As June Gloom finally leaves us, I’m getting my blanket and picnic basket ready for a fun afternoon at one of West Los Angeles’ beautiful parks. Whether you’re seeking unobstructed cityscapes or a tranquil escape, there’s a park waiting to be explored. Here are some of the most picturesque parks that West Los Angeles has to offer.

Central Park, Playa Vista

Playa Vista Central Park is a serene nine-acre park located in Playa Vista. The well-manicured park features a central pathway and rows of specimen trees. It houses a designated sports area with basketball courts, a sand volleyball court, soccer fields, and a baseball field. Central Park is also home to several botanical gardens, water features with ducks and walking paths where you can relax and soak in the natural beauty. Moreover, a distinctive element of the park is the striking amphitheater, a venue for outdoor musical performances and movies. Make your way to Central Park for some sports activities or to unwind with a stroll amidst nature after a long day! 

Palisades Park, Santa Monica

Palisades Park is a well-loved park stretching over 26 acres along Ocean Avenue. The park sits atop the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, offering breathtaking views of Santa Monica Bay and the coastline. ​​The Palisades Park is a Santa Monica landmark and houses public art installations, a rose garden, and historical monuments such as the Santa Monica Camera Obscura. Stretches of the park can also be seen in several movies. After you visit Palisades Park, head down to the Santa Monica Pier for more oceanfront fun, amusement rides, and street performers!

Hancock Park, Miracle Mile

Hancock Park is a public park in the Miracle Mile, bordering the La Brea Tar Pits. It’s a visually arresting green space where you can walk, picnic, or even people-watch. The park isn’t large, but it’s an excellent spot to pause and enjoy some sunshine. Hancock Park is home to playgrounds and walking paths and even provides a peek at ongoing excavations at the tar pits. This park is picnic and dog-friendly, and the perfect place to relax between museum visits! 

Will Rogers State Historic Park, ​​Pacific Palisades

Will Rogers State Historic Park is an iconic state park that was the ranch of Will Rogers, a performer, actor, and humorous social commentator of the early 20th century. Situated in the Santa Monica Mountains, the park offers awe-inspiring vistas of the Pacific Ocean. The park is known for its moderate-intensity hiking trails, such as the Inspiration Point Loop, Backbone Trail, and Rivas Canyon Trail. Will Rogers State Historic Park also offers guided tours of Will Rogers’ estate house. Visitors can also horseback ride, watch a polo match, or picnic at this beautiful park.

Will Rogers does have an admission of $12 per car.

Tongva Park, Santa Monica 

Tongva Park is a verdant urban park in Santa Monica, just south of Colorado Avenue, between Ocean Avenue and Main Street across from city hall. This six-acre park is named after the Tongva people, the indigenous people of Los Angeles. It features a distinctive contemporary design with rolling hills, walking paths, and an open-air theater. The park is well-loved for its extensive range of diverse plants and trees, which change hues throughout the year, adding to its allure. At Tongva Park, visitors can indulge in an al fresco meal under the shade of a tree, stroll along the walking paths, and enjoy the splash pad while surrounded by stunning natural landscapes. 

Lake Hollywood Park, Hollywood

Located in the Hollywood Hills below the Hollywood sign, this park is a quintessential Hollywood park. Lake Hollywood Park boasts well-landscaped gardens, a kids’ play section, and unobstructed views of the Hollywood sign. It also houses the Lake Hollywood Reservoir, a man-made lake frequented by locals and tourists for birdwatching and fishing. Visitors can hike or bike to the park, picnic, or do some yoga or meditation. Lake Hollywood Park is perfect for occasions when out-of-town visitors come for a stay!

Photo of a Palisades Park picnic by the author.

west los angeles news
west los angeles news
Stay informed. Sign up for The Westside Voice Newsletter

By clicking submit, you agree to share your email address with Westside Voice. We do not sell or share your information with anyone.