Top 5 Parks in Los Angeles California

Updated on May 8, 2018
melbel profile image

Melanie loves to go on adventures and continues to explore new places.

The quiet, serene setting of the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden makes it the perfect place to relax and enjoy a good novel.
The quiet, serene setting of the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden makes it the perfect place to relax and enjoy a good novel. | Source

The fast-paced city of Los Angeles is chock full of glamorous spas, places to shop, clubs, and celeb hangouts, but what really makes Los Angeles loved by the locals are the fantastic parks in the area. The parks in LA range from beautiful desert retreats and quiet, serene wetlands to swanky beachside hot spots. The city has a very diverse selection of parks.

Whether you want to enjoy the fragrant flowers at "the gardens," see a desert scene (complete with Batman's cave), go out on a paddle-boat, spend time laying out under the shade of a tree for a picnic, or go hiking, Los Angeles has it all! Here are the five best parks that the City of Angels has to offer!

Bronson Caves served as the setting of the bat cave in the 1960s Batman television series.
Bronson Caves served as the setting of the bat cave in the 1960s Batman television series. | Source

1. Exposition Park

Exposition Park, formerly known as Agricultural Park, is located right by the University of Southern California. The area was first home to a racetrack where dogs and even camels raced. Many locals protested the gambling that took place here, so the State of California bought the land, and planted a rose garden in place of the track. This 160-acre recreational area is full of world-class museums, sports facilities, and venues which lend to the park's massive appeal.

Exposition Park is home to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the California Science Center (which houses an IMAX Theater,) the Exposition Park Rose Garden, the California African American Museum, and the EXPO Center. Every Saturday the Natural History Museum holds a farmer's market.

The beautiful Rose Garden at Exposition Park is often used in films but is also a fabulous location for weddings and photographers. The gardens also are a great place for visitors to relax and take in the beautiful scenery.

2. Bronson Caves

The Bronson Caves in Hollywood Hills are famous for being a frequent filming location. The caves are actually located in a small area of Griffith Park but are so spectacular that they deserve standalone mention. This remote-looking location is easily accessible which makes it very popular not only for hikers but also for low-budget filmmakers.

The caves only date back to the early 1900s as the site was the home of a rock quarry. This area is now known as Bronson Canyon but was initially called Brush Canyon. The new name came from nearby Bronson road (the same road from which actor Charles Bronson got his stage name.) The cave is actually only about 50 feet long which makes it more of a tunnel. Because of the small size of the cave, it is usually filmed at an angle to make it appear much larger than it is.

The caves are perhaps most popularly known for being Batman's bat cave in the 1960s television series, but the area also served as a filming location for Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, and The Lone Ranger.

A small waterfall at Descanso Gardens
A small waterfall at Descanso Gardens | Source

3. Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens is a 150-acre botanical garden that was once owned by E. Manchester Boddy, the former owner of The Los Angeles Daily News. In 1953, the Descanso Camellia Garden was gifted to Los Angeles County where it was further developed to include a rose garden, lilac garden, bird sanctuary, and even a Japanese tea house.

Today, the Descanso Gardens are famous for weddings and special events. Each year the area hosts an Easter Egg hunt which is a beautiful event as the tulips are in bloom for the hunt. Visitors can get around via a replica diesel train that takes passengers from one area of the park to another. Also on the grounds is the Carriage House Art Gallery which features pieces from local artists.

The Descanso Gardens are not located in Los Angeles but are definitely worth the mention because of their incredible beauty. The gardens are in La Cañada Flintridge in Los Angeles County on the western end of the San Gabriel Valley.

The Exposition Park Rose Garden is a popular setting for weddings.
The Exposition Park Rose Garden is a popular setting for weddings. | Source

Quick Poll

Which Park Do You Want to Visit Most?

See results

4. Griffith Park

Griffith Park, which is just larger than 4,200 acres, is the second-largest city park in California. Sometimes called the Central Park of Los Angeles (although larger than Central Park,) this park is on the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains.

The park is home to several museums and attractions but is also an excellent place for hikers, bikers, and filmmakers. The Museum of the American West, The Greek Theater, the Griffith Observatory, the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, the Los Angeles Zoo, Bronson Caves, and the Travel Town Museum can all be found here. The Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum is also located in Griffith Park as well as miniature train rides.

One fun feature of the park is the Symphony in the Glen which is a free outdoor symphony concert program that many park visitors can enjoy. Those who enjoy sports will be happy to find two 18-hole golf courses, a baseball field, a number of both basketball and tennis courts, and a swimming pool. There are also many trails available for hikers and horseback riders. The famous Hollywood sign is located in Griffith Park.

The Los Angeles skyline from Griffith Park.
The Los Angeles skyline from Griffith Park. | Source

5. Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden

Perhaps one of the most interesting Los Angeles Parks is the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden. This park is located on the UCLA campus and is maintained by the Armand Hammer Museum of Art.

The sculpture garden is just over 5 acres in size and contains over 70 figural and abstract sculptures. Because of the astounding pieces here by such sculptors as Gaston Lachaise, Henri Matisse, and Isamu Noguchi, this park is considered to be the best sculpture garden in the United States. With the beautiful works of art in the garden and the surrounding trees and grasses, the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a book.

Questions & Answers

    © 2010 Melanie Palen

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • GetitScene profile image

        Dale Anderson 

        5 years ago from The High Seas

        Voted up! I just went to Griffith Park and saw the iconic Batcave (Bronson Caves) myself, even blogged about it I had such a great morning.

      • alocsin profile image

        alocsin 

        6 years ago from Orange County, CA

        Nice list, though I'm surprised Elysian Park isn't here. Voting this Up and Interesting.

      • acc12 profile image

        acc12 

        6 years ago

        Informative hub on Los Angeles parks! We visited Griffith Park this past summer - the views and ocean air up there were breathtaking. Had I read your hub beforehand, I certainly would have sought out Batman's cave. Fun!

      • profile image

        laerenne 

        7 years ago

        Thank you very much for this informative hub.

      • melbel profile imageAUTHOR

        Melanie Palen 

        7 years ago from Midwest USA

        I'm glad you all enjoyed reading about the parks in LA. Thank you all for the wonderful comments!

      • Hello, hello, profile image

        Hello, hello, 

        7 years ago from London, UK

        Thank you for introducing these wonderful parks. Great hub.

      • Juliet Christie profile image

        Juliet Christie Murray 

        7 years ago from Sandy Bay Jamaica

        It is really amazing how this one state has so many parks.They all seem interesting. I must put them on my list of places to visit when I go to that state.

      • Simone Smith profile image

        Simone Haruko Smith 

        7 years ago from San Francisco

        Wow! The Descanso Gardens sound lovely! And I TOTALLY want to visit the Batcave-er-Bronson Caves!!

      • profile image

        images99 

        7 years ago

        I love parks and for that matter where ever can I find to see places those are full of green and flowers,thanks for sharing.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wanderwisdom.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wanderwisdom.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)