27 Best Picnic Spots in Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia has plenty of beautiful picnic spots to choose from so whether you’re looking for a secluded spot with a stunning view or a lively spot perfect for catching up with friends, here you’ll find 27 of our favorite picnic spots in the region.

What’s great about picnicking in Northern Virginia?

What better way to spend some quality time with the family than to have a picnic. And there is nothing quite like getting outside into nature, enjoying the sounds, putting your feet in the grass and enjoy a relaxing, stress-free picnic.

Asian kid enjoying her picnic

And here we’re going to help you make that happen!

The 27 Best Picnic Spots in Northern Virginia

#1 Van Dyck Park

3720 Old Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA 22030

Van Dyck Park is a great picnic spot. There have several benches, picnic tables, a picnic pavilion and even charcoal grills so you can find a spot to relax and enjoy a meal.

The park itself also has a playground, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, plus a skatepark, which makes it perfect for families.

What’s nice is you can also find plenty of shady spots for family picnics under all the nice trees.

#2 Bull Run Regional Park

7700 Bull Run Dr, Centreville, VA 20121

Pack a picnic lunch and head to Bull Run Regional Park for a day of relaxation.

With many acres of parkland, there’s plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the great outdoors.

The park also has many picnic shelters, some with their own BBQ area and parking lot. Some even have a small playground in front so you can let the kids play while you relax.

You can also reserve the picnic shelters so you can use it the whole day for your family or party.

#3 Algonkian Regional Park

47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling VA 20165

Pack a picnic lunch and head to Algonkian Regional Park for a day of fun in the sun. The park offers plenty of open space for picnicking, as well as playgrounds, a fishing pier, and nature trails.

But the best part is the park runs right along the Potomac River so if you want to play in the water or just sit back and enjoy the views, this is a great spot.

Don’t forget your camera to capture memories of your day in the park!

picnic spots in Northern Virginia

#4 Scott’s Run Nature Preserve

7400 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA

Scott’s Run Nature Preserve is a great place for a picnic. The preserve has a beautiful view of the river, and there are some places to sit and enjoy a meal.

You can also hike down to the waterfall (it’s not that far) and try and find a place to sit and enjoy a bite. There won’t be any benches or tables down at the waterfall so be prepared to “rough” it a bit more down there.

It’s nice to explore the trails before and after your meal and the park is dog friendly too. It’s a great place to spend a spring or summer day.

#5 Elenor C. Lawrence Park

5040 Walney Rd, Chantilly, VA 20151

Elenor C. Lawrence Park is a beautiful, green park in Centreville, VA.

The park has a large pavilion with picnic tables, perfect for enjoying a summer lunch outdoors. There’s also a playground, basketball court, and plenty of room to run around. Best of all, the park is free and open to the public!

You can also hop over to Walney Park on the other side of the road where you’ll find a couple of picnic tables next to the creek (with stepping stones!) and other covered picnic areas closer to the parking lot that overlook the pond.

RELATED: 100 Things to Do With Kids in Northern VA

#6 Leesylvania State Park

2001 Daniel K Ludwig Dr, Woodbridge, VA 22191

Leesylvania State Park is a great place for a picnic. There are plenty of tables and grills to use, and the park has a beautiful view of the river. The park also has a playground and several nature trails which makes it perfect for families.

Leesylvania State Park is a 1,310-acre park located on the Potomac River in Woodbridge, Virginia. Our family love sit for the beach and other activities like fishing, canoeing or kayaking.

#7 Lakeside Park

5216 Pommeroy Dr, Fairfax, VA 22032

Lakeside Park is a beautifully maintained park and a popular spot for picnics in Fairfax, Virginia. You can find plenty of shady spots to have a picnic and can easily spend the whole day here!

The park features lovely walking paths, plenty of green space, and a large lake that is perfect for fishing or simply taking in the view.

Lakeside Park is also home to a small playground, a bandstand, and several picnic pavilions that can be reserved for private gatherings.

Don’t forget to bring some feed for the ducks!

Lady biking inside the Bon Air Park, Northern Virginia
Source: Bon Air Park website

#8 Bon Air Park Rose Garden

850 N Lexington St, Arlington, VA 22205

This is a bit more formal spot to have a picnic. In fact, this is a place popular for wedding photos it’s so beautiful!

There’s a little bit of everything for everyone at Bon Air Park Rose Garden.

The centerpiece of the park is the rose garden, which features over 2,000 bushes in all shapes and colors. There’s also a playground for kids, as well as several covered pavilions that can be reserved for special occasions. The small walking trails inside the garden lead to small waterfalls and more nature gardens.

Come spend a couple of hours in the garden and enjoy a nice picnic at this free garden.

#9 Riverbend Park

8700 Potomac Hills St, Great Falls, VA 22066

If the beautiful nature along the bank of the Potomac River sounds like a nice place for a picnic, Riverbend Park is the place to go!

The park has a playground, a basketball court, and a river where you can go fishing. There are also several picnic tables in the park, so you can have your lunch outdoors.

