Whether celebrating a special occasion or just because, a picnic can be a fun, romantic gesture to impress that special someone or spend time with your family. San Diego’s wide-open spaces, dazzling waterfront views, and beautiful parks offer the perfect setting for a lovely escapade or family time. And with many San Diego restaurants offering delicious take-out options, it’s easy to plan a picnic date.
Grab your blanket, order take-out, and head out to one of these seven San Diego picnic spots.
Morley Field Sports Complex
Where: 221 Morley Field Dr, San Diego, CA 92104
Located in the eclectic North Park neighborhood, Morley Field Sports Complex is a recreational area boasting wide-open spaces. You can spend the day relaxing in its gardens and picnic areas. Better yet, engage in fun activities like disc golf, archery, and hiking. A few blocks away, you will find Communal Coffee, a lovely coffee shop and flower boutique. Stop here to grab everything you’ll need for an unforgettable picnic date. In addition to specialty crafted coffees and lattes, their menu offers a variety of food options. Choose between the artisanal cheese board or the communal pizzetta with prosciutto, fresh basil, tomato, parmesan, and mozzarella. Don’t forget to pick up one of their stunning flower bouquets for that extra romantic touch.
Ellen Browning Scripps Park
Where: 1100 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037
With a sun-kissed coastline and dramatic coves, La Jolla has one of San Diego’s most romantic landscapes. In the heart of La Jolla Village, you’ll find George’s at the Cove, a local favorite for upscale fare. Takeout meals are currently available for pre-ordered curbside pickup on selected days. Available Thursday to Saturday, the chef’s 3-course spread includes dinner rolls, a Chino Farms salad, sticky toffee pudding cake, and an entree of your choice. Other meal package options include the “date night for 2” and a weekly “Sunday supper”. After picking up your food, head down to the Ellen Browning Scripps Park. This picturesque park offers wide green lawns, picnic tables, and sweeping ocean views. Wrap up your date by strolling along La Jolla Cove and marveling at the seals resting on the rocks down below.
Kate Sessions Park
Where: 5115 Soledad Rd, San Diego, CA 92109
If you want to impress your date with one of the best views of San Diego, head up to Kate Sessions Park. This 79-acre park located on Mount Soledad is a preferred picnic spot among locals. Its gentle, grassy slope gives way to incredible vistas overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Mission Bay, and downtown. Picnic tables are scarce, so bring your picnic blanket and enjoy the shady spots among the trees. Nearby Pacific Beach offers a diverse selection of casual eateries with grab-and-go options. Make it a breakfast picnic with Fig Tree Café‘s French toast sampler. If you would rather catch one of San Diego’s remarkable sunsets, Ambrogio 15 has you covered with delicious Milan-style pizzas.
Liberty Station NTC Park
Where: 2455 Cushing Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
From green spaces lined with trees to seating areas by unique murals, Liberty Station offers diverse picnic setting options. This former Naval training center in the Point Loma neighborhood is the ideal spot for an outdoor date. There are just as many restaurants as picnic spaces to choose from. If you and your partner can’t decide on what to eat, stop by Liberty Public Market. This artisan food hall offers handcrafted pasta, Argentinian empanadas, craft popcorn, lobster rolls and everything in between. Don’t forget dessert! Add a French flair with Le Parfait Paris‘ colorful macarons and freshly baked baguettes. After your meal, enjoy a walk along the waterfront or a paddle board session on the San Diego Bay.
Where: 1600 Pacific Hwy, San Diego, CA 92101
The Waterfront Park along downtown San Diego’s Embarcadero offers 12 acres of open grassy spots, shaded sitting areas, and gardens. Spend the day lounging or soaking your feet in the interactive fountain. The waterfront boasts magnificent views highlighted by the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s historic ships. The San Diego County Administrative Center, a Beaux-Arts/Spanish Revival-style building, serves as the perfect backdrop. The park’s prime location offers many to-go dining options. A few feet away, the recently renovated Portside Pier is home to four great restaurants. Craving seafood? Ketch Grill & Taps offers a variety of options like crispy calamari and grilled mahi mahi tacos. Three blocks away, you’ll find Little Italy, San Diego’s culinary hub, with a wide selection of restaurants to choose from.
Where: 1101 1st St, Coronado, CA 92118
San Diego will take your breath away with Centennial Park’s impressive skyline views. Its fantastic location across from downtown San Diego is why this Coronado gem is a hot spot for weddings and photoshoots. Arrive before sunset and watch the skyline light up as the sun goes down. The park is conventionally located near the Coronado Ferry Landing, a shopping destination with art galleries and eateries. Down the street, Coronado Brewing Company Pub is a San Diego staple for casual dining. Take-out options include wood-fired flatbreads, pasta, burgers, and pub favorites. Make the experience extra special and sail across the bay aboard the Coronado Ferry departing every 30 minutes from Broadway Pier and the San Diego Convention Center.
Where: 1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
San Diego’s cultural heart is also one of its most romantic destinations. For years, Balboa Park‘s picture-perfect lily pond and Spanish Colonial Revival architecture have captured the hearts of visitors and locals. The park’s 1,200 acres offers many spaces for the perfect picnic setting. Couples can be seen lounging on grassy areas or strolling along its promenades and gardens. Before finding the perfect spot, grab delicious takeout at Panama 66, located at the San Diego Museum of Art‘s sculpture court. Their grab & go menu includes bowls, salads, sandwiches, and canned beer and wine. Nearby, the Bankers Hill neighborhood also offers a wide selection of restaurants for pick up. Indulge in San Diego’s craft beer scene with to-go beers from Pure Project Balboa Park paired with Donna Jean‘s all-vegan pizzas and pasta. Alcoholic beverages can be enjoyed in selected areas between noon and 8 p.m.