Picnic Panoramas

Article excerpt

So you can enjoy the midsummer sunshine, we've brought you a sam- pling of the many scenic picnic spots the West has to offer. The following places are either in or near cities, so there's no reason to munch those baby carrots indoors when you could be dining before fiery sunsets or mountainous vistas.

Washington Park, Port5 3 land. With its 550 varieties of roses blooming this month, the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park might be one of the most fragrant places on the planet. If the roses don't intoxicate you, try gazing out over Portland for a view of Mount Hood. WHERE: 400 S.W Kingston Ave. (just west of downtown Portland). WHEN: 7 A.M.-9 RM. CONTACT: (503) 823-3636.

Sandia Crest, near Albuquerque. To view all of Albuquerque and half of New Mexico, head into the Cibola National Forest to the crest of the Sandia Mountains. WHERE: On State 536, 25 miles east of Albuquerque. WHEN: Open 24 hours. COST: Parking $3. CONTACT: (505) 281-3304.

Discovery Park, Seattle. A 5 1/2-mile stroll to the Sand Bluffs through this former military fort (now Seattle's largest park) rewards you with views of Puget Sound and the glacier-etched Olympic Mountains. WHERE: The south entrance to the park lies at the end of Magnolia Blvd. WHEN: Open to vehicles 6 A.M.-11 i RM. CONTACT: (206) 386-4236.

Marin Headlands, One of the most 5 i Francisco. One of the most dizzying roads of the entire West Coast takes you to Point Bonita Lighthouse. Or stop along the way for breathtaking shots of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco. WHERE: From San Francisco, take U.S. 101 north across the Golden Gate Bridge and exit at Alexander Ave. WHEN: Open 24 hours, but the road is dangerously dark after sunset. …