The 13 Best Picnic Spots in Arizona!

There are a few essentials you need when gearing up for a picnic: A picnic basket, blanket, homemade lunch, and lastly (but most importantly!)—a perfect spot. Gearing up with the essentials can seem a lot easier than finding a great locale. Here in Arizona, there are seemingly infinite options available when choosing an outdoor picnic spot. Armed with gorgeous state parks and beautiful desert views, Arizona has no shortage of outdoor dining areas. Here are the best local areas to enjoy Mother Nature while on a picnic.

The Farm at South Mountain, Phoenix, AZ

The Farm at South Mountain is a serene location to enjoy a picnic without having to make your own meal. This kitchen, café, and restaurant includes a picnic option for diners looking to enjoy their meals outdoors. The picnic party includes a self-serve breakfast or lunch buffet with hand crafted desserts. Customers can take a picnic basket on a stroll through Pecan Grove before deciding on a lunch spot. For larger groups, private spaces are available on the Farm Kitchen Patio.

Encanto Park, Phoenix, AZ

Encanto Park was put on Forbes list of “America’s Best City Parks.” This 222-acre park lives up to this honor through its location and amenities. The park resides in a gorgeous residential area of Phoenix and incudes a lagoon, boat house, natural trail, and two golf courses. Encanto, Spanish for “enchanted,” is a popular destination for picnicking families on the weekends. They have two picnic areas complete with 12 tables and two grills. 

Steele Indian School Park, Phoenix, AZ

Steele Indian School Park is one of the most historic parks in Phoenix. The park is built around the Phoenix Indian School—opened in 1891. The Phoenix Green area of the park features acres of green grass, shade trees, and meandering walkways. This peaceful sanctuary in downtown Phoenix also surrounds a lake and includes five family-size picnic ramadas. Steele Indian School has so many great shaded spots that choosing a picnic spot is a walk in the park.

South Mountain Park, Phoenix, AZ

South Mountain Park is a great spot for picnickers that are up for a hike. This 16,000-acre park and preserve is one of the largest municipally operated parks in the country. It includes 51 miles of trails for and encompasses three mountain ranges. There are several easy to moderate hikes that end with picturesque views. The Desert Foothills trailhead has a bird’s eye view of downtown Phoenix whereas Gila Lookout gives a peak at Gila River Valley. No matter the trail, there are plenty of spots to grub after working up an appetite in South Mountain Park.

Papago Park, Phoenix, AZ

Papago Park is known for the “Hole in the Rock”—a natural rock formation and trail with picturesque views of Phoenix. It also makes for a great picnic spot. Park visitors can hike up the West Park Trailhead for a less crowded picnic location. This relaxing trail ends atop buttes that offer clear views of the sprawling city. For non-hikers, Papago has several grassy areas that surround a fishing lagoon that are easily accessible and picnic friendly.

Fountain Park, Fountain Hills, AZ

Fountain Park is an expansive, 64-acre recreation area that is home to a world-famous fountain. “The Fountain” is at the center of the park and was once regarded as the tallest fountain in the world by Guinness World Records. The fountain reaches heights of over 500 feet and is surrounded by over 35 acres of turf. This area also includes several large oak trees and is a perfect place to sprawl out with a picnic blanket.

Margaret T. Hance Park, Phoenix, AZ

The Margaret T. Hance Park is a hub for several cultural centers—including the Japanese Friendship Garden, Irish Cultural Center, and Phoenix Center for the Arts. Visitors can set up a picnic between visits amid this sprawling 32-acre park. Along the park’s west side is an expansive open grass area. This is close to the Irish Cultural Center and has amenities including ramadas, grills, and drinking fountains. 

Red Rock State Park, Sedona, AZ

Red Rock State Park is a 286-acre nature preserve with some of the most stunning scenery in the state. The park’s signature red rocks are surrounded by green meadows and vegetation. Trails along the park make for a great spot to picnic and get a peak at the riparian habitat and its wildlife. Five self-guided trails lead picnickers through loops of the red rock vistas or banks along Oak Creek. 

Roper Lake State Park, Safford, AZ

Water views are precious commodities in Arizona—and Roper Lake State Park has some of the state’s best. The park’s two main areas, Roper Lake and Dankworth Pond, both make for a great picnic setting. Roper Lake has a 30-acre lake as well as a stone hot tub, island, and campsites. Meanwhile, Dankworth Pond includes several picnic tables and ramadas. This picnic spot is best for a full day excursion or camping trip.

Crescent Moon Picnic Site, Sedona, AZ

The Crescent Moon Picnic Site is home to one of the most photographed areas in Arizona. The picnic site has a view of the immense Cathedral Rock—one of Sedona’s most iconic rock formations. Aside from the spectacular views, this picnic spot has a lot to offer. The picnic area is located in the Coconino National Forest along Oak Creek at Red Rock Crossing. Tourists often take a refreshing dip in the creek before enjoying a picnic lunch.

Green Valley Park, Payson, AZ

Set in the northern Arizona city of Payson, the Green Valley Park checks all the boxes of a great picnic location. It has over 17 acres of grass, trees and shrubs, three picnic ramadas, and three lakes. The park is in a quiet neighborhood and has plenty of shaded areas that make for a perfect getaway from the scorching summers of southern Arizona. After a picnic, visitors can enjoy the many walking paths, boating, and fishing areas. 

Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza, Prescott, AZ

The Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza is known as the “jewel” of downtown Prescott. This plaza is adjacent to the famous Whiskey Row and is the nucleus of downtown Prescott. The plaza has a fountain, equestrian sculptures, an expansive grass lawn, and over 170 trees. The lawn is consistently crowded with tourists, exercisers, and dog walkers and hosts more than 130 activities annually. Picnickers can post up on the lawn with a blanket and enjoy people watching and a show in this busy downtown hub.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood, AZ

Though the name can be off-putting, Dead Horse Ranch State Park has some of the best picnic spots in the Coconino National Forest. This 432-acre park is elevated at 3,000 feet—meaning there are mild temperatures in the summer time. Along the Verde River, there are camping, biking, and hiking spots for tourists. Along the beach are several picnic areas with ramadas, tables, and grills. During a picnic, you’ll encounter outstanding views of the water in addition to the occasional encounter with some of the many species of wildlife that call this park home.

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12925 N. Saguaro Blvd, Fountain Hills, AZ
Fountain Park is a 64-acre passive recreation area and anchor to the town center. Built in 1970, the park includes: 35-acres of turf 29-acre 100 ... Read More
4155 East Virginia Street, Mesa, AZ
Features:- Off-leash dog area (Closed Thursdays for maintenance)- First-come, First-serve Ramada- 4 lighted soccer fields (by permit only)- 2 light... Read More
6109 North Apache Trail, Apache Junction, AZ
Named after the fabled lost gold mine, Lost Dutchman State Park is located in the Sonoran Desert, 40 miles east of Phoenix. Several trails lead fro... Read More
3130 E. Southern, Mesa, AZ
Off-leash dog area - closed Tuesdays for maintenanceLighted baseball (60 ft) fieldsPlaygroundRestroom2 lighted basketball courtsLighted beach volle... Read More
5401 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale, AZ
As a part of the greenbelt, Chaparral shares a recreation path system that is ideal for running, walking, biking, and rollerblading. Chaparral Park... Read More
2155 E. Knox Rd, Gilbert, AZ
The three picnic ramadas at Crossroads District Park are located on the east side of the park adjacent to the ballfields and the shaded playground ... Read More
8th Street and Una Avenue, Tempe, AZ
Creamery Park is one of the few parks in Tempe that was named in honor of a significant historical element in the community rather than for a signi... Read More
1000 N College Avenue, Tempe, AZ
AMENITIES: Baseball DiamondBasketball CourtsDog ParkGrillsLakeLightingPicnic TablesPlaygroundRamadasRestroomsSoftball FieldsVolleyball Courts Read More
5th Street and Hardy Drive, Tempe, AZ
The park was originally developed by the Jaycees of Tempe in 1962. Eventually, the park was turned over to the City of Tempe.  It is adjacent to t... Read More
Mitchell Drive and 9th Street, Tempe, AZ
Mitchell Park was once part of the vibrant Mitchell School campus. When the Tempe Elementary School District closed Mitchell School along with Ward... Read More
Mill Avenue and All America Way, Tempe, AZ
The land for Kiwanis Park was purchased in 1972 with a 50% grant from the Bureau of Recreation. This site was selected as a result of an open space... Read More
300 East Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ
Steele Indian School Park is the premiere special event park in central Phoenix. It boasts 72 acres of green grass, mature shade trees and a histor... Read More
Badger Springs Road, Black Canyon City, AZ
Adjacent to rapidly expanding communities, the 70,900-acre Agua Fria National Monument is approximately 40 miles north of central Phoenix. The area... Read More
2605 North 15th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ
Encanto Park has been named on Forbes Magazine's list of America's Best City Park. This 222-acre oasis with picnic areas, a lagoon, boat house, swi... Read More
6655 North 23rd Avenue, Phoenix, AZ
The park features: Lighted basketball, exercise course, playground, pool, ramada and picnic area, restrooms, soccer, lighted softball, lighted sand... Read More
57th Avenue and Union Hills Drive, Glendale, AZ
Foothills Park has an area located northeast of the softball complex and access is from the Foothills Library parking lot. Two separate areas allow... Read More
9802 North 59th Avenue, Glendale, AZ
About the Park: Sahuaro Ranch Park offers users both a recreational and historic experience. This park is unique with it's historic ranch buildings... Read More
22600 North 59th Avenue, Glendale, AZ
Thunderbird Conservation Park, a 1,185-acre park in the Hedgpeth Hills, is a conservation park dedicated to preserving the desert environment. The ... Read More
37615 U.S. Highway 60, Superior, AZ
Our Mission Statement "The Mission of Boyce Thompson Arboretum is to instill in people an appreciation of plants through the fostering of educatio... Read More
9734 West Beardsley Road, Peoria, AZ
Amenities in this 17-acre park include:- Single Picnic Ramadas (3)- Double Picnic Ramadas (1)- Barbeque Grills (5)- Lighted Tennis Courts (2)- Ligh... Read More
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