10. Sanborn County Park, Saratoga
On the outskirts of the county, Sanborn County Park is a favorite refuge, full of babbling brooks and lush greenery. Sanborn has reservable picnic areas, but at over 3,000 acres of gorgeous wilderness, finding room for you and your party shouldn’t be a problem.

9. Lake Cunningham Park, San Jose
Lake Cunningham alone is 50 acres, and the surrounding acreage is a go-to destination for casual get-togethers. Dotted with barbecue pits and lots of grass to lay out on, Lake Cunningham is where true San Joseans go to spend their last lazy days of summer.

8. Kelley Park, San Jose
Just outside of downtown, Kelley Park is a central meeting point for everyone in San Jose, and includes some distinctive sites like the Japanese Friendship Garden and History Park. Kelley Park has designated picnic areas for small and large groups.

7. Beach bonfire, Santa Cruz
When you’re lucky enough to live in California, all you really need to celebrate any occasion is some firewood, a full cooler and a car full of friends. Give your summer the sendoff it deserves by having a beach bonfire in Santa Cruz (in the spots where it’s legal to do so, that is).

6. Hakone Gardens, Saratoga
Show off your cultural side by staging a gathering at Hakone Gardens, a serene, Japanese-style garden complete with koi ponds and bonsai. The picnic area is not reservable, so either show up really early or be prepared to pay someone off.

5. San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, San Jose
There’s certainly no prettier place in San Jose to hold a picnic than the Rose Garden. Don your Sunday best, stuff some cookies and sandwiches in a lined basket, and party like it’s turn-of-the-century London.

4. Las Palmas Park, Sunnyvale
If you’ve got just a small group of friends and only need a small patch of land to please them, Las Palmas Park in Sunnyvale is a nice alternative from the standard city park, with a glassy lake that surrounds a secluded island. Spaces near BBQs fill up quickly, but you can always pack your spread at home and set up a blanket and folding chairs on the lawn.

3. Shoreline Park and Lake, Mountain View
If a love of adrenaline runs in the fam, settle in at Shoreline Park for Labor Day. Shoreline offers lots of watercraft rentals and has bike and hiking trails, many of them with views of the great big San Francisco Bay.

2. Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve, Los Altos
This serene expanse of preserved wilderness is comprised of 26 different preserves that border the Peninsula and some of the more northern South Bay communities. After you nosh, you can walk it off with a hike on one of their many trails or take the kids to make some new friends at Deer Hollow Farm.

1. Vasona Park, Los Gatos
Though you’ll undoubtedly have to dodge more than a few goose bombs while you’re there (close-toed shoes are recommended), Vasona is a longtime favorite for barbecues. In downtown Los Gatos, it’s far enough away from everything to feel pretty remote, but still a close enough meeting point to please even those few friends who complain every time you call them out to an event in another zip code (we all have them).