Best Picnic Spot - 2009
Carbon Canyon Regional Park
Sprawl is a four-letter word when you're stuck in traffic on the 57 freeway in North Orange County. But if you pull off at Lambert Road and head east, it will eventually turn into Carbon Canyon Road, and you'll enter another world entirely. Well, not entirely, as proven by the newer housing tract rising in the hills near the intersection with Santa Fe Avenue. But directly across the road is Carbon Canyon Regional Park and its rolling green lawns, idyllic pond and tons of shade trees cradled by grassy hills. Chirping birds drown out the noise from passing cars and suburbia. The county park is set up for tennis, fishing, horseback riding, flopping and, especially, picnicking, which can be done under shade structures (by reservation) or just about everywhere else, where you can simply drop your blanket and basket. During the summer, Brea can get mighty hot, but it feels about 15 degrees cooler in the park. And if you can manage to get there without a motorized vehicle that must be parked on-site, it's all free.