Picnic Perfection: Scenic Spots for Family Gatherings in CT

by | Aug 1, 2023 | Community | 0 comments

Known for its scenic beauty, Connecticut offers an array of idyllic parks, gardens, and waterfronts that are ideal for enjoying a relaxing outdoor meal. Whether you are a resident or a visitor, picnicking in Connecticut is a popular pastime. The state’s diverse picnic spots cater to a wide range of preferences and offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. So pack your basket, gather your loved ones, and prepare to embark on a memorable picnic adventure in Connecticut! 

Niantic Bay Boardwalk, Niantic CT 

The boardwalk or beach is an excellent location for a picnic, offering stunning coastal views and no entrance fees. It provides a long stretch of captivating shoreline where you can spread out your blanket and enjoy a meal with loved ones. 

Plenty of conveniently placed benches are available for seating, ensuring ample space for relaxation and conversation. Additionally, the beach presents a refreshing opportunity to dip in the water on hot days, although it’s important to note that there are no lifeguards on duty for safety. The boardwalk is open 24/7, and the beach hours are 8 am to 8 pm. 

Elizabeth Park, West Hartford CT

This beautiful park showcases a stunning array of blooming roses, creating a breathtaking sight for visitors. It’s the perfect opportunity to pack a picnic and indulge in a delightful outdoor meal amidst the park’s beauty. 

Admission to Elizabeth Park is free, and they warmly welcome picnickers to enjoy the surroundings. Beyond its renowned rose garden, the park also boasts a charming tulip garden, a perennial garden, and even playgrounds, catering to diverse interests and providing a delightful experience for all who visit.

Gillette Castle State Park, East Haddam CT 

At first glance, the stone castle looks like a medieval fortress. Upon entering, visitors are greeted with a unique interior that showcases the imaginative brilliance of William Gillette. 

The castle surprises visitors with its built-in couches, table trackway, and intricate wood carvings, proving Gillette’s creative genius. 

The visitor center, park grounds, hiking trails, and restrooms remain open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset year-round. Plenty of secluded picnic areas and excellent walking trails leading to the river are available, making it a delightful way to spend a day.

Chatfield Hollow State Park, Killingworth CT 

The park, managed by the Department of Environmental Protection, offers various recreational activities. These include fishing, with designated Trout Parks and stocked areas such as Chatfield Brook, Schreeder Pond, and Mill Pond, where a reduced creel limit of two trout per day is enforced during the fishing season. 

Please note that individuals aged 16 and above are required to have a fishing license.

Picnicking is also popular in the park, with rustic settings featuring tables and grills scattered throughout. Group picnic sites and a covered shelter are available for larger gatherings.

For those looking to cool off, a beautiful 300-foot sandy beach is located by a freshwater pond surrounded by majestic white pines. Visitors can enjoy swimming or relaxing in the sun.

Additionally, the park offers an extensive network of trails spanning over ten miles, seamlessly connecting with a section of the Cockaponset State Forest. These trails cater to various outdoor activities such as cross-country skiing, hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. The hours of operation are 8 am to sunset.