• September 11, 2023
  • Lauren Critzer
  • 0

The Ultimate Local’s Guide to Austin’s Top Picnic Supply Stores

Gear up! Austin, Texas is calling all picnic enthusiasts to explore its scenic green spaces. If you’re looking for a local’s comprehensive guide to the best picnic supplies right here in Austin, then look no further!

Immerse Yourself In Austin’s Beautiful Picnic Culture

Austin isn’t just the Live Music Capital of the World or home to the buzz-filled SXSW Festival. It’s also a city overflowing with stunning outdoor spaces, perfect for laying out on a beautifully sunny afternoon with a packed picnic basket. The rustling leaves of the tall oak trees at Zilker Park, the serene waters of Lady Bird Lake, or the tranquil setting of the Austin Nature and Science Center, offer unique places to unwind and have a wonderful picnic lunch or dinner.

But a true Austin’s picnic experience isn’t just about finding the ideal spot. It is about the food, the drinks, the gear, the company, and of course, abiding by the ‘Leave No Trace’ principle – a critical part of Austin’s outdoor ethos. With that in mind, let’s dive into the local’s guide to the best picnic supply stores where you can assemble all you need for your memorable picnic outing.

1. The Great Outdoors: Your One-Stop Picnic Supply Store

Located on the South Congress Avenue, The Great Outdoors is not just a picnic supply store, but a local institution that has been serving Austinites for over two decades.

  • Key Offerings: The store has a wide array of outdoor essentials like roomy picnic blankets, superior quality coolers from Yeti, portable and compact Weber grills, eco-friendly sunscreens from brands like Sun Bum and All Good, and bug sprays that ensure you have a great picnic experience without any discomfort.
  • Takeaway Tip: Don’t miss out on exploring their substantial stock of eco-friendly supplies. Practice sustainable picnicking by purchasing reusable picnic ware and pesticide-free bug repellents.

2. Central Market: Unleashing a Culinary Serenade for Your Picnic

Nothing completes a perfect Austin picnic better than a gourmet range of palate-pleasing delicacies from Central Market on North Lamar Boulevard.

  • In-Store Experiences: Central Market prides itself on its selection of tantalizing deli options. At the heart of the Central Market picnic experience are fresh, sumptuous sandwiches, handmade pasta salads, specialty cheeses sourced from around the world, a wide array of wines, local craft beers, and even a comprehensive assortment of vegan and gluten-free snacks.
  • Takeaway Tip: Save time by picking up their ready-to-go picnic packs customized to meet specific dietary needs. You can even place an order online and just swing by to pick up your picnic pack!

3. BreadBasket: Crafting an Abundance of Joy

An Austin original, BreadBasket on East Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard is your go-to place for a lavish picnic spread, created with love and a huge array of local flavors.

  • Store Highlights: Known for its wide selection of fresh produce, locally-made cheeses, delicious bakery items, smoked meats, handmade sausages, and a condiment station that would delight any food lover. They even have a drool-worthy cookie bar, perfect for that sweet ending to your picnic meal.
  • Takeaway Tip: For gourmet on the go, take a look at their selection of grab-and-go meals that are prepared fresh daily.

4. REI: For the Picnic Adventurer in You

No Austin picnic guide would be complete without a callout to the outdoor gear mecca, REI.

  • Location: You can find this flagship store on Cesar Chavez Street, with an immense selection of quality products that cater to all outdoor enthusiasts.
  • REI’s Specialities: They carry a wide range of portable picnic gear like lightweight Thermos coolers, collapsible tables, freeze-dried meals, cooking sets, water filtration systems and even navigational equipment.
  • Takeaway Tip: The REI membership provides access to special discounts, member-only garage sales, and even dividends based on yearly spend!

5. Hobbs: A Touch of Luxe for Your Picnic

Add a touch of style to your picnic with enchanting supplies from Hobbs, ideally located on South Congress Avenue, in the heart of Austin.

  • Store Features: Elegant picnic baskets, plush picnic blankets, specialty serveware, stylish dishes and cutlery, unique glassware, and even designer rugs to set up your luxurious picnic.
  • Takeaway Tip: Be sure to browse their outdoor décor section for unique items like weather-resistant throw pillows, solar-powered accent lights, and stylish wine totes.

6. Toy Joy: Transform Picnics into Fun-filled Memories

Make your family picnic exciting with fun games and toys right from Toy Joy on West 2nd Street.

  • What’s in store?: From classic frisbees, beach balls, and paddleball sets to modern card games, mini-puzzles and tangle-free parachute toys, there are endless possibilities to keep kids flitting between laughter and contentment.
  • Takeaway Tip: Treat your little ones to a scoop or two of ice cream from the adjoining ice cream shop – Yummi Joy.

Embrace the Austin Picnic Experience

With this local’s guide to the best picnic supplies in Austin, all that’s left for you is to pack up, find your perfect spot, and enjoy the absolute best picnic experience. Remember to tread lightly on our beautiful outdoor spots and take back your trash.

Make sure to share your memorable picnic moments by tagging us in your Instagram posts using the hashtag #AustinPicnicGuide. We can’t wait to see your picnic stories.

So, here’s to delightful days under Austin’s zestful sun, camaraderie, laughter, food that pleases, and a city that beautifully blends music, culture, and the great outdoors. Go ahead, revel in Austin’s picnic culture, and make everlasting memories!

Have you enjoyed this journey through the best picnic supplies in Austin? For more insider tips and local guides for outdoor dining, camping, hiking and the Austin experience, explore our other posts. Happy picnicking!

Lauren Critzer

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and after college, I moved to San Francisco to explore new opportunities and broaden my horizons. I fell in love with the city's vibrant culture and unique atmosphere, but eventually, I moved again, this time to Austin, Texas.

As much as I loved living in different parts of the country, having a baby boy brought me back to my hometown in Charlottesville, where I now live with my husband, our little one, and two furry friends. I enjoy going to wineries, taking my pups everywhere, and spending quality time with my family.

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