Party With Picnic People

Experts pick the county’s top five picnic locations

Picnic People is a San Diego company celebrating its 25th anniversary of planning picnics and other themed gatherings (gotta attend one of their “Jamaican Me Crazy” fetes). Over a quarter of a century, owner/founder Lisa Richards estimates the company has put together about 7,500 picnics.

That’s a lot of deviled eggs and German potato salad.
When I tried to calculate how many ants would have attended 7,500 picnics, Richards insisted ants don’t show up at Picnic People parties.

The picnic poobahs have two tips for non-Picnic People putting on personal picnics:

1. Get to your chosen site early. If its city property, you can stake a claim as early as 4 a.m. Get there late, and you’ll probably be out of luck.

2. Handle food safely. “Keep hot food hot and cold food cold,” said Richards. “Stay out of the danger zone, where food-borne illness can occur.”

Picnic People has a Top 5 list of the best picnic spots in San Diego. The list is based on ease of usage, location, cleanliness and availability of parking:

5. Felicita Park (Clarence Lance and Felicita Road, Escondido)—playgrounds, open fields, nature trails, wedding gazebo.

4. San Dieguito Park (1628 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Del Mar)—125 acres, fully accessible baseball field, barbecues.

3. Ingram Plaza at NTC Promenade (2875 Dewey Road)—Spanish Revival architecture, state-of-the-art venue for weddings and events.

2. Spanish Landing Park (West Basin at North Harbor Drive)—Historical landmark with pedestrian path, bike route and picnic tables.

1. Crown Point Shores (3700 Crown Point Drive)—This place has it all, says Richards: ample amounts of grass, shade, access to water, restrooms and ample parking.

Ron Donoho is a regular contributor to and a contributing editor to His Web site ( is dedicated to news, sports, culture, happy hours and all things downtown.

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