Top 5 Perfect Places to Picnic

There’s nothing quite like the simple pleasure of pairing the scenic outdoors with some fantastic culinary fare. To help you take full advantage of the beauty of the Art Coast, we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite picnic spots and offer some suggestions on where to grab delicious eats to go.

Wades Bayou

West Side County Park

Known for its beautiful sunsets and an excellent spot for birdwatching, this Fennville park tops our list as the best location for a family-friendly picnic. Along with the beach, visitors will find a number of amenities here, such as picnic tables, pavilions, restrooms, and a playground. Too busy to plan out the menu in advance? No worries. Get a pizza delivered from the Back Alley Pizza Joint and keep your outing relaxed and focused on the fun.

Wade’s Bayou Memorial Park

A quaint and quiet spot located on the western shore of the Kalamazoo Lake and river area, this Douglas park is ideal for a romantic picnic. It features a charming gazebo at the water’s edge and offers a few picnic tables—although picnickers might prefer just relaxing on a blanket under a shady tree for a more intimate experience. Stop by the Farmhouse Deli & Pantry beforehand to pick up an assortment of freshly made, locally-sourced culinary creations, such as sandwiches, salads, and baked goods.

Coghlin Park
Coghlin Park
Wick's Park
Wick’s Park
Retro Boat Rentals
Retro Boat Rentals

Coghlin Park

A great place to unwind along the water, Coghlin Park in Saugatuck overlooks the scenic Kalamazoo River. It features a large gazebo with picnic tables and a large grassy area perfect for spreading out a blanket. Pre-order a snack plate and salads from Pennyroyal Café & Provisions for some gourmet fare or a classic French picnic for two from Lulu Cadieux, which comes beautifully presented in a wicker and canvas picnic basket that is yours to take home. Watch locals cast their reels, and be sure to check out the vibrant red Family of Man IV sculpture created by artist Cynthia McKean while you’re there.

Wicks Park

Also located next to the Kalamazoo River in downtown Saugatuck, this favorite spot features picnic tables and lawn area seating with soothing waterfront views. A beautiful gazebo serves as center stage for our free Wednesday evening Music in the Park concerts held throughout the summer. Located only a short walk away from The Grilled Cheese Shack, sandwich lovers will delight in their classic Build Your Own grilled cheese or gourmet specialty melts.

On a Retro Boat

For a more unusual—yet highly memorable—picnic experience, rent a classic runabout boat at Retro Boat Rentals and enjoy your meal out on the Kalamazoo River. Food and beverages may be ordered from The Old Boat House where they provide a cooler with ice and will pack for you to enjoy on the water.

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