There’s something special about picking up lunch, tossing it in a basket and enjoying it al fresco, preferably with a great view. The perfect picnic takes a bit of hunting and gathering, but it’s still a must-do spring activity. Northforker staffers have helped take the legwork out of planning and have each curated their dream picnic complete with location, grub, drink, sweet treat and go-to way to carry it all. All that’s left for you to do is roll up a blanket and jump in the car.
Tara Smith, Digital Content Director
BASKET Have a quintessential picnic with a vintage hamper basket that’s stylish and functional. Pile your goodies inside and add a gingham cloth for an Insta-worthy spread. Hunt for one locally at In the Attic Too in Mattituck.
FOOD I love a good cheese board, but the days are quickly heating up and I’m reaching for something a bit lighter, though equally snacky and shareable. The cold mezze platter from Olive Branch in Greenport includes hummus, baba ganoush, refreshing haydari, olive dip and warm pita on the side. You can also add stuffed grape leaves or grilled spinach kopita for a heartier meal. Casual, simple-to-eat and delicious.
DRINK Pop open a can of cold Bridge Lane sauvignon blanc. Zingy, grassy and citrusy, it’s picnic-perfect.
EXTRA Two delicacies unite in the Honey & Chocolate hive from Disset Chocolate. It’s naturally sweet and makes for a beautiful addition to your basket.
LOCATION Hallock State Park Preserve is more than just great a spot to hike. It’s the perfect setting for a picnic after taking a short stroll down the gravel path. Make it an evening picnic and watch the sunset over the Long Island Sound for the most romantic touch.
Victoria Caruso, Reporter
BASKET A sturdy wicker basket is a charming classic that can really elevate your picnic and help to set the mood. Luckily, The French Picnic in Cutchogue sells a variety of these old-fashioned baskets.
FOOD While you’re at the French Picnic, treat yourself to some of their specialty cheeses and charcuterie. You can also craft your own sandwich — a favorite combination of mine is truffle burrata, prosciutto, arugula, and balsamic on ciabatta bread.
DRINK La Crescent, Suhru Wines’ most recent release, is light and fruity and tastes like spring.
EXTRA No picnic is complete without something a little sweet. I’ve recently developed a newfound love for cookie butter, so The Treatery’s homemade Biscoff cupcakes are an obvious choice.
LOCATION With miles of picturesque hiking trails and sandy shoreline, Indian Island County Park is an ideal spot for picnics. The park offers plenty of tables to sit at, though I prefer to lay out a blanket by the shore and soak in the views. After you eat, unwind with a book or take a leisurely stroll along the water’s edge.
Michelina Da Fonte, Content Director
BASKET I would be lying if I told you I didn’t use the 8 Hands Farm tote as my everyday bag. It’s lightweight, roomy and easily washable. It’s a great option to toss all of my picnic finds into.
FOOD The North Fork Shack makes a vegetarian-friendly version of a BLT that’s everything to write home about: The SLT. Made with crispy shitake mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, avocado and a garlic-lemon aioli — this wrap is picnic-ready.
DRINK Canned beverages make for an easy-breezy option and Canette by Chronicle Wines is my go-to for wine to-go. The rosé wine spritzer with pomegranate and lime is exceptionally divine.
EXTRA What’s a picnic without a sweet treat? A bag of cookies from Hallock Cider Mill is one item you can always find at our home. The walnut chocolate chip cookies are perfectly thin and crispy.
LOCATION The grounds at Horton Point Lighthouse are the perfect spot for a picnic. In addition to the most beautiful overlook there are also picnic tables and benches that await your date.
Lilly Parnell, Reporter
BASKET I love a unique thrift find that’s unlike anything anyone else has. At The Times Vintage in Greenport, you’ll never know what kind of bag or basket you’ll come across.
FOOD When on a picnic, I want to eat something that’s healthy and filling. The power bowl from Goodfood. in Mattituck is my go-to picnic meal. Made to order, this bowl is filled with gluten-free grains, black beans, delicious sauteed greens, roasted sweet potato and avocado. I love to top this with their housemade Chimichurri and grilled salmon.
DRINK: Enjoying a glass of sparkling wine is perfect on a warm spring day. Sparkling Pointe was the first vineyard I ever visited out on the North Fork and it has remained a forever favorite. Their 2012 Brut Seduction is my favorite.
EXTRA: I am a fanatic about the coconut yogurt bowl from NoFo Roasting Co. in Southold. I’ve tried many yogurt/granola parfaits in my day and nothing has been quite as tasty (and addicting) as this one. It’s the perfect not-too-sweet treat.
LOCATION: Why not have a picnic next to one of the most memorable Long Island landmarks? You may have to stray slightly from the North Fork but I think the field by The Big Duck in Flanders is a great spot for a picnic. Bonus: you can learn a little history, get a great photo and check out the gift shop before you head home!