By Laura Harvey, Special to OnMilwaukee   Published Aug 16, 2019 at 11:40 AM

Tired of the usual picnic benches for your midsummer outdoor lunch? Looking to explore Milwaukee's beautiful parks? Look no further, as we have some ideas for where you should take your picnic basket next. Here are some spots that you may not know about, or may have never considered before, but would serve as the perfect locales for a lunch on a checkered blanket.

1. Steps to Lake Park Pavilion

Rather than settling on the front lawn, head ‘round back to the area behind the Lake Park Bistro. The gorgeous steps behind the building not only have a great view of the lake, but provide the perfect seating area for a good lunch with friends.

2. North Point Lighthouse

Visiting the lighthouse is definitely a must-do for the summertime, but enjoying a picnic lunch at the base of the East Side attraction is not too shabby either. 

3. Doctor’s Park beach

Sure, there are the obvious park benches near the playground, but if you want a less well-known lunch spot, head on down the path toward the beach. Walk a bit to the left and park yourself on the concrete steps near the water. Secluded, beautiful and perfect for a mid-afternoon snack.

4. Virmond Park bluff

Photo courtesy of Ozaukee County(PHOTO: Ozaukee County website)

This one’s for our friends out in Mequon. Located just off of Lake Shore Drive, this park is a veritable diamond in the rough hidden in suburban Wisconsin. Set up a blanket on the bluff and enjoy views you certainly wouldn’t expect to glimpse next to casual cul-de-sacs and suburban homes.

5. Lake Park waterfall

The two spots at Lake Park were too good not to include both. If you go just south of the parking lot, you’ll find a 30-foot waterfall on one of the park’s footpaths. If that’s not an amazing picnic spot, I don’t know what is.

6. Pier at Atwater Beach

The inclination would be to stay on the bluff at Atwater, but I suggest venturing a bit further out and settling on one of the two piers. There’s nothing quite like being surrounded by water while enjoying your lunch!

7. Estabrook Beer Garden

OK, so this one may not be so hidden, but it would be a shame to exclude it from this list. Bring your own picnic basket, but don’t worry about libations, as those are easy to come by at the beer garden.

8. Veteran’s Park

Talk a walk on the paths in Veteran’s Park, and you’ll be sure to find a spot that provides not only gorgeous views, but close proximity to the MAM, Discovery World and the greater Downtown area.