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4 of the Best Parks in L.A.
from Timeout Los Angeles
Among the lengthy list of picturesque attractions in this city—who can resist the temptation of a hike through Runyon or a trip to the beach?—there is a wealth of beautiful parks in Los Angeles. Whether you’re an art aficionado or a devoted dog owner, there’s a slice of nature that fits your lifestyle.
There are 14 more listed in the article, but here are a few to get you started:
- 1. Griffith Park. It’s easy to forget you’re still in the city as you trek through the mix of native chaparral and landscaped paths that covers this rugged park. But take one look out from the iconic Griffith Observatory and you’ll find yourself face-to-face with the LA Basin as it stretches out to the ocean. Griffith’s myriad attractions and wilderness caters to all LA types: intrepid hikers can explore the Bronson Caves and visit Amir’s Garden; easygoing weekenders can relax in the shaded, verdant passage through Fern Dell or the picnic tables at Crystal Springs; kid-toting visitors can board the steamers at Travel Town or explore the archaic cages at the Old Zoo; and pop culture lovers can catch a show at the Greek Theatre or visit Walt’s Barn (a transplanted shed where Disney himself would tinker away with model trains).
- 2. Barnsdall Art Park & Hollyhock House. For art aficionados! After oil heiress and philanthropist Aline Barnsdall bought this cute little hill after the end of World War I, she enlisted Frank Lloyd Wright to build a group of buildings at its summit. Though the complex was never finished, Barnsdall went on to donate the house, guest house and 11 acres of the land to the city on the premise that they be used as a public art park. More than eight decades later, the site still fulfills that role, with exhibitions in a variety of gallery spaces, as well as tours of the stunningly restored Hollyhock House. In the summer, the park hosts al fresco cinema nights, wine tastings and cultural events that bring out a nice mix of singles, couples and young families.
- 3. Grand Park.For reclaimed green space! The slow, lumbering mission to turn Downtown LA into a vibrant cultural hub got a lift when a portion of Grand Park’s 12 acres officially opened to the public in July 2012. Dotted with fountains, picnic lawns, bright pink benches and plenty of nooks from which to sit and people-watch, Grand Park is a bright urban oasis that proves the city has a sense of romance. The park plays host to performances, gatherings and other community events.
- 4. Palisades Park.For waterfront views! Walk along the palm and eucalyptus-lined paths here and it becomes obvious why tourists flock to this oceanside park in Santa Monica. Nestled between the beach and Ocean Avenue, this bluff-top trail has stunning views of the ocean and Santa Monica Mountains—this is the postcard picture of LA’s coastline that lives in most people’s heads. Steer clear of the tourist and homeless-ridden section by the pier—though don’t pass up a stop at the Camera Obscura—and instead head north past the stately concrete sculpture at Wilshire to the colorful totem pole at San Vicente.
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