Taking advantage of the swings and sunshine at Martin Park.                                                        Photo Credit: Julia DeBell

There are very few summer activities as romanticized as the classic picnic. A red checkered blanket and some iced tea can be the perfect way to spend and afternoon. Picnics like these can only really be ruined by two things–a parade of particularly vicious ants or having to jockey for blanket space. Chautauqua is a lovely place to enjoy some time lounging in the sun, but sometimes the hordes of sun seekers are just too much. To avoid lugging your wicker basket across miles of crowded lawn, check out a few of Boulder’s lesser known sunning spots.

Beach Park

Nestled just a few blocks down from Chautauqua on 13th street, this neighborhood park is a gem. Surrounded by trees, it’s a quiet lunchtime oasis. The play structure also happens to be home to the only see-saw I’ve encountered in Boulder thus far.

Martin Park

Stretching from the corner of Table Mesa and Broadway into Martin (a.k.a. Martian) Acres, this is the perfect place for a pickup game of ultimate followed by some outdoor hors d’oeuvres. With a picnic shelter, charcoal grills, and a tennis court, there’s something for everyone. For the more competitive of you, the play structure is perfect for a rousing game of groundies.

East Boulder Community Park

I will say that my favorite part of this park is its inclusion of a dog area. Yes, it has grass for a friendly game of soccer and a very fun playground for the kiddos and young at heart. It happens to be conveniently located next to the East Boulder Community Center and also has tennis courts and soccer goals, but I maintain that the best part of any park excursion is watching dogs do their dog thing.

Eben G. Fine

Home to the recent Tube to Work Day, this park is fine indeed. Situated along Boulder Creek at the mouth of Boulder Canyon, this is a great place to have a barbecue with friends. Take a hike in the nearby Settlers Park Open Space and cool off with a dip in the creek.

Pro-Tip: If you would love to pack a picnic, but find yourself incapable of the Pinterest-esque creations, HungryBuffs will deliver provisions right to the park of your choosing. Enjoy!