A Wealth of Picnic Spots in the Winchester Area

On a recent family road trip during these COVID-19 times, my family and I were determined to patronize as many local restaurants as possible. We found ourselves, though, eating several take-out meals from these restaurants in our car. If you have kids, you understand how much damage that can do to your car after a few days.

Since we have over 200 restaurants here in the Winchester area, most of which are offering to-go ordering, we quickly realized there may be a lot of visiting folks on road trips in the same predicament I found myself in. We began to put together a list, which grew well beyond what we thought we had, of great local spots where you can enjoy your takeout meals at picnic tables.

If you want to just skip right to a map, we created a custom Google Map just for you. Or browse below in our blog to find that perfect spot for your next meal.

Enjoy, and thank you for supporting our many locally owned restaurants!

~Justin Kerns, Executive Director, Winchester-Frederick County CVB

 

Belle Grove Plantation Picnic Tables

This beautiful property, surrounded by the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historic Park, has several picnic tables and trash cans located throughout the fenced-in area of the property. They prefer (but not require) that this area is used during business hours. The grounds are free, and there are free restrooms in the barn during business hours (please check their website or Facebook page for current hours). Map

Parking:                      Free

Hours:                         Business hours preferred

Covered/Shaded:      Yes, trees

Restrooms Nearby:   Yes, free during business hours

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              No

Ownership:                 Belle Grove Plantation

 

Clearbrook Park Picnic Tables

There are a great number and variety of picnic tables here. Many are shaded by trees and/or shelters, and several are waterfront around the lake. Parking and restrooms are free. Enter the park at the lot off of Brucetown Rd. Map

Parking:                      Free

Hours:                         8am till dusk

Covered/Shaded:      Trees and roofs

Restrooms Nearby:   Yes, free within the park

Grill(s):                        Yes, charcoal

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Frederick County Parks and Recreation

 

Creekside Town Center Picnic Area

There are a number of great local restaurants here in this more upscale shopping center, and there are several public (not associated with any particular restaurant) picnic tables in a small cluster right here. Free parking, however no public restrooms. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        No

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, at several restaurants if you’re patronizing them

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Creekside Town Center Management

 

Frederick Heights Park Picnic Tables

There are three picnic tables, offering varying levels of natural/tree shade, in this new and very peaceful neighborhood park. Expect to walk a short distance to each of the tables. Fields, natural preserve areas and a playground are all available here for free. There are no restrooms at this park. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Partial, trees

Restrooms Nearby:     No

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Frederick County Parks and Recreation

 

Gainesboro Tourist Park Picnic Tables

This qualifies as one of the coolest little spots on our list – if nothing else because the Ruritan Club in the very small community of Gainesboro saw fit to create this generous little free spot for passersby through their community. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         24 hours

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, pavilion

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, a porta-potty is usually on-site

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Gainesboro Ruritan Club

 

Homestead Farm Picnic Tables

There are several picnic tables here at this small but vibrant local farm market. The owners are very welcoming of folks bringing their own food and eating at their tables during their regular business hours, but please also consider leaving room for a tasty treat served inside, like hand-dipped ice cream, home baked cookies and pies, or fresh fruit from their farm. Enjoy! Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Business hours – please check Facebook page

Covered/Shaded:        Some with umbrellas

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, at the farm market during business hours

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Homestead Farm at Fruit Hill Orchard

 

Jim Barnett Park

There is an abundance of picnic tables throughout this surprisingly large park. Some are randomly placed, and some are under shelters. We recommend driving around the park and finding the perfect spot for your take-out lunch! Restrooms are available at the playground area on the south end of the park and also in the main park office building. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn till Dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Trees and roofs

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free,

Grill(s):                        Yes, charcoal

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Winchester Parks and Recreation

 

Jim Barnett Park Christianson Familyland Picnic Area

We listed these separately from the rest of the Jim Barnett park picnic tables as they’re in a covered area overlooking the large playground area and have their own restrooms. There are also independent picnic tables by the playground and on the way over to Wilkins Lake, just steps away. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn till Dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Pavilion and tree

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free

Grill(s):                        Yes, charcoal

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Winchester Parks and Recreation

 

