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6 Picnic Spots in Durham With Breathtaking Views

Estimated Read Time:
3 minutes

It's time to bring some bites and a blanket and head to one of Durham's fabulous picnic spots.

Posted By Discover Durham Staff

Unpack some fried chicken and some sweet tea and you're on your way to Southern summertime bliss! We've compiled a few of our favorite places to enjoy a meal and a breathtaking view in Durham.

1. Beside a rushing river

Eat beside a small rushing river at West Point on the Eno as water splashes against rocks and boulders. The 404-acre park is free to guests and includes five miles of scenic trails with three historic buildings. Guests can hike, fish, and rent covered picnic facilities.

2. Beneath Durham's city skyline

Stay in the city and eat underneath the historic Lucky Strike water tower and chimney stack at the American Tobacco Campus lawn. While it may be man-made, you can still listen to the rushing sound of waterfalls, and enjoy a flowing river surrounded by manicured trees, shrubs, and historic brick buildings.

3. Under old-growth trees

A city park with impressively large trees, Forest Hills Park is a beautiful spot for an afternoon picnic. With nearby restrooms, tennis courts, grills, picnic facilities, spraygrounds, playgrounds, and soccer fields, Forest Hills is a wonderful place to go with a date, your kids, or your friends.

4. In an impressively manicured garden

One of the premiere public gardens in the United States, the Sarah P. Duke Gardens invites visitors to ooh and ah at more than 55 acres of carefully curated plants and paths. There is a wide lawn in the Historic Gardens, where visitors often sunbathe and picnic.

This spot may require more than a spur of the moment plan. If you plan to picnic with more than 1-2 people, call in advance, so staff can coordinate with other programs/events and let prospective picnickers know what locations would be best. (Don't forget to pack up your picnic trash afterward and dispose of it in appropriate receptacles or at home.) Call or email in advance: 919-668-1707, or gardenseducation@duke.edu.

6. In a boat

You don't own a boat? No problem! You can rent several different kinds of boats at Lake Michie (pronounced Mickey), including kayaks, canoes, and motor boats. Bring a packed picnic lunch and find your gleaming reflection in the water. Just be sure not to fall overboard!

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Discover Durham Staff