Here are five spots to escape the busy city bustle and spread out your picnic blanket.
Los Angeles, California, is full of film stars, sleek skyscrapers, sparkling beaches and flashy boulevards. But this West Coast town is also full of green spaces perfect for enjoying a leisurely picnic and some of the best views of the city.
Even if you’ve never been to Los Angeles, you’ve probably already seen Griffith Park a time or two. The famous Hollywood sign adorns the hills of this 1,700-plus-hectare park in northern LA. The park also contains a zoo, an equestrian center, a place to rent bicycles, the iconic music venue, The Greek Theatre, and the famous Griffith Observatory, not to mention ample places to picnic. If you’re traveling with children, take Crystal Springs Drive and park near the Griffith Park merry-go-round so your kids can take advantage of the playground equipment near the Park Center picnic area.
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
The Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, southwest of downtown LA, contains more than 160 hectares of lush scenery. Gnarled trees bursting with foliage, carpets of grass, manicured sports fields and playgrounds, and a duck-filled lake are all part of the picturesque landscape. The recreation area is also known for its well-kept trails, which afford tremendous views of the city. Plus, the park’s 100 picnic tables make it easy to find a spot to enjoy lunch outdoors.
In the charming coastal city of Santa Monica just west of downtown LA, Tongva Park is another ideal picnic spot. Formerly a parking lot, this small space has been transformed into an urban oasis, complete with a modern playground, spewing fountains and even a scenic overlook that offers views of the Santa Monica Pier and the Pacific Ocean. There are also benches, picnic tables and wide swaths of grass that provide excellent places to enjoy a picnic lunch.
Echo Park, located near downtown LA by Major League Baseball’s Dodger Stadium, has a sprawling man-made lake where you can spend part of the day boating. Its grassy banks are the perfect place to escape the bustle of LA for a relaxing picnic. (In the summertime, the lake is decorated in pink and white lotus flowers.) Because you’re right in the heart of LA, you’ll enjoy inspiring views of skyscrapers without the flurry that accompanies them. If you forgot to pack food, you could pick up some tamales from one of the onsite vendors.
Just south of downtown LA, Exposition Park is a rectangle of green space nestled in between the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the California Science Center and the University of Southern California. Its location, at the nexus of some of the city’s top cultural attractions, makes it a great place to stop, enjoy a bite to eat and smell the roses — and that’s meant literally as well as figuratively since you’ll find a gorgeous rose garden at the center of the park.
Where to Stay
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Santa Monica, 1707 Fourth St., Santa Monica, is an all-suites hotel located minutes from the Santa Monica Pier and beach. Explore the area via the hotel’s free shuttle service or enjoy on-site amenities, including an outdoor pool, whirlpool and well-equipped fitness center.
Hampton Inn & Suites Los Angeles/Hollywood, 1133 Vine St., Los Angeles, is minutes from Griffith Park and within walking distance to popular attractions such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, TCL Chinese Theatre, Pantages Theatre and Madame Tussauds Hollywood. Guests will enjoy a complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi, fitness center and outdoor heated pool.
DoubleTree by Hilton Los Angeles Downtown, 120 S. Los Angeles St., Los Angeles, features the beautiful Kyoto Garden rooftop space as well as modern guestrooms and turn-down service for Hilton Honors guests. The hotel, next to the historic Little Tokyo district, offers courtesy transportation to area destinations like Silverlake, Echo Park and Koreatown.
A story with Visit The USA: The Official USA Travel Website