The Great Vermont Picnic celebrates the local bounty and businesses in Vermont. It runs throughout August, so whether you plan one or several picnics, choose your food & drink, then decide WHERE you’ll spread your blanket.
Maybe you have a favorite picnic spot or just want to be easy and sit on your porch or in your backyard. If you are looking to discover somewhere new, our staff and members have made some suggestions below. Check out a farm, vineyard, lake, state park, town green, swimming hole, and more.
Stay close or venture farther. Make a short trip out of it and consult Seven Days’ Staytripper Guide to explore our small state: “This series, running weekly through mid-October, presents curated excursions in every corner of Vermont, based on the experiences of Seven Days reporters. The idea is to patronize the Vermont's restaurants, retailers, attractions and outdoor adventures — after all, we want them to still be there when the pandemic is finally over. Happy traveling, and stay safe.”
Artisan Park, Windsor: Artisan Park offers many shady spots for a picnic. Dine among the 18 works of art in the Path of Life Sculpture Garden along the Connecticut River. Grab a cocktail or some food! We are a collection of 8 unique Vermont businesses all located in the same park. We are home to the Harpoon Brewery, Simon Pearce, SILO Distillery, Path of Life Sculpture Garden, Great River Outfitters, Artisan Eats, Blake Hill Preserves, and Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company Market.
Billings Farm & Museum, Woodstock: Bring some food and enjoy the grounds, animals, and gardens at Billings Farm. Surrounded by more than 200 acres of cropland and the Mount Tom forest, Billings Farm & Museum provides visitors with a unique window into rural Vermont farm life. Check out the Walking Trail, a gentle one mile loop through the farm field and along the picturesque Ottauquechee River that flows through the village of Woodstock, Vermont. Inquire at the ticket desk in the Visitor Center for directions to the trail.
Camp Meade, Middlesex: Camp Meade has always been a place for community, creativity, and collaboration. The space fulfills the need that Town Greens have had for centuries, bringing people together to enjoy each other's company, food, and entertainment. It is home to several businesses, including Red Hen Baking Co. Red Hen hosts pizza nights on Friday and Sundays with free music. Enjoy this community space along the Winooski River.
Knoll Farm, Fayston: What better way to enjoy someone’s company and celebrate the beauty and bounty of this land than with a picnic? Choose a Picnic Basket online, tell us when you want it, then come pick it up with your Day Pass at the Farm Store and enjoy a special spot on our 160 acres of high meadow, gardens, and woodsy glades. (Please give us date and time in the checkout comments box.) Knoll Farm is a natural place for a picnic! Spectacular mountain views, wide open fields or shady sitting rocks, gardens and handmade buildings, birds and sheep.
Lavender Essentials, Derby: Come stay a while. Bring a picnic and a bottle of wine, create your own romantic date here. Our farm has amazing views for miles around of both the US as well as Canada. We have 10 acres for you to explore and endless special spots for that perfect photo moment, as well as various seating for picnicking or just relaxing. Walk the lavender labyrinth (lavender blooms in July, August, and September)!
Pleiad Lake, near Hancock and Middlebury: A one mile hike out and back along the Long Trail off of Middlebury Gap takes you to a lovely picnic spot. Enjoy the picturesque lake in the Green Mountain National Forest.
Retreat Farm, Brattleboro: While our normal programming is on pause, we are funneling our energy into creating a family park for you to enjoy! The Community Farm and Forest is open dawn to dusk, 7 days a week. Please read our current safety guidelines before visiting and note that the barn and all buildings are closed, and no facilities are available. Bring a picnic to enjoy on Farmhouse Square. Mindfully walk among the vegetables, herbs, and flower beds in the Hope Garden’s labyrinth paths or take a longer hike on one of the trails.
Sandiwood Farm, Wolcott: We have some super nice picnic spots on our farm and would welcome picnickers in August. Guests can come on Fridays through Sundays, except the weekend of 8/8. People can picnic out in our field with 360 degree views, including Mt. Mansfield. Our enchanted sugarbush is another great option and if the weather isn't great, guests can dine in our agritourism greenhouse. We have a small farmstand with ready made salads, other available produce, and our maple syrup.
Shelburne Farms, Shelburne: Walk the trail and find a shady picnic spot on our gorgeous 1,400-acre working farm along the shore of Lake Champlain. Parking is at the Farm Store and people can walk to their desired location. Please note, the buildings are not open and we do not have restrooms available. Please see our Covid page on the website for more details. Order picnic items in advance from the Farm Store and pick up curbside to enjoy on the farm, or to take home when leaving. Choose from Shelburne Farms award winning cheddars, prepared foods from the Inn Kitchen, vegetables and berries from their Market Garden, and many Vermont products.
Shelburne Vineyard, Shelburne: Make a reservation, enjoy a curated tasting flight or glass of wine, and complete your experience with an al fresco picnic among the vines. Patio and picnic table seating is available. We've got a delicious selection of fresh local bread, cheeses, charcuterie, and preserves. All provisions are pre-packaged and ready to be served to order. We provide a cutting board, knives, napkins, and plates with your selections.
Snow Farm Vineyard, South Hero: The 120 acres of conserved farmland at Snow Farm Vineyard in South Hero lends itself very well to Vermont picnics! We have outdoor space on the lawns and under awnings with a variety of tables. And one of the most popular places we tell all our guests about is the short 20 minute hike up the Fox Hill Trail. (A bit of trivia for you is that this is the highest point in Grand Isle County and yes, there is a Vermont Highest Point Club!) You can bring your selection of Snow Farm wine with glasses and some delectable Vermont snacks, a cheese knife, board and napkins. We spotlight Dakin Beef Sausage, Vermont Farmstead Cheese, Grafton Cheese, and Castleton Crackers as choices in your picnic to take on Fox Hill. You will see a breathtaking view of Crescent Bay and the southern horizon where the sky touches the water. Mount Mansfield is to the east and Camel’s Hump is just southeast. As you enjoy your picnic, you can see the Local Motion Bicycle Causeway with the white granite rocks going across Lake Champlain from the tip of Colchester to South Hero. And as you walk around the field you can also see Whiteface Mountain to the west in N.Y. It is a day for the family to truly enjoy in the Champlain Islands! All regulations are followed for the most current Governor’s Covid standards.
Vermont State Parks: Vermont has 57 beautiful state parks across the state! Swim in Quechee and see the gorge, explore sand dunes along one of the longest beaches on Lake Champlain at Alburgh Dunes, cool off in the West River at Jamaica State Park, take in the breathtaking views at Mt. Philo State Park, and more.
Share your experience. Snap a photo and tag #vermontpicnic and the farms and restaurants you supported with your purchases. Share photos on Instagram to be entered in a ticket giveaway to Vermont Fresh Network’s 25th Annual Forum Dinner in 2021.