A Moveable Feast

There’s no better place to picnic than the Sierra and its foothills, with all the parks, canyons, rivers and lakes. Here are some stores for gourmet food and wine:

SUMMER THYME’S offers a box lunch with any sandwich and deli salad, a cookie and cold drink. The deli makes all of its menu items on site, often using fresh, local produce. SummerThymes.com

NEWCASTLE PRODUCE, just two minutes off of I-80 in Newcastle, is a “one- stop” shop for a gourmet picnic. It offers a deli, fresh fruits and vegetables and local wines. Ingredients come from local farms, including their own. NewcastleProduce.com

BEAR RIVER PASTA CO. is popular for picnic shopping before a hike outside of Nevada City or swim at the South Yuba River. Fresh, made-to-order sandwiches, imported Italian goodies and drinks. (We like the San Pellegrino carbonated beverages.) An outdoor patio is ideal for noshing before walking in historic downtown Grass Valley. BearRiverPasta.com

OBEXER’S GENERAL STORE on Tahoe’s West Shore has a creative selection of sandwiches, deli items and wines for a picnic. Boaters can stop at their dock to stock up. A small farmers market on Saturdays offers fresh organic produce. ObexersGeneralStore.com

Our favorite picnic spots include:

AUBURN STATE RECREATION AREA
The 20-mile long park on two forks of the American River is situated south of I-80, stretching from Auburn to Colfax. The main access is from Auburn, either on Hwy. 49 or the Auburn-Foresthill Rd., 530-885-4527

EMPIRE MINE STATE HISTORIC PARK
Tours of historic facility, and picnic area on outside grounds. 10791 E. Empire St., Grass Valley, 530-273-8522

SCOTT’S FLAT LAKE
Swimming, fishing, hiking, beach, play- ground and picnicking. 23333 Scotts Flat Rd., Nevada City, 530-265-5302

SOUTH YUBA RIVER STATE PARK
Swimming, fishing, hiking, picnicking and a nature museum. 17660 Pleasant Valley Rd., Penn Valley, 530-432-2546

SUGAR PINE POINT STATE PARK
The beautiful grounds of the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion have spectacular views of Lake Tahoe. About 10 miles south of Tahoe
City on Hwy. 89, 530-525-7982

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