Saluda Shoals Park – This 400-acre regional park has plenty of space for picnics. You can spread out a blanket in a number of spots or walk along the Greenway and picnic on a bench with a view of the beautiful Saluda River. Picnic shelters can be reserved. Admission.
Riverfront Park – take a blanket and spread it out on the grassy expanse at the bottom of the hill below the parking lot. People watch, hear the river rush over the rocks, play frisbee. Bring a blanket and lawn chairs. 312 Laurel St. Columbia. Free
Community Park of Irmo – this “off the beaten path” park has lots of shade and two picnic shelters. Walking trail, playground and restrooms. Pond. Free.
The Riverwalk Cayce – Grab a bench or a picnic table and sit in the shade. Two picnic shelters can be reserved. You’ll love the sound of the river rushing below, and usually enjoy a breeze. 201 Naples Ave. Cayce. Free
Guignard Park – This small park has sheltered picnic tables and benches. A creek meanders through and there’s a 1/3 mile paved walking path that circles around. Watch for interesting birds and critters. Corner of Knox Abbott Drive and Axtell Drive in Cayce. Free
Sesquicentennial State Park – lots of picnic tables and big expanses of grass to spread out on. Play equipment if you bring kids. Admission
Lake Murray Public Park – Irmo side. Picnic tables and restrooms, along with fishing dock. Sit and enjoy a wonderful view of the lake. Walk the dam before or after your picnic. Admission.