The only thing better than a perfect summer day is a perfect summer day in NYC. And as much as New Yorkers love the hustle and bustle of the city, they too need to take some time to get away from the concrete jungle. When native New Yorkers are in need of some peace, quiet, and greenery, they head to Central Park. It's the perfect place for a summer picnic, and I'm here to tell you how to have one that's as good as a fairytale.

1. Grab a Bag and a Blanket

Not just any bag either. A power bag. It needs to be large enough to fit your food, drinks, and blanket, but it also needs to be stylish enough so it doesn't look like it can hold all of that. A small backpack will work as long as it doesn't look like you're a tourist on a school trip. Bags are ideal because they work as great buffers when you weave around the slow walkers on your power walk to the park. You're walking at a New York pace after all.

2. Head to Whole Foods

coffee, tea
Kristin Lane

The Whole Foods at the Columbus Circle Shops is right on the edge of Central Park and has everything you need to pick up all of your picnic necessities on your way to the park. They have a variety of fresh cheeses and fruits, a section of pre-made meals, and a deli bar where you can fill up a box with whatever your stomach is craving in the moment.

beer, wine, liquor, ale
Sarah Kimball

While Whole Foods can provide you with anything you could ever want to eat, the checkout consists of flashing numbers, colored aisles, automated voices, and, of course, a mob of hangry New Yorkers who have places to go and people to see (so you don't want to make them upset). But don't panic. Play it cool. As long as you pay attention and move quickly you'll be fine. And if someone tries to cut in front of you in line, don't hesitate to tell them, "Get outta hea!"

3. Find a Comfy Spot

Central Park is about two and a half miles long and a half mile wide, so you have plenty of options for your perfect picnic spot. You can sit by the water as people row by, watch kids climb on the Alice and Wonderland statue, or sit by the Bethesda Fountain. Since you'll be entering from Columbus Circle though, you may want to plop down at the Heckscher Playground since it's so close by. For a complete guide to all that Central Park has to offer, check out this interactive map. Just make sure you don't look at a map while you're walking through the park, so you're not labeled as a tourist.

4. Set Up Camp

Sarah Kimball

Lay out your blanket, take off your shoes, and plop down in the city's oasis. Make sure you have plenty of room to lay out your food while also stretching out in the sun. Feel the sunshine and breathe in the fresh air. If you're far enough into the park, you may not even be able to hear the honks and sirens of the city. Score. 

5. Enjoy Your Perfect Summer Picnic  

cheese, egg
Sarah Kimball

You made it. You can sit back, relax, and enjoy your food in the most beautiful city in the world. And all while looking like a native New Yorker too. Don't forget to people watch. You'll never know what or who you'll see.

There's nothing like summer in the city.