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How to Picnic Properly in Nassau County

Nothing screams “summer” quite like a picnic in the park. Once the sun starts shining, the shorts come on, the gingham blankets come out, and people flock to the nearest patch of grass to soak up those rays and snack on tasty nibbles. Plus, it’s a great way to gather friends and family without scrambling for a reservation or paying an arm and a leg for a meal. Simply pack your own basket or pick up some sandwiches and snacks from a local eatery and you’re well on your way for a delicious day of fun in the sun. When you’re in Nassau County, here’s where to go, plus some suggestions on what to pick up:

#1 Oyster Bay

Pull up to Planting Fields, renowned for being one of the only surviving estates on Long Island, complete with its original land and buildings all intact. The site is home to many historic structures and art collections, as well as stunning landscapes designed by the Olmsted Brothers. While visitors can stroll both inside the buildings and out on the grounds, you’d be remiss not to pack a picnic and plant yourself under one of the sprawling estate’s many cherry blossoms. Before you park yourself on the grass, swing by Christina’s Epicure to pick up all the necessary accouterments. Here you’ll find high-quality sandwiches, cheeses, dips, baked goods, and more.

#2 East Meadow

The 930-acre Eisenhower Park, home to many of the area’s best athletic facilities and fitness paths, also makes for an idyllic spot to spend an afternoon picnicking. You can either BYO chairs and blankets or sit at one of the many picnic tables in the park. Garden Gourmet Deli & Caterers, located less than 10 minutes away in Garden City, is a local eatery that offers many different options for your picnic needs – especially if ‘picnic’ is the theme of your next big soiree. In addition to your classic sandwiches and deli offerings for takeout, the caterers offer a wide range of picnic packages, ranging from smaller 30-person parties up to a whopping 250 people. They will come to your desired location, and depending on the package you choose, will come with at least two staff to help grill and serve and can accommodate add-ons like tables, tents, a DJ, carnival games, and more. Talk about a next-level picnic! 

#3 Floral Park

Hit up Centennial Gardens, a 12-acre park featuring community gardens erected in an old storm drain. The lovely area is open daily in the afternoons, providing locals and visitors ample opportunity to take advantage of its lush greenery. Less than five minutes down the road you’ll find Nonna’s Italian Deli & Market, a family-run eatery featuring authentic Italian nosh. Pick up warm pizzas, hearty sandwiches, salads, and even pasta to bring along on your outdoor adventure.  

#4 Roslyn

Another sprawling park in the heart of Nassau County, Christopher Morley Park is comprised of 98 acres of land and features sports courts, athletic fields, a pool, and many more outdoor activities. With so much land at your fingertips, it’s a no-brainer spot to head to when you want a picnic. Hit up Kitchen Kabaret before you land here to stock up on fresh deli delights like fruit platters, smoothies, cupcakes, sandwiches, and pizza.  

#5 Manhasset

Order some grub to go at Publicans, a local kitchen and taphouse that dishes out all the fixings. Its expansive menu offers picnic classics like sandwiches, dips, and salads, but also has hot commodities like tacos, wings, mozzarella sticks, and grain bowls should you want to expand your spread. Five minutes away lies Manhasset Valley Park, which has ample room to make yourself comfortable, but also features walking trails, playgrounds, and athletic fields should you want to squeeze in some exercise before or after your meal.  

#6 Freeport

Sidle up close to the water’s edge at Water Front Park, where it’s almost too easy to create the perfect picnic setup. With beautiful views of the water, this park has its own built-in picnic area complete with grills to make your summer dreams come true. Besides the ease of snacking, the park also boasts a large playground, walking paths along the water, and even a designated fishing area. Make sure to bring your bag full of goodies from nearby Bagel Dock, which obviously has bagel options to choose from, as well as Philly cheesesteaks, gyros, salads, and sandwiches.  

#7 Seacliff

If you’re looking to ditch the grassy knolls, remember that picnics don’t necessarily need to take place in the park. A beach picnic still strikes all the right notes and Harry Tappen Beach is an idyllic location for any such occasion. In addition to the sandy shores and mild waves, the beach is home to many a refreshment stand, a playground and swings, and even its very own picnic area. For those looking for something more substantial than what’s available at the on-premises refreshment stands, there are a handful of options less than five minutes away. North Shore Farms brings all the best that your typical grocery, farmer’s market, and specialty shop has to offer and combines it all into one convenient shopping experience. Even closer you’ll stumble upon Sea Cliff Market, a local favorite known for its super fresh produce and custom fruit platters.

Did you enjoy one of these picnic spots?  Share your pics with @VisitNassauCountyLI and be entered to win some Nassau County faves!


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