The second largest park in Los Angeles, as well as the city's oldest, Elysian Park covers 600 acres of land. Scattered across this park, you will find a number of idyllic picnic spots, several sculptures and memorial markers, trails and a community garden. Come out here to spend some time outdoors and get some fresh air without leaving the city.
Exposition Park contains several natural and cultural centers, including the California Science Center and other museums. Take your time exploring the outdoors while you take in the artful landscaping designs and walkways throughout the park. Don't forget to stop by the Rose Garden when it's in bloom for a magical day.
One of the largest urban parks on the North American continent, Griffith Park spreads over 4,310 acres. Often referred to as the Central Park of Los Angeles, the park is teeming with outdoor activities for nature lovers from all walks of life. Whether you enjoy hiking, golfing, horseback riding or swimming, there is something for you here.
Be blown away by the spectacular sights of nature near the Hollywood Sign. Pack a picnic and watch the sun dance across the Hollywood Hills as it lights up this iconic landmark. Or, take a walk outdoors along the Mt. Hollywood Trail in Griffith Park to get as up close and personal to the sign as allowed.
Enjoy the beauty of nature and the arts in one place at the Huntington Library Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Covering 120 acres, the dozens of themed gardens are overflowing with plants-native and rare plants from around the globe. Travel outdoors through the desert, surround yourself in roses, find your peace in the Zen garden or experience the jungle, all in one place.
If you are willing to travel a bit out of the main LA area, be sure to add the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden to your destinations list. This gorgeous, 127-acre garden and outdoor oasis is nestled into the low-key San Gabriel town, near the mountains. The Arboretum houses luscious plant collections from all over the world, including many rare and endangered species.
Get in touch with your wild side at the Los Angeles Zoo! Located in Griffith Park, this city owned and operated zoo is home to over 1,000 animals. Check out the popular major exhibits, like the Campo Gorilla Reserve, Chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains, Red Ape Rainforest, Sea Life Cliffs and Peninsular Pronghorns.
Learn about the environment and ecosystems in a fun, hands-on way at STAR Eco Station. Named "Best Teaching Zoo" by L.A. Family Magazine, STAR Eco station is not only an environmental science museum, but it also serves as an exotic wildlife rescue center and a haven for endangered and illegally-trafficked exotic animals.
Explore 36 miles of trails through the open grasslands, cliffs and canyons of Topanga State Park. Located near the Santa Monica Mountains, this state park also provides a lovely view of the Pacific Ocean. Discover a number of geographical wonders, like earthquake faults, marine fossils and volcanic intrusions while taking in the sights at this outdoor destination.
The small, one acre UCLA Hannah Carter Japanese Garden is located just one mile from the university campus. Inspired by the gardens of Kyoto, this authentic Japanese Garden features a main gate, garden house, shrine, bridges, water basins, antique stone carvings and a five-tiered pagoda. Enjoy the peace and tranquility outdoors at this urban oasis with friends and family or by yourself.
Hit the beach, Venice Beach! Walk along the circus-like boardwalk or stroll through the sand at this beachfront district. Catch some surf or just take in the sun while you explore this bustling area. Forgot to bring swimwear? No worries. Venice beach also has a skate park, a bike trail and tennis, basketball and volleyball courts. There's no outdoor beauty like the kind you'll find at the beach.