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Pack your basket and blanket and head to these scenic spots — and make our recommended pit stops to grab your grub on the way
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Water views, peaceful park spaces, and places to gather with larger groups for the day— Westchester County has it all when searching for a picnic spot. These days, where the outdoors feels like the best place to be, picnics have become one of the best ways to spend a sunny afternoon with family and friends.
Here is a handful of primo picnic locales — along with suggestions nearby where you can load up your picnic basket with tasty eats and treats for the perfect carefree day. (Just make sure to put your cell on airplane mode and unplug for a while!)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt State Park and the Little Cabin Sandwich Shop
FDR State Park has ample parking and a variety of activities including, hiking, row boating (rentals available), paddle boating (rentals available), biking, and more. Families can enjoy the playgrounds, while walkers can stroll along the many scenic paths. Picnic on the grass or use one of the many available picnic tables.
The Little Cabin Sandwich Shop is an adorable spot that will make you want to come back and stay for the atmosphere when you are not heading to a picnic. Open every day but Sunday, they smoke their own meats and are known for their housemade fries. Gluten-free bread is available. Try their Brisket Balboa, with Swiss cheese and grilled garlic bread, or the Azteca, with pulled pork and black beans.
Franklin Delano State Park
2957 Crompond Rd
Little Cabin Sandwich Shop
3787 Crompond Rd
Pierson Park and Grass Roots Kitchen
Pierson Park in Tarrytown has a large grassy area for picnic blankets, plus a picnic pavilion for those seeking tables and benches. Enjoy majestic views of the Hudson River, let children romp in the playgrounds (one is designated for children two through five), or play tennis or basketball (bring your own sports equipment). Non-residents should park in the numbered spaces. Tarrytown residents must have a resident sticker to park in Lot E in front of the Senior Center.
Grass Roots Kitchen has something for everyone with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Most of the foods are from local farms and businesses. Open every day, they serve breakfast until 11:30 a.m. and are open until 8 p.m. Sample the Salmon Burger with watercress, pickled onion, and basil mayo or their signature root burger with beef quinoa, vegan Swiss, watercress, pickled onion, and GRK Sauce. Looking for some unique sides? Give the vegan mac n “cheese” (made with shiitake bacon and breadcrumbs) or root fries with beet ketchup a try.
238 W Main St
Grass Roots Kitchen
124 Wildey St
Today’s supporting sponsor is Dana Levenberg for New York Assembly.
Glen Island Park and Loupinos
Glen Island Park is one of the most popular parks in the county, second only to Rye Playland. With views of the Sound, paths to stroll and bike, a beach, and large spaces for picnic blankets and tables throughout the park, it is the perfect gathering place to enjoy a spring or summer day. Be sure to check the parking rates.
Loupino’s is just minutes away. You can get all the typical deli sandwiches or feast on an Italian delicacy like prosciutto or Genoa salami or soppressata. The sandwiches, wraps, and paninis come in a variety of options and sizes. You can also try one of Loupino’s special combo sandwiches, such as the Bella Mozzarella, with fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, tomatoes, onions, oil, and balsamic vinegar, or the Northern Italy, with prosciutto, capicola, provolone, sun-dried tomato, and balsamic vinegar and oil. Open every day until 6 p.m., except Sundays until 5 p.m.
Glen Island Park
111 Pelham Rd
V.E. Macy Park and The Shop Ardsley
With 172 acres, V.E. Macy Park is known to be a great space for group picnics. There is a large picnic pavilion area and a playground and a lake area where people go fishing or skating, depending on the season. While there, be sure to check out the sculpture dedicated to the Irish people who fled their country to Westchester in the 1840s to escape poverty and famine. It is in the area of the park known as Great Hunger Memorial Park. A County Pass is not required.
The Shop Ardsley serves lunch in the middle of the day before turning into a more formal dining experience for dinner. Be sure to grab your food before 2:30 p.m. Enjoy the typical deli options plus some of The Shop Ardsley’s specialties, including the Vegan Vegetable Wrap, with hummus, grilled onion, tomato, mushrooms, and zucchini or the BZT Panini, with buffalo mozzarella, bacon, zucchini, tomato, and ciabatta. Feeling adventurous? Try one of the special toppings, including special sauce, chipotle mayo, or Shop hot sauce.
V.E. Macy Park
Saw Mill River Rd
The Shop Ardsley
711 Saw Mill River Rd
Wilson’s Woods Park and Hartley Park Deli
One of the oldest parks in the County system, Wilson’s Woods Park has a pool and waterpark besides great spaces for picnicking and fishing. Proof of County residency (park pass or NY driver’s license) is needed for access to the park and fees are charged for the pool and water park.
Hartley Park Deli has all the usual deli items, plus many specialties. Check out one of their most popular sandwiches, the DMX, with chicken cutlet, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and ranch dressing on a toasted plain wrap. Enjoy exploring the menu board with fun names like The Uncle Vinny, the Yankee Special, and The Gramatan. There is also one whole section known as The Chopped Cheese Factory with items like the Texas, with 4 oz of chopped ground meat, yellow American cheese, two eggs, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and ketchup.
Wilson’s Woods Park
8 Bradford Rd
Hartley Park Deli
210 Gramatan Ave
A media specialist in the education and not-for-profit sectors, Patrice Athanasidy has written in the Hudson Valley for over 25 years. A Bronx native, she loves exploring all the Hudson Valley has to offer from parks to theaters to historic places. Athanasidy is an adjunct professor of communication at Manhattan College and also an alumna. Now a resident of Westchester County, she is a wife and mom of three grown children and has written columns about living family life on the autistic spectrum.
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