Picnic pairings: The best quick bites with the best Columbus parks

G.A. Benton, Columbus Alive

Happy birthday, America! Everyone, please proceed with your celebration plans and Instagram that selfie of bottle rockets launching from your teeth - I could use a good laugh.

But just as fireworks crack and color the July sky only to fade away in a blink, remember that summer too will disappear before you know it. Maybe you should think about getting the most out of your Columbus summer now.

For a good start, how about a livin'-the-life mini-vacation that only requires a blanket (your magic carpet), a couple of hours and as little as $25. I'm talking about traveling to where the scenery is dreamy and the food always tastes better - outside, in a lovely park, feasting on an I'm-too-lazy-to-cook picnic.

By targeting eye-candy urban retreats and shopping for delicious, ready-to-eat provisions at beautifully stocked close-by markets, "treasure these memories when jackass winter hits" picnics are a breeze. Here are my seize-the-summer-right recommendations.

• North Market + Goodale Park

• The Hills Downtown + Columbus Commons

• Katzinger's Delicatessen + Schiller Park

• Vincenzo's Convenient Elegance + Field of Corn