Marker-Miller Orchards Picnic Pavilion

This popular pick-your-own orchard and farm market has a large pavilion with several picnic tables available free of charge, as well as a number of picnic tables along their front porch. Feel free to bring your own lunch, but be sure to leave room for some of their famous apple cider donuts or fresh fudge! A large play area is available for kids and restrooms are on-site. Please limit your visit to their regular business hours, which can be found on their website or Facebook page. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         During market business hours

Covered/Shaded:      Pavilion

Restrooms Nearby:   Yes, free,

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Marker-Miller Orchards

 

Middletown Community Park Picnic Tables and Shelter

This idyllic little community park is a perfect spot to enjoy a takeout meal with your family. There is a pavilion, two areas of covered picnic tables, a playground and restrooms. Map

Parking:                        Free

Hours:                           Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, pavilion

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free

Grill(s):                         No

Pets allowed:               Yes, on leash

Ownership:                  Town of Middletown

 

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley

This great little spot is free for the public to use. It is located just behind the gatehouse at the entrance to the MSV Gardens. Restrooms are available in the main museum building just up the hill. Please note that the gardens are a fee area; please pay for entrance if you will be going beyond the picnic area. Map

Parking:                        Free

Hours:                           Limited to MSV Gardens Hours (see website for hours)

Covered/Shaded:        Trees and roofs

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free, at the main museum building

Grill(s):                          No

Pets allowed:                Yes, on leash

Ownership:                   Museum of the Shenandoah Valley

 

Newtown Commons Picnic Shelter

This town-owned picnic shelter is open to the public dawn to dusk. There are no restrooms or grill on-site, but there is a large field if you have kids with you that need to burn off some energy. Free parking along the street (Rt 11 South). Map

Parking:                        Free

Hours:                           Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, pavilion

Restrooms Nearby:     No

Grill(s):                          No

Pets allowed:                Yes, on leash

Ownership:                   Town of Stephens City

 

Park Place Park

This quiet community park run by the City’s Parks and Rec Department offers one unshaded picnic table, free parking, a nice open field and a play area. There are no restrooms at this location. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        No

Restrooms Nearby:     No

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 City of Winchester Parks and Recreation

 

Richard’s Fruit Market Picnic Tables

There are a few picnic tables here that the Richard family is happy to let visitors eat their picnic / to-go lunches at. The kids will love them as they are right next to the free farm petting zoo. As with our other farm markets, make sure you leave a little room for some goodies from the market, like their fresh peach or strawberry shakes, butter tarts or fresh fruit. Please limit your visits to business hours, which can be found on their website or Facebook page. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         During market business hours

Covered/Shaded:        No

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, at the market during business hours

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Richard’s Fruit market

 

Rose Hill Park Picnic Pavilion

This is a covered pavilion, offering free parking and restrooms. There is a nice playground here, as well as a 1+ mile gentle hiking trail with Civil War historic markers. Map

Parking:                        Free

Hours:                           Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, pavilion

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free

Grill(s):                          No

Pets allowed:                Yes, on leash

Ownership:                  Frederick County Parks and Recreation

 

Rutherford Crossing Civil War Site

This spot is hidden in plain sight, right along Rt 11 at I-81 near the large Target shopping center. Soak in some Civil War history from the numerous interpretive signs while you enjoy your take-out meal. There are no restrooms on-site, but some can be found at the nearby Target, Lowes and several restaurants. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        No

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, at several restaurants, Lowes and Target

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation

 

Sherando Park at Warrior Drive Picnic Tables

At least one uncovered table is here, along with restrooms, an outdoor workout facility, a bike park, and a mountain bike trail. You can work off that lunch right after you eat it! Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        No

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Frederick County Parks and Recreation

 

Sherando Park Picnic Tables

There are a number of picnic tables, most of them shaded by either pavilions or trees, spread throughout this large park. There are some by the large playground as well as near the lake. We suggest just driving around and finding one that looks good! Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, pavilion and trees

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, various throughout the park

Grill(s):                        Yes at most

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Frederick County Parks and Recreation

 

Timbrook Park

This very small park, immediately adjacent to the police department, offers a few uncovered picnic tables and a kid’s play area. Parking is free but there are no public restrooms available. This spot is walkable or a very short drive from the many restaurants in Old Town Winchester. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         24 Hours

Covered/Shaded:        No

Restrooms Nearby:     No

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 City of Winchester Parks and Recreation

 

