5 Picture-Perfect Picnic Spots in CB

As soon as the weather heats up, there's no better way to enjoy the afternoon than to pack a picnic basket and partake in outdoor dining with the family. There are plenty of destinations to sprawl out and enjoy an alfresco feast in Council Bluffs. We've chosen just a few of our favorite grassy refuges from all corners of town to help you decide on the perfect spot to picnic.

If you’d prefer to not have to prepare your picnic meal, check out our list of restaurants in Council Bluffs that offer carryout!

1. Bayliss Park

Did you know that Bayliss Park was the first park created in Council Bluffs in 1853? This well-known park gives you a historic town square vibe with a modern twist. A beautiful fountain, performance pavilion, and abundant green space make this a perfect picnic destination! Home to the Council Bluffs Farmers Market, movie nights and a free concert series, this lush green space becomes the perfect warm-weather hangout in the summertime.

2. Lake Manawa State Park

Nothing is quite as peaceful as a waterfront meal. Choose from several picnic shelters along the shoreline of this beautiful state park or simply roll out your blanket at your chosen location. If you’re looking for something to do after your meal, you’re in luck! Take the kids to Dream Playground, hike or bike the trail system, fish, or go hang out on the beach.

3. Lewis & Clark Monument Scenic Overlook

If you’re looking for one of the best views of the Missouri River and Omaha skyline, picnic at the Lewis & Clark Monument Scenic Overlook! This peaceful spot has picnic areas and trails for visitors to enjoy.

4. Tom Hanafan River's Edge Park 


*Looking Up image taken by @emceehinrichs on Instagram

Enjoy a picnic next to one of CB’s most popular pieces of public art, “Looking Up” by Tom Friedman! This riverfront park offers up plenty of green space to spread out and enjoy a meal while taking in the views of the Omaha skyline. After your meal, be sure to walk across the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge and stand in two states simultaneously!

5. Vincent Bluff State Preserve 

Nature lovers will love picnicking at this hidden gem! Vincent Bluff State Preserve gives you perfect views of the Loess Hills from the center of town. Head up the trail to take in the breathtaking views of the Council Bluffs metro, you won’t regret it! A picnic shelter is located at the base of the bluff.

Picnicking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while catching up with your significant other, friends, or family members. Help us keep Council Bluffs a beautiful place to explore and dispose of all of your picnic trash properly!

This post was originally published on May 31, 2022 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.