Summer is prime picnic time, and Northern Virginia has a wealth of spots perfect for laying out a blanket and dining al fresco. But, packing that perfect picnic is easier said the done. Thankfully, Stacey Vacca and Tanya Pederson, founders of the year-old Virginia Picnic Basket Co. in Hillsboro, have done the heavy lifting for you. The longtime friends launched the company last summer and offer picnic spreads with locally sourced goodies.
The picnics come in disposable boxes with everything you need—except for the wine or beer. Luckily, the company also delivers to a handful of wineries and breweries in Loudoun. Here, Vacca and Pederson share their go-to picnic spots. // Virginia Picnic Basket Co.: 37055 Charles Town Pike, Hillsboro; Two-person baskets, $45-$60, four-person baskets, $70-$90
1) Vacca and Pederson love to hike. Their idea for the company was even born on a mountaintop. “We do a lot of hiking together and on our hikes we would always take picnics,” says Vacca. “When we got to our destination, we would enjoy the beautiful picnic and just being in nature.” Hike to Bears Den Overlook for a picnic, and finish with beer at Bear Chase Brewing Company.
2) What’s a picnic without the wine? Virginia Picnic Basket Co. delivers to both Doukénie Winery and Tarara Winery. Check out Tarara’s summer concert series on Saturday nights to add some music with dinner.
3) The NOVA Parks system offers plenty of family-friendly places to picnic. Temple Hall Farm has a picnic shelter, nearby playground and a working farm to keep the kids entertained. Pair the park outing with Vacca and Pedersen’s The Little Picnic, made with little eaters in mind.
4) Picnics don’t have to be reserved for the weekend. Vacca and Pedersen recommend picking up a picnic after work and heading out to one of the many live concert series throughout NoVA. Try the Lake Anne summer concert series in Reston on Thursday nights.
5) Let your pet get in on the fun. “Everybody wants to picnic with their kids and their dogs,” says Vacca. That’s why they’ve got a Fido Picnic, featuring a collapsible water bowl, a chew toy and dog treats. Order up a people picnic, plus a pet-friendly one, for delivery to Old 690 Brewing Company.