Virginia Farm Market Picnic Tables

This covered picnic table was erected several years ago as an Eagle Scout project. It is on the edge of the Virginia Farm Market property, and has a Civil War Trails marker nearby. The table is available any time, but if you visit during business hours make sure to check out the large market! Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         24 hours

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, pavilion

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, inside the market during business hours

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Virginia Farm Market

 

Virginia Welcome Center at Clear Brook

There are a number of picnic tables here at this well-maintained Virginia Welcome Center, both covered and uncovered. The grounds, parking and restrooms are free and available 24 hours a day. There is even a triceratops head for the kids to play on, courtesy of the local Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum! Map

Parking:                        Free

Hours:                           24 Hours

Covered/Shaded:        Trees and roofs

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free, 24 hours

Grill(s):                          Yes, charcoal

Pets allowed:                Yes, on leash

Ownership:                   Virginia Department of Transportation

 

Whittier Park

This great little City-owned community park offers a quiet spot with free parking and a playground/field for the kids to run around in. Just a minute or two from Old Town Winchester. Please note there are no public restrooms at this park. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, pavilion

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free, 24 hours

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 City of Winchester Parks and Recreation

 

Wilkins Lake Picnic Tables

Numerous picnic tables are located around the lake. Easy access from the Abrams Delight/Visitor Center parking lot or the Wilkins Lake Parks and Recreation lot at Shenandoah University – you’ll find this lot if you keep driving around the lake and look for the signs. Please be careful not to park in dedicated Shenandoah University spots. Map

Parking:                        Free

Hours:                           Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Both covered and uncovered

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free at the Visitor Center

Grill(s):                          No

Pets allowed:                Yes, on leash

Ownership:                   City of Winchester Parks and Recreation

 

Winchester-Frederick County Visitor Center Picnic Tables

This shaded area overlooks the water and is attached to the Winchester-Frederick County Visitor Center. You can find free parking, high speed internet, clean restrooms and visitor information here during regular business hours (9a-5p seven days a week). The tables are available 24 hours a day. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         24 hours

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, umbrella

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free at the Visitor Center

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Shenandoah University

 

Picnic Spots Without Tables

If you’ve got your own picnic blanket or just don’t mind spreading out in the grass to enjoy your meal, the majority of the above spots have room for that as well. We do have a few other areas that, while they don’t have picnic tables, could still be a good place to eat your delicious to-go meal. Check them out:

 

Lake Frederick DGIF Lawn Area

This is a fee-use lake, owned by the state, primarily aimed at visitors kayaking or fishing on the lake. However, there is a nice large grassy area with a beautiful relaxing view of the lake just over the little hill from the parking lot. This is a great spot if you have your own blanket or towel; there are no tables or restrooms at this location. Map

Parking:                       Free (*DGIF fee use area)

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, some tree shade

Restrooms Nearby:     No

Grill(s):                          No

Pets allowed:                No

Ownership:                   Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

 

Shenandoah University Abrams Creek Walk

There are some nice Adirondack chairs all along the Abrams Creek walk through campus. Feel free to sit down and eat your to-go meal, however there are no picnic tables and parking can be a little challenging since most spots require an SU permit. There is some limited guest parking and always free parking at the nearby Visitor Center. Map

Parking:                     Limited, SU permit required or park at Visitor Center

Hours:                       Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:    Yes, some tree shade

Restrooms Nearby: Yes, at Visitor Center

Grill(s):                      No

Pets allowed:            Yes, on leash

Ownership:              Shenandoah University

 

Taylor Pavilion in Old Town Winchester

Just steps from 20+ local restaurants, this public space has nice broad steps, shade and a parking garage right next to it. This is a great spot to spread out and people watch while you eat your to-go meal. Please note there are no tables here, and public restrooms may be limited or unavailable due to COVID. Map

Parking:                       City garage, $1/hr

Hours:                         24 hours

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, pavilion

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes* may be limited due to COVID

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 City of Winchester

 

Third Battle of Winchester Lawn Area

There is a nice, well-mowed and shaded spot along the fence near the parking lot here that is popular for picnic lunches. There are no tables or chairs, so you’d need to bring your own blanket or towel to sit on in the grass. The battlefield visitor center across the street offers restrooms during their open hours, and there are several miles of gentle and well-interpreted trails starting from this parking lot. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, trees

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, during business hours at the visitor center

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation

 

 

All images on this page by Winchester-Frederick County CVB