Planning the Ultimate Summer Picnic with Harry & David 

Your backyard may well be getting some sunshine now that we are reaching the end of summer. This means only one thing: it’s time to go and enjoy the great outdoors! One of the best ways to do this is with family over a decadent backyard picnic! To help you plan the perfect experience, below are four key components to create the ultimate summer picnic!

1. The Spread

Sharing quality and delicious food in the comfort of your own home under a clear sky or rainbow sunset is one of the most relaxing and wholesome summer activities. During a time when prioritizing family is so important, I’ve been planning my weekly backyard picnics with quality gourmet cheeses and pantry items from Harry & David.

 

Harry & David, an American-based company, sells gourmet food and gifts online that can be delivered right to your doorstep! Of the many beautiful products they offer, their gourmet gift baskets, fresh Royal Riviera Pears, and wine pairings are my top picks. I was lucky enough to try their fruit and cheese gifts that came stocked full of:

  • One wheel of gouda cheese;
  • A block of sharp white cheddar cheese;
  • Two of their famous pears;
  • Juicy red apples;
  • A box of three-seed crackers;
  • Jar of peach pepper jam; and
  • Bone bottle of chilled, non-alcoholic, organic Apple Peach Sparkling Juice Beverage.

For the perfect charcuterie spread meant for sharing with three or more people, make sure to bring multiple sized wooden boards that are sturdy enough to hold a significant amount of food. Arrange them in a pattern, spreading out each item evenly so each person can get a taste of the action.

2. The Attendees

Invite the family! Whether you are socially distancing in the backyard, or you set up Zoom call for a digital picnic, you can enjoy a picnic anytime, anywhere. After a great spread, a great picnic needs excellent company, too, to be successful.  Make sure to pick a location that allows for plenty of space for social distancing and comfortable dining. This can be in your backyard garden, at your favorite park, or by your favorite lake.

 

3. The Extras

Even in the summer, the evening can be a chilly one if it’s windy or after the sun goes down. Bring a comfy blanket to sit on, and another one to wrap around you and feel comfortable, too. Cold drinks are also an essential. In addition to bottled water, a picnic should include multiple beverage choices. Bring a cooler packed with ice packs to keep your drinks cold, especially the Organic Apple Peach Sparkling Juice Beverage from Harry & David! This slightly sweet product of France will have your family refreshed in no time.

 

4. The Jams

No outdoor gathering is complete without jams (literally and figuratively). You can easily use a smartphone speaker to dock your phone and play music as loudly as you’d like (you’re outside away from others, after all!) Music can be anything in your playlist and you can enjoy whiling away the hours in the sunshine with your favorite tunes as you eat and drink your fill. Don’t forget to add a little jam to your crackers and sandwiches in the form of Harry & David’s Peach Pepper jelly! It’s perfect with Three Seed Crackers or glazed over your favorite grilled meat like pork chops or chicken breast.

 

The ultimate summer picnic does exist, and with these tips — and the perfect spread from Harry & David’s — you can make it happen in your own backyard. This is especially helpful with summer approaching, and many people still self-quarantining or self-isolating.

Purchasing Harry & David Products

Have a birthday, anniversary, wedding, or other special occasion coming up? Harry & David products are available all year long and at multiple retail locations nationwide. You can explore more of Harry & David’s full selection of gourmet gift baskets, wines, fruits, and spreads here.

Have you planned the ultimate summer picnic because of this post? Tell me about the foods you served and who you shared them with in the comments below!

***Don’t forget to join my Foodie Pinterest Boards for the best recipes and restaurant reviews here!**

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Wanna know one of my new favorite places in the U.S. to road trip? The location may surpise you! 🇺🇸 

I recently spent a few adventurous days in Summersville, West Virginia with @visitgreatersummersville with @wvtourism, and found *so much* to love about this little slice of #AlmostHeaven. It may be small in population, but it packs a mighty punch when it comes to nature, outdoor activities, and an impressive local food scene. Not only is it home to the largest lake in West Virginia, it boasts two state parks, great hiking trails, and is less than a 30 minute drive from the newest National Park in the U.S.: New River Gorge National Park and Preseve. 

