Sometimes, even when you’re excitedly visiting a big city, you need to get away from all the hubbub and hustle of the crowds and just go somewhere you can relax and breathe a little fresh air. Believe it or not, you can find places to do just that around Los Angeles. There are lovely hidden green spaces and beautifully designed parks that allow you and your traveling companions to chill, destress and unwind, whether you want to spend an entire day exploring the gardens and green spaces of Los Angeles, or you just need a brief respite from the travel stress. Here are six of our favorite parks and green spaces around LA.
We have to start with the big one, don’t we? Griffith Park is renowned among Los Angeles locals and frequent visitors alike. It’s absolutely huge, at more than 4,000 acres, and it’s a lovely spot for hiking, stargazing and picnicking. There are lots of sporting venues, too, such as tennis courts, pools and even an equestrian center. One of the park’s highlights, of course, is the Griffith Observatory, which hosts a nice array of stargazing and astronomical events throughout the year.
While Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area is definitely smaller than Griffith Park, it’s still one of the largest inner-city parks in Los Angeles. There are, of course, lots of activities to choose from in this Baldwin Hills-located park. You can pack a picnic and lounge in the shade, grab a pole and try your hand at fishing, hike a trail or bring some food for a barbecue. The choice is all yours.
Easy to get to and right off Mulholland Drive, Runyon Canyon Park is 160 acres and it’s preferred by locals for its lax, off-leash dog rules, and preferred by visitors because it’s so popular with local celebs. Definitely bring your camera to this park (though not to snap photos of the stars!) — you’ll want to get pics of the view from Indian Rock.
With views of the Hollywood Sign, this park in East Hollywood is a happening spot, especially in the summer, with a full lineup of fun events. Go for the expansive lawns and artwork, but stick around for one of these events, if you can snag tickets. Some of the most popular include the wine tastings that take place during summer months.
Elysian Park is Los Angeles’s oldest public green space, with great views and few crowds. Snap pics of the Los Angeles Valley, Dodger Stadium, the perfectly aligned palm trees and more. Bring your running shoes — this park is especially popular with runners and joggers.
And if you’re downtown and want to enjoy a convenient little stop right in the heart of it all, pick Grand Park. The urban green space, with its fountain, food trucks and even a Starbucks, is a wonderful place to chill for a few moments before getting back to the sightseeing.
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~ Kelly T
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~ Michele G, El Segundo, California
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I can recall doing a bus tour of LA a number of years ago, and that tour did not remotely compare to what we experienced with our number one guide Rivers. Our family of four, including two boys aged 13 and 10, had the best day possible.
~ Lindsay O, Hepburn Springs, Australia
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Eight hours seems like a lot of time, but the day just flew by. It was so fun and interesting. I would do this again with no regrets.
The Kozars, Lethbridge, Canada
- “Great family day”
A big thank you to Scott for our fantastic LA tour!! We got all the sights in, in one day including a last minute shop @ Dash!! Scott was full of information and my family including my 3 year old had a fantastic day!! Highly recommend !!