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Top 5 Places to Enjoy a Picnic in LA

(LA Trend) — Although outdoor dining is back, there’s still no beating a well-curated picnic. Pack your own provisions or order a picnic to-go basket from a local restaurant. Enjoy a relaxing picnic at one of Los Angeles’ many outdoor recreation areas.

Arlington Garden

This Pasadena gem is a free, community-run garden with ample picnic tables and seating. Enjoy a variety of specialized gardens including desert plants, a citrus grove, and scrub oaks. Wander through a small labyrinth and enjoy the shade of olive trees. Another key feature of this charming, 3-acre garden is the rows of trees where visitors affix paper tags with their wishes. After your visit, order a jar of marmalade made from the oranges in Arlington’s citrus groves. Find free street parking on nearby streets.

Exposition Park Rose Garden

Located across from the University of Southern California campus, this 7-acre park is a popular destination during the rose season (March through June). Wander through rows of colorful rose bushes and picnic on the soft grass. There are over 200 varieties of roses surrounding a central water fountain and stone benches for resting. Exposition Rose Park was founded in 1928 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. The park is free but parking is $12 at the Exposition Center.

Kenneth Hahn Recreational Park

Enjoy city views and a variety of amenities in this Baldwin Hills park. Explore over 400 acres of natural habitats, including a lotus pond, and seven miles of hiking trails. There’s also a pond available for fishing and a playground for the little ones. Set up your picnic at one of the 100 picnic tables or snag a spot by one of 60 barbecue pits. Expect to see a variety of birds and small animals at this busy recreational area. Score free parking on weekdays or pay the $6 fee on weekends.

Vista Hermosa Park

Located at the edge of downtown Los Angeles, this park offers unparalleled views of the city. Enjoy 10 acres of streams, meadows, oak savannas, and native Mediterranean vegetation. Hike an easy 0.5-mile trail and the shade of plentiful trees. One of the park’s main draws is its FIFA-regulation soccer field and an outdoor amphitheater. Find street parking or score a spot in the park’s free lot.

Echo Park Lake

This often-photographed park is known for its annual lotus festival and paddle boats. Rent a family-friendly paddle boat or swan boat and cruise around the lake, complete with a central water fountain. Enjoy the park’s copious lotus blossoms as well as unique views of downtown Los Angeles. Parking may be a bit of a challenge but this park is conveniently located within walking distance of Echo Park shops and restaurants. Find free or metered street parking around the park’s perimeter.

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