Welcome to San Diego Blog | April 20, 2011

Picnic Downtown San Diego

As we are getting into the warmer months, we have already seen several beautiful days just perfect for enjoying the outdoors. And one fantastic way to relax in the sun is with a picnic! Picnics are perfect no matter how much time you have, whether it is a 1-hour lunch break or an entire afternoon. Here are a few of my favorite spots to picnic around downtown San Diego.

Petco’s Park at the Park located within the Petco Park Stadium is in East Village and the best way to access the areas of the park best suited for a picnic is through the gates on K Street between 8th and 10th Avenues. I frequently see people enjoying their lunch break from work at one of the many tables around the children’s playground. There is also a large grassy area with a hill surrounding the Tony Gwynn statue which is perfect for throwing down a blanket and enjoying a lengthier picnic. Bring Frisbees, balls, and your dog and have some fun in the sun. If it happens to be during one of the Padres’ away games you can enjoy the game on the “Away at the park” big screen.

Another fave for a picnic is the relatively new grassy area adjacent to the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. This large grassy area is open to the public and faces the San Diego Bay and Coronado. The Hilton has a Starbucks and Fox Sports Grill at its base, or you can pack your own picnic delights. This area is flat, making it great for a game of soccer or bocce ball and it’s just so relaxing to lie on a blanket with the beautiful San Diego Bay right in front of you.  This area is easily accessible via the new Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge!  This park will be home to this year’s Mission Federal ArtWalk on the Bay in September 2011.

Pantoja Park is located on G Street between Columbia and India Streets in the Marina district of downtown San Diego. This is downtown San Diego’s oldest park – it was built in 1850 and was named after Spanish explorer Don Juan Pantoja y Arriaga, who first surveyed and charted the San Diego Bay in 1782. The park features a large grassy area with mature fig trees, Natal plum shrub planting, benches, a perimeter walkway, and a statue of Benito Juarez. This is a favourite with local residents and people who work in the area.

Embarcadero Marina Park North at the end of Kettner Blvd just past Seaport Village and the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, also in the Marina District, is another fabulous waterfront park with stunning views of the San Diego Bay and Coronado. There is ample parking making it convenient for bringing a large picnic spread. The park is large and includes expansive grassy areas, plenty of shade trees, lush landscaping, a bike path, exercise stations, gazebo, picnic tables, concession stand, and on most days a refreshing ocean breeze. This park is home to festivals throughout the year including the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival. With its close proximity to Seaport Village you can easily grab an additional snack or treat and explore the shops as part of your picnic outing.

Just across a small body of water to the south is the Embarcadero Marina Park South, located at the foot of Marina Park Way which extends from Convention Way (behind the San Diego Convention Center). This park also has a large grassy area, a bike trail, exercise stations, picnic tables, concessions, a fishing pier, shade trees, gazebo, parking easily accessible and beautiful views of the San Diego Bay and Coronado. You may find it a little less crowded than Embarcadero Marina Park North and an equally beautiful picnic location.  During the summer months this park is home to the San Diego Symphony Summer Pops concerts.

All of these parks are dog-friendly, but most do enforce the leash-law. They are also easily accessible for downtown residents on foot, bike or via trolley, and have parking close by.  So bring along your kids, your dog, your friends and family and enjoy San Diego’s glorious weather at one of these fabulous picnic locations!


Written by: heather

Categories: Culture, Downtown San Diego, East Village, Marina District, San Diego Attractions

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