If you’re planning on visiting for yourself (which you should) below are 5 Fun & Unique activities that you absolutely can’t miss in Summersville, West Virginia:

1. Kayak on Summersville Lake with @lakesideoutfitterswv. This is one of the best ways to enjoy the lake and surrounding rock formations. The water is crystal clear, and is the most beautiful emerald green color. It’s actually known as “The Little Bahamas of the East” and for good reason!
2. Visit the Almost Heaven Swing at Summersville Lake State Park. This is the newest state park in the area. While it’s still under construction, there are some great trails, and of course, one of West Virginia’s famous (and Insta-worthy) swings!
3. Have brunch at @vaultonmain. It’s located in downtown Summersville in the stunning former Nicholas County Bank building from 1923. Order the French toast and shaved steak breakfast burrito. 
4. Spend a day at Battle Run Public Beach. The longest beach in West Virginia at 1,000 feet, the area has picnic tables, restrooms, grills, volleyball nets, and plenty of space for lounging. 
5. Enjoy a wine slushy flight from @gaddambrewing. This super fun brewery serves up craft beer, premium coffees, real fruit smoothies, and super cute wine slushy flights. They also offer live music and country line dancing on select nights. Bonus: it’s family-friendly!

Which of these activities would you enjoy first? Let me know below and stay tuned for part 2! #WVTourism #WVTourismPartner
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A visit to Yosemite National Park really is like living in a dream 🥺

I recently spent a week in eastern Central California exploring @yosemitenps for the first time, and I must say it definitely earned a spot in my personal “Top 3 U.S. National Parks” category!

Some can’t miss spots in the park that are highlighted in the reel:

- El Capitan / El Capitan Meadow 
- Bridalveil Falls
- Half-Dome
- Glacier Point Overlook 
- Yosemite Valley 
- Hetch Hetchy (road is open year round, but may close intermittently due to snow depending on the time of year)

As always, for your safety and to protect Yosemite’s delicate ecosystems, always stay on designated trails. If encountered, give wildlife plenty of space and do not approach. Do not disturb or remove archeological or historical objects from where they reside. Leave the park even more beautiful than you found it for future visitors 🩵

**Reservations are required to drive into or through the park on certain dates / holidays through Oct 27, 2024. Additional reservations are made available seven days before the arrival date at 8 am Pacific time, but go quickly. For more information visit https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/reservations** 

Have you visited Yosemite National Park yet? #yosemitenps #nationalparksusa #nationalparkservice #usatravel #usaroadtrip #roadtrippers #outdoorsy #nationalparksgram
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𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝟒 𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐳𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐢𝐧 @charleston.travel ::

(You’ll want to SAVE this for your next trip!)📌

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟏:
- Check into the @hvicharleston. Here you can enjoy a complimentary wine and cheese reception, milk + cookies at night, and a made to order breakfast in the mornings!
- Grab a sweet pick me up at @tintoycrema next door 
- Stop for pics at Rainbow Row
- Walk to White Point Garden + The Battery
- Visit Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
- Have a late seafood lunch at @fleetlanding 

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟐:
- enjoy complimentary breakfast at @hvicharleston (order the ham + cheese quiche or croissant!)
- take the free DASH bus from the hotel to Liberty Square to visit the @southcarolinaaquarium. They have an amazing Sea Turtle Rescue Center! 
- eat lunch at @browndogdeli (I recommend ordering The Folly Beach Turkey Crunch Wrap or the Fried Green Tomato BLT) 
- tour the Nathaniel Russell House and/or the Edmondston-Alston House (it survived hurricanes, the earthquake of 1888, and the Civil W*r!)
- eat dinner at @magnoliaschs. Order the fried green tomatoes and southern egg roll!

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟑:
- enjoy another breakfast at @hvicharleston! You can order it as early as 6am.
- Board a boat to @ftsumternps. This historic Fort is marked as the spot where the first battle of the Civil W*r was fought. Reservations required. 
- take an Uber to @fireflydistillery to try their Sweet Tea Vodka, Banana Pudding Moonshine, and their Chocolate Pecan Whiskey. Dont pass up a boozy moonshine milkshake (for 21+) and a Rocket Burger from @rocket_burger_chs food truck!

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟒:
- enjoy an iced coffee and a breakfast sandwich at @carmellasdessertbar (just a few blocks from @hvicharleston)
- stroll through the @charlestoncitymarket. It’s been around since the mid 1800’s!
- eat late lunch at @hymans_seafood. Don’t pass up their hush puppies and crab cakes. They were voted Best in Charleston for a reason! 

Click on the link in my bio to read my full “4 Days in Charleston” guide (yes, there’s more!) on my blog to help you plan the ultimate Charleston vacation.
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Looking to sell, buy, or trade your car from the comfort of your home? You’ll want to check out @driveway_hq! 

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