Four of The Best Washington Picnic Ideas
True to form, summer’s long, sunny days have zipped by in the blink of an eye. But before this season of festivals, outdoor adventures, tan lines, and windswept hair wraps up, there’s still ample time for picnic-goers to immerse themselves in the magical beauty the Pacific Northwest is known for.
And while Washington offers stunning scenery free of charge, knowing what to bring to a picnic can be tricky. Thankfully, Made In Washington partners with makers who offer versatile outdoor food options and creative drinks that can take your modern picnic up a few notches.
They say life’s a picnic, so consider these four ways to level up your game—complete with our recommendations for the best that Washington makers, artisans, and entrepreneurs have to offer. Read on for the (mouthwatering) deets!
Pack the PNW Preserves
A perfect PB&J is the savory and sweet combination we’re always here for, but there are ways to elevate picnic nibbles—including with preserves from Girl Meets Dirt.
This Orcas Island-based, woman-owned business offers unique combinations of flavors you won’t find at the grocery store. Whether you’re partial to their Ruby Red Apple preserves—crafted with tart heritage apples and heirloom crabapples—or the less sour (but just as delicious) Pear Balsamic preserves, you’ll obsess over these all-purpose condiments. Pair them with cheese and crackers for a charcuterie-inspired picnic moment, try them on your favorite bread, or drizzle them over fruit slices for an insanely satisfying snack.
Can’t decide on just one flavor? Honestly, same—which is why we’re all-in on their Mini Spoon Preserves Gift Set. Add the perfect flair to your modern picnic with this collection of can’t-miss flavor pairings: Orcas Pear with Bay, Shiro Plum with Mint, Island Plum, Rhubarb Lavender, and Apple Caramel.
Tickle Your Tastebuds with Dynamic Drinks
Girl Meets Dirt is here to bless your tastebuds with more than just preserves! That’s where their creative take on shrubs come in—sweetened drinking vinegar to add some zest to your favorite spirits or sparkling water. From the award-winning Ruby Spiced Apple and Lemon Lavender shrubs to Island Pear and Quince, these sweetly supreme syrups invoke the flavors of our region and help you achieve an ideal picnic food basket.
And just like their preserves, Girl Meets Dirt also offers a Mini Shrub 4 Pack you’re sure to jive with. Don’t sleep on them!
Double Down on Sauces (and Napkins)
If your picnicking plans include meat, your basket isn’t complete until you add Washington-made sauces. Take a bold approach to flavor with help from three iconic local makers:
- Junebug’s Hallelu-jah! Sauce, a staple in our neck of the woods for more than 30 years
- Mitch’s Foods, the Issaquah-based makers of the versatile Mitch’s Best Buffalo Sauce
- Tom Douglas, a true PNW legend whose award-winning Ancho and Molasses BBQ Sauce provides the sneaky-good infusion of flavor you didn’t know you needed
Kick Back With a Cuppa
Is there any better way to soak up the serenity of nature than with a cup of tea from Inspired Earth Botanicals? We can’t think of one!
Including tea from Inspired Earth Botanicals in your Washington picnic is peak PNW vibes. Not only does this maker commit to blending the finest organic artisanal tea blends, but they also thoughtfully source many of their ingredients from San Juan Island farms. (Now that’s a win-win for you and for the planet.)
Picnicking shouldn’t be tea-dious, which is why we’re proud to offer four varieties of Inspired Earth tea to fill your basket with: Island Basil Chai, Earl Grey’s Garden, Dandy Mint, and Madrona Sencha. Sip sip, hooray!
Carefully curating your picnic fare can be fun, but if you’re short on time, peruse our selection of gift baskets—each packed with Washington-made goodies you’re sure to love. From meats and cheeses to popcorn, chocolate, and condiments, these sets take the guesswork out of picnicking. We’re especially keen on our A Trip to the Market Gift Basket, which features a canvas tote brimming with local products that’ll have you fully embracing your picnic era.
More to Explore
We’ve linked to some of our Washington picnic must-haves—but there are plenty more where these came from. Meet the Made In Washington makers, discover your own faves, and hit the trails to sneak in an excursion before the sun sets on summer.