Let’s Picnic in the Sierra

There’s no better place to picnic than the Sierra and its foothills, with all the parks, rivers, lakes and wineries.

Our favorite stores for stocking up on gourmet food and wine include:

Summer Thyme’s offers a box lunch with any sandwich and deli salad, a cookie and cold drink for $9.95. The deli makes all of its menu items on site, often using fresh, local produce. It also provides patio dining, as wel l as a new store at BookTown in downtown Grass Valley.

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.

BackPorch Market has a deli but also sells three “Picnics for Two”: The “Yuba,” the “Tuscan” and the “Parisienne.” They are complete picnics in a box, with plates and napkins. Just add a cold drink or a bottle of wine from the store’ s varied, affordable selection, and you’re off to the wilderness.

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 and free movies on Wednesdays. 530-583- 3348

Empire Mine State Historic Park
Tours of historic facility, and picnic area outside grounds.
10791 E. Empire St., Grass Valley
530-273-8522

Scott’s Flat Lake
Swimming, fishing, hiking, beach, playground 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

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