best picnic spots in Los Angeles

by | Jul 2, 2023 | local guide

Los Angeles, home to Hollywood glamour, boasts beautiful parks, stunning beaches, and captivating gardens. All perfect for a picnic. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a lover of city views, or a beach bum, this list will cater to you. This comprehensive guide will highlight the 21 best picnic spots in Los Angeles, ensuring you have the most delightful picnic experience.

1. Griffith Park: a perfect picnic spot in LA

Known as one of North America’s largest urban parks, Griffith Park tops the list when discussing LA’s best picnic spots. It’s a treasure trove of lush greenery, walking trails, and various attractions like the Griffith Observatory and the LA Zoo.

As you set your picnic blanket amidst this verdant oasis, the tranquility enveloping the park sets the perfect backdrop for a relaxing afternoon. The unique blend of city views, clear skies, and nature make the Griffith Park picnic area an absolute must-visit.

2. Palisades Park in Santa Monica

Perched on the bluffs above Santa Monica Beach, Palisades Park is a tranquil and picturesque spot for a picnic. The park offers panoramic ocean views, a diverse variety of native and exotic plants, and walking trails, making it a treasured spot among LA picnic spots.

As you enjoy your picnic in the park, soak in the sweeping views of the ocean and the diverse flora. Post-picnic, embark on a leisurely walk along the trails, ensuring a relaxing end to your picnic adventure.

3. Grand Park in Downtown LA

Grand Park is a vibrant, modern space perfect for a city picnic in the heart of downtown LA. With a myriad of grassy areas and its signature pink tables and chairs, Grand Park provides a unique picnic experience.

You can view the LA City Hall and the park’s beautiful, colorful fountains as you savor your meal. This park will make your picnic delightful with its pulsating energy and eye-catching aesthetics.

4. Los Angeles State Historic Park

Los Angeles State Historic Park is a hidden gem in downtown LA. This 32-acre park offers a tranquil setting for a picnic amidst lush greenery and scenic views.

The park’s historical elements, including old railroad tracks and a train depot, add a unique touch to the picnic experience. It’s a family-friendly location with open spaces and a playground. Discover the perfect blend of history and nature at Los Angeles State Historic Park for your next picnic outing.

5. Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, a sanctuary for plant lovers, ranks high on the list of top picnic spots. Nestled amidst historical landmarks, peacocks, and themed gardens are picnic tables where you can enjoy your meal.

Surrounded by the serenity of this location, enjoy your picnic. Later, take a leisurely stroll to explore this peaceful haven’s exotic plant species and vibrant wildlife.

6. Runyon Canyon Park in Hollywood

In Hollywood Hills, Runyon Canyon Park is a popular destination for hiking, fitness, and picnicking. This expansive park offers several trails with panoramic city views, including the famous Hollywood Sign.

After a refreshing hike, find a spot to lay down your picnic blanket and enjoy your meal while soaking in the iconic Hollywood scenery. The park’s lively atmosphere and celebrity sightings make it a favorite picnic spot for locals and visitors alike.

7. Will Rogers State Historic Park

Once the ranch of actor Will Rogers, this park is a popular picnic spot offering breathtaking views of Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean. The park has excellent picnic facilities and recreational activities like hiking, horseback riding, and polo.

Set up your picnic amidst the park’s scenic beauty, and post-lunch, indulge in some fun activities. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure enthusiast, or someone who loves relaxing outdoors, this park caters to everyone.

8. Lake Balboa Park in Van Nuys

Famous for its picturesque views and spring cherry blossoms, Lake Balboa Park promises a fun-filled picnic day. The park boasts a vast lake that offers boating and fishing, providing multiple recreational options to picnic-goers.

Unpack your picnic basket by the lake, surrounded by nature’s beauty. After your meal, you can relax by the lake or try fishing, ensuring a picnic experience filled with joy and excitement.

