at least some pimento cheese topped fries. College you would have said “go for it”.

(13) Queens University

Gorgeous college campus in Meyers park with quads and lawns to spread out on.

Address: 1900 Selwyn Avenue
Parking: Street parking along Wellesley Avenue, Selwyn Avenue, and Radcliffe Avenue, plus a few lots throughout campus.


Queens University, located in Charlotte’s Myers Park neighborhood

(14) Davidson College

Expansive college campus in downtown Davidson that’s a national arboretum and has multiple sculptures from renowned artists.

Address: 405 N Main St, Davidson
Parking: Street parking along Concord Road and throughout campus.
Driving time: 30 minutes from Charlotte.
Pro tip:
The courtyard between the library and Chambers (the main academic building) is the perfect spot for a picnic and is surrounded by sculptures.

(15) Mint Museum Randolph

Art museum surrounded by a park with easy greenway access.

Address: 2370 Randolph Road
Parking: Near the entrance to Briar Creek Greenway off Randolph Road
Pro tip: Though the museum is temporarily closed, it still makes for a beautiful backdrop for a picnic. Nearby Eastover Park also has room to spread out.

(16) UNC Charlotte

The 1,000-acre campus is located just 8 miles outside of Uptown. Grab a blanket and have a picnic on the quad to relive your glory days. 

Address: 9201 University City Boulevard
Parking: Visitors can pay for parking in the East Deck or West Deck on campus
Pro tip: The University buildings are closed but you can still walk around campus. Check out this self-guided tour to scope out the perfect picnic spot.

UNC Charlotte

Looking for more picnic food inspiration? Check out all of Bojangles’ picnic-perfect menu items here.

(This content was created in partnership with Bojangles.)

279 Total Views 3 Views Today
Story Views:
Join the 119,033 smart Charlotteans that receive our daily newsletter.
"It's good. I promise." - Emma   Emma Way