#10 Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail is a beautiful place to picnic.

There is a trail that winds its way along the Potomac River, providing stunning views of the river. There are several lovely spots along the trail where you can stop and enjoy a picnic lunch.

The park also has a visitor center you can stop at to learn about the area.

In the spring, this is also a great park to see the Virginia bluebells and other wildflowers.

#11 Windy Run Park and Nature Trail 

2420 N Kenmore St, Arlington, VA 22207

Windy Run Park and Nature Trail is a great place for a picnic.

The park has a nature trail that winds through the woods, and there are plenty of picnic tables in the park. The park is also home to a playground and a small creek.

There is also a waterfall, stream, wood bridges to cross. It can be challenging but fun. More details on that here.

Ducks crossing the path at Great Falls Park in Northern Virginia
Source: Great Falls Park

#12 Great Falls Park

9200 Old Dominion Dr, McLean, VA 22102

Great Falls Park is one of the absolute best places for a picnic in Northern Virginia.

With it’s surrounding nature and beautiful waterfalls, it really can’t be beat. We’ve talked about doing family hikes at Great Falls with the family (Billy Goat Trail A, Trail B and Trail C) but just don’t forget a picnic!

Great Falls Park is a beautiful place to picnic. The park has plenty of picnic tables, and the views of the falls are stunning. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer and geese. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful stroll along the river or hike up to the top of the falls.

#13 Wolf Trap National Park

1551 Trap Rd, Vienna, VA 22182

A picnic and a show? Yes, please!

At Wolf Trap, you are allowed to bring your own food and drinks to enjoy while you watch a show on the lawn.

If you’re not up for a show, they also have picnic tables throughout the park and of course the vast green space where you can lay out the picnic blanket.

The scenery is beautiful and the park is also home to a variety of wildlife, so it’s a great place to see animals in their natural habitat if you’re lucky!

#14 Old Town Alexandria Waterfront Park

1A Prince St, Alexandria, VA 22314

The waterfront park in Old Town Alexandria is the perfect place for a picnic. It’s right on the water and has plenty of grassy areas and benches to sit on.

The views of the Potomac River are beautiful, and there’s always something interesting going on in the harbor. It’s a great spot for a summer day spent outdoors with friends or family.

Plus, when you are done with your picnic, there are so many fun things to do in Alexandria that you can enjoy a full day in the area.

Animals at the Flying Pan Park
Source: Frying Pan Park

#15 Frying Pan Park

2739 West Ox Rd, Herndon, VA 20171

Frying Pan Park is one of our favorite places to go in all of Northern Virginia. And I don’t think we really ever go without a picnic.

There’s plenty of room to spread out a blanket and the park has a playground and carousel, so the kids can have fun too.

The best part is that it’s free and you can enjoy seeing the animals (including baby animals in the spring)!

Clear sky at Huntley Meadows, Northern Virginia
Source: Huntley Meadows

#16 Huntley Meadows Park

3701 Lockheed Blvd, Alexandria, VA 22306

Huntley Meadows Park is a 1,500 acre park managed by the Fairfax County Park Authority. It is located in the Mason Neck area of Fairfax County, Virginia.

We absolutely love walking the boardwalk over the water and exploring for any wildlife we may see. They also have a nature center and a picnic area.

A natural oasis in the city…

A sunny day at Burke Lake Park, Northern Virginia
Source: Burke Lake Park

#17 Burke Lake Park

7315 Ox Rd, Fairfax Station, VA 22039

Burke Lake Park is a great place for a picnic with its large open field that is perfect for spreading out a blanket and enjoying a meal.

There are also several picnic tables in the park, which can be reserved online if you’re worried about the park being crowded. The park features beautiful views of Burke Lake and there is a nice trail around the lake as well.

Make sure to bring some food to feed the geese!

Beautiful flowers at Meadowlark Botanical Garden, Northern Virginia
Meadowlark Botanical Garden

#18 Meadowlark Botanical Garden

9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct, Vienna, VA 22182

Meadowlark Botanical Garden is such a beautiful garden with a large picnic area that has plenty of tables and benches.

You’ll find the picnic area outside of the fence garden adjacent to the Lilac Pavilion. All tables are available on a first come, first serve basis.

The gardens are beautiful, and there’s plenty of shade from the trees. It’s a great place to spend a spring, summer or fall day.

It’s good to know that no grilling is allowed here and there is an admission to enter the gardens.

#19 Lake Accotink Park

7500 Accotink Park Rd, Springfield, VA 22150

Lake Accotink Park is a Fairfax County Park located in Springfield, Virginia. The park is 758 acres and offers a variety of activities such as fishing, boating, nature walks, and picnicking.

The park’s centerpiece is the man-made Lake Accotink which covers 48 acres. The lake is stocked with bass, bluegill, catfish, and crappie. Visitors can rent boats or canoes at the park office.

If you enjoy fishing, this is a great spot for a picnic as you can fish along the edge of the lake or head out in a canoe before or after your meal.

