America’s Finest City is full of beautiful views and spots to explore. In the summer, one of my favorite activities is packing up my picnic basket, grabbing a bottle of wine, and snacking on some charcuteries. Over the years I’ve discovered my favorites and in my opinion the best San Diego picnic spots. So today I’m sharing some of my tried and true spots!
Alcohol-Friendly San Diego Picnic Spot: Balboa Park
My favorite (and arguably) the best San Diego picnic spot that also happens to be alcohol-friendly is located inside Balboa Park. The Botanical Building East and West Lawns are perfect for a picnic. You’ll feel like you’re in Europe more than in Southern California! If you happen to visit when the Botanical Building is open, check out their exotic plants before sitting down for your picnic.
Here is a list of spots that are alcohol-friendly in Balboa Park:
- Botanical Building East Lawn
- Botanical Building West Lawn
- Federal Building Lawn
- House of Pacific Relations Lawn
- International Lawn
- Mall Lawn
- Moreton Bay Fig Lawn
- Pan American Plaza Lawn
- Recital Hall Lawn
Best San Diego Picnic Spots for a Wine Lunch
Now let’s talk about a few more of my go-to spots. Each one is located in a different part of San Diego and has so much to offer!
- Presidio Park – Located in Old Town, this spot is alcohol-friendly and is perfect if you’re looking to learn about San Diego’s history. There is a fort and an old mission on the grounds. Learn more about what to do in the area here.
- Kate Sessions Park – This spot in Pacific Beach is particularly packed in the summer. With huge amounts of space and a view of Mission Bay, it’s easy to see why locals flock to Kate Sessions Park!
- Ellen Browning Scripps Park – This park overlooks La Jolla Cove and is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. Fun fact: back in high school, my friends and I had a picnic and had pizza delivered there! While you’re by the cove, be sure to check out the seals.
- Seagrove Park – Last up is Seagrove Park in Del Mar. Whether you want to picnic on the beach or on the grassy area, you’ll be sure to have a view of the water.
About the Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc & Chardonnay
Let me just say that everyone that has tried these two cult favorites from Cakebread Cellars loves it! Whether you’re serving a Mediterranean lunch, enjoying dinner on the patio, or having a picnic, these two are an absolute must.
Sauvignon Blanc – This was the first white grape variety they planted in 1972. It has a zesty citrus aroma which lets it pair well with seafood, poultry, vegetables, and salad dishes.
Chardonnay – It has more fruity flavors featuring apple, white peach, and oaky. This Chardonnay is extremely versatile and pairs well salad, cheese, and grilled seafood.
Cakebread Cellars has been family-owned and operated since 1972. It is a staple in the Napa Valley wine community and is best known for their Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
While we enjoyed the classic Sauvignon Blanc during our picnic, if you ever find yourself in Napa, do visit their gorgeous tasting room! The Chardonnay is another great option as well.