9. Point Dume State Beach: a scenic picnic spot in Malibu

Point Dume State Beach in Malibu is the go-to spot for beach lovers. Offering a scenic cliffside setting, sandy shores, and a nature reserve, this picnic spot guarantees an unforgettable vista of the Pacific Ocean.

Point Dume State Beach

You can set up your picnic on the sandy beach or enjoy a spread in the reserve. Whichever you decide, the panoramic views of the azure ocean and surrounding landscapes promise a memorable picnic experience.

10. Topanga State Park: nature’s picnic paradise

Topanga State Park is a haven for those seeking a nature-infused picnic in the Santa Monica Mountains cliffs and canyons. It’s one of the best picnic spots in LA for hiking and bird-watching.

Set your picnic spread amidst the park’s serene environment and enjoy the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. As you dine in the heart of nature, look out for the bird species that make this park their home, adding an element of excitement to your picnic.

11. Vista Hermosa Natural Park

In downtown LA, Vista Hermosa Natural Park provides an ideal balance of natural areas and playgrounds. Its grassy meadows, streams, and walking trails make it a preferred picnic spot for families and nature lovers.

Lay down your picnic blanket amidst the park’s natural beauty and let the downtown skyline view serve as your backdrop. The park’s tranquil surroundings and the cityscape view make Vista Hermosa a standout among LA picnic spots.

12. Franklin Canyon Park: a secluded picnic haven

Hidden amidst the hustle and bustle of LA, Franklin Canyon Park is a secluded and peaceful spot to enjoy a picnic. It houses a serene lake, numerous hiking trails, and various wildlife species, making it a part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Spread your picnic blanket under a tree and enjoy this park’s quiet atmosphere. Post-picnic, hike along the trails, or simply sit by the lake watching the ducks, making your visit an all-around relaxing experience.

13. Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area

Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area is one of the largest and most scenic inner-city parks in LA. It offers vast grasslands, a man-made lake, a stream, and picnic areas with barbecue pits, making it a complete picnic spot.

Unwind by setting up your picnic spread near the lake, and after your meal, embark on a leisure walk around the park, or engage in some recreational activities. The park’s lush greenery and tranquil ambiance make it one of the top LA picnic spots.

14. El Matador State Beach

El Matador State Beach, characterized by its unique rock formations and azure blue waters, is a top picnic spot for beach lovers. You can set up your picnic on the sandy shore or top of the cliffs overlooking the beach.

Enjoy a picnic while soaking in the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Post-picnic, you can explore the distinctive rock formations or just sit back and enjoy the ocean’s calming symphony. El Matador Beach offers a unique beach-picnic experience like no other.

15. Brand Park in Glendale

Located in Glendale, Brand Park is an often overlooked gem. It offers a peaceful Japanese Garden, the Whispering Pine Tea House, and a beautiful library, making it an ideal location for a picnic.

Set up your picnic spread amidst the beauty of the Japanese Garden and enjoy your meal in a tranquil setting. Post-picnic, you can explore the library or enjoy a quiet moment at the Tea House. A visit to Brand Park promises a picnic experience enriched with culture and serenity.

16. Queen Mary Seawalk Park

Right next to the historic Queen Mary ship in Long Beach, this park offers fantastic views of the Long Beach skyline and the harbor. The grassy area by the seawall is an excellent place for a picnic.

Enjoy your picnic while taking in the picturesque skyline and harbor views. The location offers a unique blend of city, sea, and history, making it a must-visit picnic spot in LA.

17. Travel Town Museum

The Travel Town Museum offers a unique picnic experience in Griffith Park, especially for train enthusiasts. Enjoy your picnic in the green area and explore historic train exhibits.

Set up your picnic near the museum and travel back in time. Post-meal, explore the historical trains and immerse yourself in LA’s rich history. The Travel Town Museum promises a picnic experience filled with fun and learning.

