Longer days and sunshine have us dreaming of picnics. And here in Humboldt, we don't have to travel far to spread a cloth and enjoy a meal in a setting that inspires likes and envy when you post a photo online. The Arcata Marsh, Humboldt Wildlife Refuge and Big Lagoon County Park are favorite spots.

click to enlarge DIY picnic by North Coast Co-op - PHOTO BY CHUCK JOHNSON
  • Photo by Chuck Johnson
  • DIY picnic by North Coast Co-op

Planning ahead is nice, but sometimes it's not what the schedule allows. If the weather is right and you get inspired to spend the day in the outdoors, you can gather your provisions at a local store and head off to your chosen destination. The important thing is to have a relaxing day wherever your feet bring you.

Here are some ideas for picnics for two at around $30. I think bread and cheese is a couple you always want to bring along, and a little light dessert is required — after all, a picnic is a mini vacation and must end on a sweet note.

Eureka Natural Foods
1450 Broadway, Eureka. 442-6325 
Pick Up: For an eclectic picnic, grab tabouli salad ($3.15) and the Cha-cha Chinese salad ($2.50) with cabbage, sesame and almonds.
Bread and cheese: Saint-André brie ($3.50) on Beck’s Bakery sourdough ($4.79)
Dessert: Dick Taylor Belize Chocolate ($6.09)
Drink: Tulsi Ginger or Holy Basil tea ($2.09)

North Coast Co-op
811 I St., Arcata. 822-5947
25 4th St., Eureka. 443-6027
Pick Up: Mermaid Sushi’s real crab brown rice rolls ($8.49) make for non-traditional picnic fare — at least for an Italian. (The rolls also come vegetarian.)
Bread and cheese: Cypress Grove Purple Haze ($4.49) on seeded Brio epi bread ($3.85)
Dessert: Drakes Chocolate beer truffles ($6.45)
Drink: Tiamo pinot grigio ($9.95) or Sun Valley sauvignon blanc ($10.99)

Wildberries Marketplace
747 13th St., Arcata. 822-0095
Pick Up: Salmon is good for you and so is quinoa. They come together if you pair grilled wild salmon wraps ($2.99 each) with quinoa edamame salad ($3.50).
Bread and cheese: Cypress Grove Bermuda Triangle ($7.62) on Ramone’s seeded baguette ($2.30)
Dessert: Organic raspberries ($4.99)
Drink: Valdo Prosecco mini ($4.49) and Perrier sparkling water ($2.59)
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