PLACES TO GO
If Connecticut is teeming with little slices of foodie heaven, then it’s positively bursting with ideal places to picnic, in a stunning variety of settings.
There are picnic-friendly seaside parks like Harkness Memorial State Park inWaterford, Ocean Beach Park in New London and Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme; woodsy enclaves like the sprawling and wonderful Chatfield Hollow State Park in Killingworth, Devil’s Hopyard State Park in East Haddam and Nehantic State Forest in Lyme; and grassy farmlands like Haley FarmState Park in Groton and Cross Lots in Essex— with many more hideaways in between. Don’t forget the ConnecticutWine Trail (www.ctwine.com), which is loaded with bucolic getaways in southeastern Connecticut that are happy to host picnickers in the market for some tableside wine. Personal favorite: Maugle SierraVineyards in Ledyard, where time truly seems to stop.
And remember, ’tis the season for outdoor concerts and theater, which provide great opportunities for friendly competition between picnicking patrons. Stonington Vineyards’ Annual SummerWine Festival ( June 15 & 16 fromnoon to 6 p.m.) is a festive picnic opportunity that includes live music, gourmet food truck vendors, wine tastings and give-aways. The Colonial Theatre’s annual Shakespeare in the Park summer series inWesterly’s beautifulWilcox Park is another blissful chance to spread a blanket ( July 31 through Aug. 18). The sprawling arboretum is also a great place for ball or frisbee.