Picnic in CLE

June 12, 2015
Picnic in CLE

Great Places For A Summertime Picnic in Cleveland

With an average summertime high of around 72 degrees combined with more than 60,000 acres of free-access greenspace, Cleveland is the perfect spot to partake in one of summer's greatest yields - picnics.

Yep, good old-fashioned checkered-blanket picnics complete with a straw picnic basket, foil-wrapped sandwiches and a couple of slices of watermelon.

But where are the best spots to picnic in CLE? We went straight to the authorities for help answering that question - our wise locals.

The Cleveland Metroparks

After a little crowdsourcing on @HappyinCLE, it's rather apparent that you'd be nuts to pass up a picnic inside one the 18 reservations within the Cleveland Metroparks.

According to officials at the Metroparks, one of the best spots to have a little impromptu outdoor nosh is the Whipp's Ledges picnic area, which is a part of the Hinckley Reservation. As one of the most scenic areas in the Metroparks, Whipp's Ledges is one of few places with exposed sandstone ledges perfect for climbing and exploring.

Or, make way to Hermit's Hollow picnic area, a great jumping off point to explore the Cleveland Metroparks Bedford Reservation. After some sammies and lemonade, work off that caloric intake with a breezy hike to the Tinker's Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook and then to Bridal Veil Falls. It's an Instagram lover's paradise.

And, if you're on the west side, consider a jaunt through the eye-candied Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Reservation - specifically the South Mastick picnic area. Here you can take a hike over to the Mastick Woods Golf Course to play a high-stakes game of footgolf. And, after lunch, try catching your dinner in the fishing-friendly streams and tributaries.

One of the most popular suggested locations was Edgewater Park in Cleveland. We couldn't agree more. This gorgeously maintained waterfront park offers one of the most stunning locations to overlook Lake Erie. Select to dine on the sandy beach or move into other grassy sections where you'll find pavilions, playgrounds, walking paths, shaded areas and even Honey Hut ice cream at the Eats and Treats concession stand.

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Make your way to the inspiring expanse known as the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and you've got picnic options galore.

Consider lunching outside near Brandywine Falls in Sagamore Hills, one of the park's most captivating hotspots. While there, take a little stroll to the overlook to see the naturally occurring waterfalls, while also getting ranger insights into local geology and history.

Another great picnic option is in Peninsula called Beaver Marsh. Here, you'll not only be able to have a relaxing picnic lunch, but you'll learn the inspiring story of habitat recovery for the hundreds of wetland birds and other wildlife in the area.

And, if you want to see a sunset that'll totally blow you away, then make it a dinner picnic near the Ledges Overlook. These stunning sandstone cliffs provide an unobstructed and totally jaw-dropping view across the valley.


If you want to keep your outdoor feast downtown, you've got options.

One follower suggested Voinovich Park in North Coast Harbor, with doubly impressive views of Lake Erie and the Cleveland skyline. Even better, once you're done with your picnic, you can saunter over to the Great Lakes Science Center, USS Cod, FirstEnergy Stadium and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Or, have a picnic on Mall B or Mall C (near the FirstMerit Convention Center of Cleveland) complemented with the cool mist coming off the exquisitely designed Fountain of Eternal Life.  

Slightly Offbeat

If you're looking for something a little more interesting, consider a cemetery picnic. Before you scoff at such a strange recommendation, let us introduce you to the historic architecture, natural beauty and meticulous landscaping that is Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland Heights. Enjoy your picnic by the Garfield Monument and its hills of radiant flowers.

Or, make it a dinnertime treat on Wednesdays this summer in University Circle. Reggae, jazz, rock - Wade Oval Wednesdays (WOW) has it all. Bring a picnic basket or relax in the beer and wine garden with a great view of the stage.

If music is your thing, The Cleveland Orchestra performs outdoor summer concerts at Blossom Music Center, situated in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. While there's a small admission fee for adults, kids under 18 years old are admitted free for lawn access. Pack the picnic basket, grab a blanket and enjoy a really cool repertoire of family-friendly music.

More Suggestions:

Hey Clevelanders: What are some of your favorite spots for an impromptu family picnic?

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