Your Guide to the Perfect Afternoon Picnic

July is national picnic month across the United States, and we can’t think of a better place to have a picnic than the Central Coast. With a variety of beautiful look-out points: from oceanfront cliffs, to the tops of mountains, and right on the shore of the beach, we have a variety of different picnic locations and essentials that will work perfectly for both romantic or family adventures. Find out more about how to plan and enjoy your ideal picnic here on the Central Coast!

Step 1. Pick Your Location


Prefumo Canyon

The beautiful views on the drive up and down the winding Prefumo Canyon are perfect for sitting down and enjoying. This road covers the hills between Avila Beach and San Luis Obispo, and is one of the most scenic drives you can travel in San Luis Obispo County.  Pull off at a scenic spot and set up your picnic with a view.

Paso Robles wine country

Vast vineyard views and frequent sunny days make spending your picnic time in Paso Robles well worth the time. Visit Eberle, Sculpterra, or Castoro Cellars for a fantastic view for your summer picnic, and you’ll have the added bonus of delicious wine to pair with your meal.

Avila Beach

If you’re looking for a beach picnic, Avila Beach is the way to go, due to its small size and warm weather. Avila Beach has anything you would need for a fun picnic, including volleyball, a swing set and proximity to local shops. Additionally, BBQs are available to the right side of the pier if you need or want to get cooking.

Terrace Hill

Situated in San Luis Obispo, Terrace Hill is a five minute, easy walk up from Johnson Street. You’ll enjoy beautiful views of the peaks of Bishop and Madonna, while having enough space to run around and enjoy nature.

Step 2. Acquire Your Provisions.


Make Your Own Food

The food and drink enjoyed on a picnic doesn’t have to be fattening or unhealthy. If you have access to a kitchen and refrigerator, you could prepare some of these delicious salad recipes that a local company, Central Coast Outdoors, shared online.

Visit a Sandwich Shop

The Central Coast certainly has no shortage of amazing sandwich shops with a great degree of variety. Pair a sando from High Street Deli, Depalo and Sons, or Gus’s, with a fresh lemonade for a delicious picnic meal.

Fresh Fruits & Veggies

For fresh fruit, vegetables, and drinks, visiting a grocery store like Whole Foods or Lassens in San Luis Obispo is a good bet. You can also plan ahead by visiting one of the Central Coast’s many famers markets, and enjoy the fruits of local farmers’ labors.

Step 3. Bring Other Essentials.


The worst picnic mistake you could make would be not providing yourself with right materials to enjoy your leisurely afternoon.

Picnic Basket

Conjuring images of a classic American picnic, a cute picnic basket to store all your goodies is a great way to live the picnic of your dreams. Check out these adorable options and make your picnic truly authentic.


The right blanket/blankets is key to having a great picnic. Make sure that it’s large enough and comfortable enough for you and all your gear, like this one from Amazon. If you’re going someplace that might be wet, remember to bring a tarp to place underneath your blanket.


Several places you can picnic on the Central Coast are perfect for outdoor games, like Pismo Beach. Fly a kite, toss a football around or maybe set up a mini volleyball match. If you’re picnicking at a winery, try some of their games on-property, like bean bag toss or Jenga, if they’re offered.

Last minute essentials you might need include utensils, shatterproof wine glasses, and a cooler if you need to keep your food cold. Be sure to celebrate National Picnic Month sometime this July, all while exploring some of the best picnic spots the Central Coast has to offer.



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