Best Picnic Spots in LA

best picnic spots in LA

Roll out a blanket at these picnic spots scattered around Lost Angeles, from the beach to a mountaintop pavilion. We compiled data from Google and TripAdvisor to reveal a list of the best picnic spots in L.A.

L.A.’s constant incredible weather means never-ending opportunities for outdoor dining. But sometimes, we don’t want to deal with the fuss of dining. So for those occasions, we take advantage of the many beautiful picnic spots in Los Angeles.

From a blanket on the beach to a bench in a park, the best picnic spots in Los Angeles are here.

Map

Best 20 Picnic Spots in LA

Romantic & Hidden Picnic Spots to Enjoy

1. Getty Center

getty center los angeles california
L.A.’s hilltop acropolis took 13 years and a billion dollars to complete, but a remarkable complex of travertine and white metal-clad pavilions. Unfortunately, it’s a little hard to reach, and you will need to ride a monorail up to the museum.

However, the panoramic views compensate for this. From the hills and the ocean in the west all the way around to Downtown in the east. You’ll find good picnic tables down the slope at the tram station and an excellent outdoor cafe, but we highly suggest sitting on the Central Garden-adjacent lawn instead.

2. Griffith Park

griffith observatory los angeles california
It’s easy to forget you’re still in Los Angeles as you trek through the mix of native scrub and green paths that cover Griffith Park. Where else could you encounter canyons, caves, and coyotes in the middle of a city?

Griffith is also home to several fantastic picnic spots, including in the Crystal Springs area, at the Old Zoo, Fern Dell, and on the Griffith Observatory’s front lawn. If you’re up for a hike, head to the hidden Amir’s Garden in the Valley side’s Mineral Wells area.

3. Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

los angeles county arboretum california
The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, 127 acres, is a greenhouse, botanical garden, and historical site nestled into hills near the San Gabriel Mountains in Arcadia. Explore peaceful and unique paths or sit and relax by the Mayberg waterfall, fountains, ponds, or themed gardens on foot or tram. Open daily; it only closes on Christmas Day.

4. Descanso Gardens

descanso gardens los angeles california
Located 20 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, Descanso Gardens is a botanical garden and place of year-round natural beauty, with internationally renowned botanical collections and spectacular seasonal horticultural displays.

5. Lake Hollywood Park

lake hollywood park los angeles california
This grassy field feels like a dog-friendly Shangri-La, carved into the hills above the Hollywood Reservoir’s walking paths but below a turnout of sightseeing vans. However, you don’t have to have four legs to enjoy the scenery, thanks to a small playground, shaded picnic benches, and one of the most fantastic views of the Hollywood Sign.

Unlike the touristy turnout just up the road, this park stays quiet throughout the day—other than the sound of dogs barking. As a result, the verdant retreat is the perfect place to mingle with hills-dwelling puppies. Just make sure your dog is leashed (otherwise, the park rangers will make sure for you).

6. The La Brea Tar Pits Museum Lawn

la brea tar pits and hancock park usa
Yeah, it’s close to the stinky tar pits, but you wouldn’t even know when the wind’s blowing right. The proximity to the Page Museum and LACMA makes this a good spot for a date picnic. The lawns’ gentle incline makes it a similarly solid place for good old-fashioned hill rolling.

7. Point Vicente Interpretive Center

point vincente lighthouse and interpretive center los angeles usa
You can explore exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, but this spot’s real treasure is its stunning vista of the Pacific.

You could roll out a blanket on the limited grassy areas, but we suggest snagging a picnic table as close to the seaside cliff as possible. The Interpretive Center’s small amphitheater is also a great spot to sit, snack, chat, and watch whale migrations.

8. Hilltop Park

hilltop park los angeles california
Hilltop Park offers one of the best views in the L.A. area. The smoke signal in the park’s center alludes to the long history that inspired the city’s naming. Picnic tables, public restrooms, and paved walking paths at the park make it a lovely spot to visit.

9. Hollywood Bowl

hollywood bowl los angeles california
This gorgeous outdoor theater has hosted concerts since the LA Philharmonic first played here in 1922. Nestled in an aesthetically blessed fold in the Hollywood Hills, the 18,000-seat venue can bring out the romantic in the terminally cynical.

It’s the summer home of the LA Phil (and boozy picnics), and it’s hosted everyone from the Beatles to the Muppets; as long as there’s no performance, it also doubles as a public park.