18. TreePeople Park: a tranquil picnic place in LA

Hidden in Beverly Hills, TreePeople Park is a fantastic spot for nature lovers. With its beautiful trails, stunning views of the city and mountains, and various trees, this park is an excellent place for a picnic.

Enjoy your picnic amidst the park’s natural beauty and post-picnic, and you can explore the various trails or just relax, taking in the panoramic views of the city and mountains. Visiting TreePeople Park promises a perfect blend of nature and cityscape views.

19. Dockweiler State Beach

Dockweiler State Beach, with its wide sandy shore, picnic tables, barbecue pits, and beautiful ocean views, is one of the best picnic spots in Los Angeles. You can enjoy a bonfire next to the beach as the sun sets.

Set up your picnic on the sandy beach, and enjoy the beautiful views of the ocean. Post-picnic, light up a bonfire and enjoy a memorable sunset by the beach. A visit to Dockweiler State Beach promises a memorable picnic experience filled with sun, sand, and surf.

20. Elysian Park

The second-largest park in LA, Elysian Park, is a wonderful place to picnic. The park offers a quiet retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle, with picnic tables, barbeque pits, and scenic views of downtown LA and the surrounding mountains.

Enjoy a peaceful picnic in this sprawling park, enjoying the stunning city and mountain views. A visit to Elysian Park ensures a quiet and relaxing picnic experience amidst the bustling city life.

21. Lake Hollywood Park

Lake Hollywood Park, nestled near the famous Hollywood Sign, is a scenic picnic spot with breathtaking views. Enjoy a leisurely picnic surrounded by the beauty of the Hollywood Reservoir and hills.

The park offers spacious grassy areas, picnic tables, and pet-friendly spaces. Capture stunning photos and explore nearby hiking trails for an extended adventure. While no restrooms are on-site, the picturesque setting makes it a must-visit spot for a memorable picnic experience in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, known for its bustling city life and glamour, also offers diverse natural landscapes, perfect for a relaxing luxury picnic experience. These best picnic spots in Los Angeles offer something for everyone. Whether you are a local or a visitor, these LA picnic spots will provide a memorable outdoor dining experience combined with LA’s beautiful landscapes.

luxury pop-up picnic spots in Los Angeles

And if you want to elevate your picnic to a luxury pop-up experience, look no further than Picnic Makers, the leading picnic company in Los Angeles specializing in creating exquisite and extravagant picnics.

Can I picnic at Griffith Park any time of the year?

Griffith Park is open all year round, making it an excellent picnic spot in any season. However, some attractions within the park may have specific operating hours.

What picnic spots in LA offer both city and ocean views?

Palisades Park and Will Rogers State Historical Park offer stunning views of the city and the ocean, making for a unique picnic experience.

Can I enjoy recreational activities at these picnic spots in Los Angeles?

Many locations offer recreational activities like hiking, boating, and fishing. For example, Lake Balboa Park and Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area are popular for these activities.

Are there any beach picnic spots in LA that allow bonfires?

Dockweiler State Beach permits bonfires. It’s a great spot to have a picnic during the day and a bonfire as the sun sets.

Are there any hidden or less crowded picnic spots in LA?

Franklin Canyon Park and TreePeople Park are excellent choices if you’re looking for less crowded or hidden gems for a peaceful picnic experience.

What picnic spots in LA offer unique historical or architectural elements?

Angels Gate Park, home to the iconic Korean Friendship Bell, offers a unique historical element to your picnic.

Can I go for a swim during my beach picnic in LA?

At locations like Dockweiler State Beach and El Matador State Beach, you can enjoy a refreshing swim in the ocean. Remember to follow all safety guidelines for beach swimming.

Which picnic spots in Los Angeles offer the best views of the city skyline?

Vista Hermosa Natural Park and Elysian Park offer some of the best views of the LA skyline, making your picnic experience even more memorable.

Are there any picnic spots with BBQ pits in Los Angeles?

Several spots like Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area and Elysian Park have barbecue pits for a delightful outdoor grilling experience.

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