One of the best ways to experience Athens' many beautiful parks and gardens is by packing a picnic! Grab your picnic gear and head out to one of these spots for a day of outdoor fun. 

Sandy Creek Park

Sandy Creek Park

Perfect for: Lakeside Dining

Featuring three picnic areas on the water, you can enjoy lunch with a gorgeous view of Lake Chapman at Sandy Creek Park. This spacious and beautiful park is located about 10 minutes north of downtown Athens and sure to be the perfect setting for some outdoor meals. Sandy Creek is also popular for swimming, boating, biking, and dog walking.

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia

Children's Garden Gate State Botanical Garden of Georgia

Perfect For: Family Fun

The expansive and gorgeous State Botanical Garden offers up a perfect backdrop for a picnic, with picnic tables available outside the Visitor Center and Conservatory. Opt for a post-picnic hike on the Garden trails or make it a family outing and visit the new Children’s Garden featuring an oh-so-fun outdoor playground.

Memorial Park

Memorial Park

Perfect For: Animal Lovers

A popular spot for families, Memorial Park is a beautiful park for picnicking. Enjoy lunch before visiting the animals at Bear Hollow Zoo for an easy and fun family outing. Convenient to the Five Points neighborhood, Memorial Park is perfect for animal lovers wishing to venture further from downtown. This beloved park is perfect for your next picnic day.

UGA's North Campus 

North Campus lawn/downtown

Perfect for: People Watching

The University of Georgia’s North Campus allows you to enjoy a relaxing picnic without straying too far from the downtown action. Popular with students and locals alike, North Campus is walkable from downtown hotels and never short of pedestrians and dog walkers. Bring your picnic blanket and set up underneath the shady trees for the best downtown people watching and some leisurely lunching.

North Oconee River Park 

Canoeing the Oconee


Perfect for: Close-by Relaxation

Just across the Oconee River from downtown Athens, the North Oconee River Park is convenient to all the city has to offer, but still provides a serene outdoor getaway. The Oconee River Greenway provides a beautiful view, access to trails, and is perfect for kayakers and canoers as well. With convenient picnic tables and grills, you’ll have everything you need to organize a picnic with friends or to simply lay out your blanket and recharge after a day on the Oconee.


Lake Herrick

Sunset at Lake Herrick


Perfect for: Picnics and Paddling

Located near the University of Georgia’s Intermural Fields, Lake Herrick is tucked away from downtown Athens. Popular for canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding, this spot is ideal for waterside picnics after a day of paddling. Enjoy nearby picnic tables and an easily accessible dock for non-motorized boats.

Dudley Park

FireFly Trail - Dudley Park

Perfect for: Trail Lovers

Dudley Park sits at the junction between the North Oconee River Greenway and the Firefly Trail, making it the perfect post-hike picnic spot for nature lovers. Picnic tables are situated across the entire park, and its close proximity to downtown and the UGA campus make Dudley Park a no-brainer for outdoorsy Athens visitors.