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GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY | FACEBOOK

THE BEST PARKS AND GREEN SPACES IN LOS ANGELES

11 PLACES

UPDATED OCT 31, 2019

One of the best parts about LA is that we are blessed with some truly beautiful green spaces and parks, the trick is knowing where to find them. That’s where we come in. Here are the perfect spots to take a walk, disconnect, and breathe some fresh air.

author

KRISTEN BALBONI

FITT LOS-ANGELES CONTRIBUTOR

Pack a lunch and head over to Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area in Baldwin Hills — you’re going to want to stay all day. Green and lush, it’s one of the largest inner-city parks in LA. And there’s so much to do! Fishing, hiking, barbecue pits, trails, and pretty much every type of sports court or field. Your only dilemma will be what to try first.

Everyone knows that Griffith Observatory is awesome, but the observatory grounds are pretty darn cool in their own right. Did you know the beautiful green lawn is also a scale model of our solar system? It’s true — the center of the solar system is right in front of the North Doors, and you can explore outward from there. Once you’ve finished venturing into space, don’t forget to snap a few pictures of the amazing city views before heading inside to check out the observatory.

With stunning views of LA and the Hollywood Sign, this cool little park in East Hollywood is the perfect spot to get away from it all. Picnic on the grass, take in some of the art, or watch one of the best sunsets the city has to offer. Fitt Tip: in the summer, get a group together for one of their weekly Barnsdall Friday Night Wine Tastings. Just make sure to snag tickets early — they sell out quick!

A vibrant urban park in the heart of downtown, Grand Park is packed with things to see and do. Bright pink benches, a giant fountain, and even a Starbucks in the park — what’s not to love? But the best part of Grand Park is that there’s almost always something going on: workout events, art shows, concerts, and food trucks. Lots of food trucks.

Right in the middle of the concrete jungle we call Westwood sits this little botanical garden on UCLA’s campus. It’s the perfect place for nature-lovers to get their fix while staying in the city. Enjoy the shady wooded areas, luscious plants, and little streams with turtles and fish. It’s hard to find a more relaxing spot in the middle of LA.

It’s impossible to talk about beautiful green spaces in LA without mentioning Palisades Park. This 1.5-mile park right off Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica provides some of the most picturesque ocean views in the city. And a huge bonus: once you’re finished enjoying the park, simply cross Ocean Avenue and you’re steps away from some of the best restaurants in Santa Monica (Sugarfish, anyone?).

This seven-acre rose garden is truly a hidden gem. Adjacent to the USC campus, the entrance to the rose garden is on State Drive. Once you’re finished strolling amongst all the beautiful flowers, pop over to the Natural History Museum or watch a game at the Coliseum — both are only steps away.

Ever wanted to go back in time to Hollywood’s golden age? Well, a visit to Wattles Garden Park is probably about as close as you can get. The grounds of the Wattles Estate, on North Curson Ave., are lush and inviting. Enjoy the garden, the trails, and the peacefulness right in the heart of Hollywood.

It’s hard to believe that this 6.2-acre park in Santa Monica was essentially a parking lot a few years ago. This urban oasis features extra-special touches like fountains, sculptures, and lily pads, making it the perfect little escape. The paths are great for running, and there are nice built-in dining areas for a lunch break.

A secret Japanese garden on the roof of a popular downtown hotel? Count us in. The half-acre space features gorgeous plants and flowers, fountains, ponds, and even a waterfall. This luxurious space is technically only meant for hotel guests, but it’s completely worth it if you get the chance to go. Just ride the elevator up to the garden level (but shhhh!).

While it might be odd to think of a cemetery as a “beautiful green space”, we Angelenos know that Hollywood Forever is no ordinary cemetery. Walk the grounds and take in the history — you’ll see the final resting places of some of the world’s most famous people. And there are always events going on; seeing a concert or watching an outdoor movie at the cemetery is a truly unique experience.

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