There are several pavilions available for picnic reservations from April through October. The pavilions have charcoal grills and tables. Some of the pavilions also have electrical outlets.

#20 Lake Fairfax Park

Lake Fairfax DrReston, VA 20190

Lake Fairfax Park is a beautiful place to visit for a picnic. There are plenty of tables and benches to sit at, as well as grills if you want to cook your own food.

And of course, we have to mention the great view of the lake!

The park also has a playground, which is perfect for kids.

Lake Fairfax Park is a great place for a picnic. There are plenty of tables and benches, as well as grills if you want to cook your own food. The park also has a playground, boat rental, skate park, campground and several miles of hiking trails. It’s a great place to spend a summer day!

Here you’ll also find the Water Mine water park!

Waterslides for kids in Northern Virginia park

#21 Claude Moore Colonial Farm

6310 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22101

If you’re looking for a unique and fun picnic spot, look no further than the Claude Moore Colonial Farm.

This historical farm offers visitors a chance to explore life in colonial America.

There are plenty of activities for kids, as well as opportunities for adults to learn about colonial farming techniques. And if you get hungry, the farm’s cafe serves up traditional American fare but of course, you can always pack a picnic!

#22 Theodore Roosevelt Island

Theodore Roosevelt Island is a small island on the Potomac River. The island was once owned by George Washington and used as a farm.

In 1978, the island was donated to the National Park Service and became a part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The island is open to the public and can be reached by foot, bike, or boat.

Theodore Roosevelt Island is a popular spot for picnics and visitors can find several tables and grills scattered throughout the park. The park also features a nature trail, a playground, and a memorial to Theodore Roosevelt.

#23 Belle Haven Park

Alexandria, VA 22307

Belle Haven Park is a beautiful park for a picnic. You’ll find a large open field that is perfect for playing games or laying out a blanket, and there are also several picnic tables and grills available if you want to cook your own food on site.

We love the nature trails that are well shaded, the small boardwalk to explore and you can even rent kayaks and canoes.

The park also has a playground and a small pond, which makes it the perfect place to take your kids for an afternoon outing.

#24 Gravelly Point

Arlington, VA 22202

If you haven’t had a picnic at Gravelly Point, you’re really missing out!

An oasis of green in the midst of the city, Gravelly Point is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike to enjoy a peaceful picnic lunch.

The wide open lawns and panoramic views of the Potomac River make it the perfect place to relax and take in some fresh air.

And with its close proximity to Reagan National Airport, Gravelly Point is also a great spot for watching airplanes take off and land super close. Definitely a unique picnic spot in Northern Virginia!

kids activity at the Potomac Overlook Regional Park
Source: Potomac Overlook Regional Park

#25 Potomac Overlook Regional Park

2845 Marcey Rd, Arlington, VA 22207

The Potomac Overlook Regional Park offers a variety of outdoor activities and scenic views. Visitors can picnic by the river, go fishing, or take a hike on one of the many trails.

If you’re looking for a great spot to have a picnic, look no further than Potomac Overview Regional Park. This park offers plenty of open space for picnicking, as well as beautiful views of the Potomac River.

The park also features a playground and a small fishing pier, making it the perfect place for a family outing.

#26 Prince William Forest Park

18170 Park Entrance Rd, Triangle, VA 22172

Prince William Forest Park offers visitors a variety of activities to enjoy. There are miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as picnic areas for visitors to relax and take in the beauty of the park.

The park also has a visitor center and you’ll find the park’s picnic area adjacent to it.

Prince William Forest Park is a great place to spend a day with family and friends. There are picnic tables, restrooms, grills and a plyaground available.

There is an entrance fee for the park.

Beautiful Sitting Place in Green Spring Garden
Source: Green Spring Gardens

#27 Green Spring Gardens

4603 Green Spring Rd, Alexandria, VA 22312

Green Spring Gardens has a children’s gardens which the kids absolutely love! Maybe it’s the tee pee, the mailboxes or the edible garden. But this is definitely a place where we enjoy having a picnic.

They do have picnic tables available and with lovely gardens and plenty of open space, what more can you ask of a picnic spot?

So grab your friends and head to Green Spring Gardens for a day of fun!

What to Bring

To have an enjoyable picnic, make sure you have everything you need. Here is a list of everything you’ll need:

  • Cooler with ice
  • Blanket or tablecloth
  • Food (sandwiches, condiments, desserts, etc.)
  • Plates, cups, utensils
  • Small cutting board
  • Napkins
  • Tote or picnic basket
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Extra water or other drinks
  • Games to play (see below)

If you really want to have a fun, unforgetable picnic, consider bringing some fun family picnic games like:

Picking a Picnic Spots in Northern Virginia

As you can see, there are so many great picnic spots in Northern Virginia!

Whether you are looking for a place to relax by the water or enjoy a beautiful view, there is sure to be a spot that fits your needs. So get out there and enjoy some good old-fashioned fun in the great outdoors!

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OK Editorial Team

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