10. Topanga State Park

topanga state park los angeles california
Topanga State Park preserves over 11,500 acres of the Santa Monica Mountains, which is considered the world’s largest wildland within the boundaries of a major city. You won’t feel like you’re in a city when hiking through Topanga State Park. Enjoy ocean views from chaparral-covered ridges or relax in shaded oak groves.

11. Greystone Mansion & Gardens

greystone mansion beverly hills united states
The Greystone Mansion, also known as the Doheny Mansion, is a Tudor Revival mansion on a landscaped estate with distinctive formal English gardens, located in Trousdale Estates of Beverly Hills, California, United States.

12. Beverly Gardens Park

greystone mansion beverly hills united states
You’ll recognize this as the park with the prominent “Beverly Hills” sign looming over the duck and carp pond. It was designed in 1911 by landscape architect Ralph D. Cornell, the then college-age California newcomer who would design the grounds of UCLA, the La Brea Tar Pits, and the University of Hawaii.

After its 2014 renovation, this park looks better than ever. And because this contemporary art-packed park lets you nosh next to Yayoi Kasuma tulips or Magdalena Abakonowicz’s sitting figure. We chose it as the best picnic spot for art lovers.

13. Exposition Park

exposition park rose garden los angeles
Much of the majesty of past Olympics has faded, as has much of the polish on the Memorial Coliseum—sorry, Trojans fans—but Exposition Park still stands as one of LA’s most significant institutions.

You’ll find green spaces scattered around the USC-adjacent property, but the most charming section resides in the fragrant Rose Garden. Rest in one of the pavilions or stroll around the central fountain while admiring its beautiful brick neighbors.

If you’re up for the museum shuffle, take advantage of the free California African American Museum, California Science Center, and the incredibly underpriced Natural History Museum, which harbors a lovely nature walk and a seasonal butterfly garden. With the introduction of light rail service on the Expo Line, the park has all the building blocks of a traditional urban museum campus—and people say LA has no culture…

14. Palos Verdes Estates Shoreline

palos verdes estates california usa
Palos Verdes Estates Shoreline Preserve is a rocky beach and top bluff park between Lunada Bay and Bluff Cove owned and maintained by Palos Verdes Estates. The grass park follows the uneven bluff edge along Paseo Del Mar. A path called the Blufftop Trail meanders through this park.

15. Brand Park

brand park glendale los angeles california
Brand Park is an extensive park in Glendale. The main area has a branch of the Glendale Library (only music, art, and children’s books in this one), a children’s playground, a Japanese tea garden, and a Victorian doctor’s office moved here from elsewhere in Glendale, and playing fields.

The park then backs into extensive trails of various difficulties up the Verdugo Mountains. Leashed dogs are allowed on these.

16. Abalone Cove Shoreline Park

abalone cove shoreline park los angeles california
This oceanfront park in Rancho Palos Verdes offers stunning sea views from the bluff side picnic area. So chow down, then head off for a hike or a bit of tide-pooling on the seashore below.

17. Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area

kenneth hahn state recreation area california usa

This huge Culver City-area park contains a lotus pond, fishing lake, and sand volleyball court. But the urban oasis establishes itself with more than seven miles of walking and hiking trails through Baldwin Hills, with views of almost every corner of L.A. In addition, you’ll find eight picnic rental shelters and 100 picnic tables throughout the park—though we’re all for just spreading out a blanket.

18. South Coast Botanic Garden

south coast botanic garden ranco palos verdes california
Are you looking to escape the heat in LA? Then, make reservations at this 87-acre garden on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, where you’ll find a koi pond, rose garden, flowering fruit trees, and more. Good to Know: Don’t miss the hide-and-seek art exhibit around the South Coast Botanic Garden grounds!

19. Palisades Park

palisades park santa monica los angeles
What a California place to have a picnic? This 26.4-acre park stretches along Ocean Avenue between Colorado Avenue and Adelaide Drive. There are designated picnic areas and plenty of unofficial spots.

20. Grand park

grand park los angeles california
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 to sit and people-watch, Grand Park is a sunny urban oasis that proves the city has a sense of romance. In addition, the park plays hosts performances, gatherings, and other community events.

Methodology

To determine the best picnic spots in Los Angeles, MyDatingAdviser.com compared 60 of the most popular picnicking locations using reviews and rating data from Google and TripAdvisor.

This was across four key dimensions: 1) TripAdvisor Reviews, 2) TripAdvisor Ratings, 3) Google Reviews, and 4) Google Ratings. Next, we combined the metrics to create a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable picnic locations.

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