The Perfect Picnic in Lodi: Where and When to Go

As the days get a little cooler in California, one of the best ways to enjoy Lodi’s dramatic fall foliage and scenery is with an outdoor picnic. In Lodi, there’s no shortage of opportunities for an indulgent meal on a blanket or at a table in the crisp air and late summer light.

Whether you’re traveling with your special someone, your pet pooch or the entire family, here are Lodi’s most scenic picnic spots and some of the finest wineries, delis and gourmet shops to stock up on local provisions. Let the feasting begin! 

Local provisions
Stock up on Lodi’s best cheeses, meats and sandwiches before settling down for lunch.

Looking to add a little French flair to your afternoon picnic? Stock up on provisions at Bon Appetit, where you’ll find high-quality meats and cheeses. Everything is made from scratch and you can really taste the difference. Bon Appetit sells sandwiches, salads and pretzels, among other small bites. If planning ahead, make sure to preorder some of their quiches made the traditional French way.

When it comes to meats, you’ll want the best of the best. Fiori’s Butcher Shoppe specializes in meats of every size, shape and flavor, making it easy to customize orders for large groups. They sell everything from flank steaks and chicken kabobs served on skewers to pork filets and lamp chops. Of course, for picnics, you’ll need to stick to the ready-to-serve meat unless you’re upgrading to a full-on BBQ.

Another popular deli is Cut the Mustard, which serves healthy sandwiches and hearty soups. Some items are there year-round, while others are seasonal. Keep an eye out for their specials, too, like meatballs slow cooked in Italian sauce with provolone. Yum! If you do opt for one of their hot dishes, plan to picnic nearby so it doesn’t get cold.

Great-tasting wines 
Lodi is one of the nation’s top-ranked wine regions, so make sure to visit a few on your next trip.

When it comes to top-tier local wines, Oak Farm Vineyards is tough to top. Before setting up for your picnic, sample a few of their best-selling wines in their tasting rooms, open every day 11 am - 5 pm. Then, once you’ve discovered your favorite, pick up a bottle at the store and find a patch of grass outside. You might want to ask the staff for wine pairing recommendations based on your pre-selected cheeses and meats.

For a quiet afternoon surrounded by stunning scenery, pay a visit to Jessie’s Grove Winery. Throughout their tasting room, patio and oak grove, you’ll notice a definite rustic ambiance. Surrounded by Jessie’s ranch, vineyards, and farm animals, it’s hard not to feel right at home in this Lodi oasis. Grab a bottle of wine from their shop and head to their oak grove for a lazy afternoon picnic. Bonus points if you time it with the sunset.

Fancy a glass of Spanish-inspired wines? Head over to Bokisch Vineyards and enjoy gorgeous views of Lodi. Tastings cost $5 per person, but that is waived when you buy a bottle. Many visitors opt for one of their Spanish varietals and Tizona wines. For lunch, camp out on their spacious lawn, complete with views of the rolling hills of Terra Alta Vineyard. Don’t forget your camera! You’ll need it.

Like many of Lodi’s wineries, LangeTwins is family owned and operated. For about three decades, the family has perfected the art of sustainable winegrowing, meaning they care for both the health of the vineyard and the surrounding environment. They generally recommend making reservations, especially for parties of six or more. Once there, enjoy their outdoor courtyard and seating area.

Other great views
Don’t have time for a winery visit? Head to these public parks instead.

Spend the day with Mother Nature in Lodi Lake Park. There are five picnic areas to choose from: Youth Area, Hughes Beach, Parson’s Point, Rotary Area and Kiwanis Area. For larger groups, make sure to book a reservation to secure a spot.

Bringing your dog along for the ride? Head to pet-friendly Beckman Park for a quiet day in nature. Your pooch will probably make a few friends, too. There are several large trees that provide shade from the sun and make for perfect picnic spots.

If you’re traveling with young children, consider picnicking at Funtown Amusement Park at Micke Grove State Park. After taking a ride on the Kiddie Coaster or the tilt-a-whirl, settle down for a picnic among the trees. After lunch, visit some of the animals at the zoo.

Plan your Lodi getaway at VisitLodi.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for news and information on upcoming events.

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