America's Best Parks
The National Mall; DC
Where to Picnic: The National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden features installations by Claes Oldenburg and Roxy Paine, whose project "Graft" is a 16,000-pound stainless steel tree. The wildly popular Jazz in the Garden concert series runs Fridays evenings through September 9 from 5 to 8:30 p.m.
What to Pack: At the historic Eastern Market, restored in 2009 after a fire, Canales' Quality Meats stocks smoked local hams. Even closer, Cowgirl Creamery's shop sells excellent organic-milk cheeses. Cowgirl Creamery, about a 10-minute walk from the Mall; 919 F Street NW, 202-393-6880. Canales' Quality Meats, about a 20-minute walk from the Mall; 225 7th St. SE, 202-547-0542.
Photos: Courtesy of Visions of America, LLC/Alamy/Ted Nigrelli