Six spots worth the detour to stop and spread a blanket

Picnicking in Austin just got a deep-fried upgrade with the opening of Lucy's Fried Chicken (lucysfriedchicken.com), the new outpost of chef James Holmes (also of Olivia). T
  • Friendship Fountain, Jacksonville, FL
  • The 10-story spewing fountain got a $3.1 million makeover last year. Secure a permit through the city ($35; requires 15 days notice).
  • jaxfountain.com
  • Railroad Park, Birmingham, AL
  • Picnic for free or reserve under the pavilion (from $50) in this new, urban green space, surrounded by railroad tracks and brick-faced factory lofts.
  • railroadpark.org
  • Savannah Squares, Savannah, GA
  • Cherry-pick from the 21 historic squares, including the "crown jewels" along Bull Street. They're open to the public, but a $250-$400 permit lets you claim one as your own for the day.
  • savannahvisit.com
  • Battleship North Carolina, Wilmington, NC
  • Celebrate with a spread on the teak deck of a WWII battleship. Day rates start at $150.
  • battleshipnc.com
  • Carnegie Hall, Lewisburg, WV
  • Reserve terrace space (from $300) or snag a patch of grass at this 1902 Greek Revival concert hall. Time your visit for the Thursday evening summer concert series.
  • carnegiehallwv.org
  • Jefferson National Expansion Park, St. Louis, MO
  • The park spans 91 acres anchored by the Gateway Arch. To avoid the biggest crowds, go after midday.
  • nps.gov/jeff
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