Top 6 Picnic Spots in Los Angeles to Get Your Grub On

With weather that is perpetually pleasant and sunny, it’s no secret that Los Angeles brims with scenic vistas year-round. Beyond being easy on the eyes, they’re also picnic-ready. Whether you prefer a grab-and-go lunch on the beach or a lavish picnic in the park, the city’s coolest outdoor environs await.

Griffith Park 

Set at eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Feliz, large, urban Griffith Park (4730 Crystal Springs Dr., 323-913-4688) makes it easy to forget you’re in the heart of the urban sprawl. Spanning more than 4,200 acres of natural chaparral-covered terrain and landscaped parkland, it’s home to the Art Deco-style Griffith Observatory, offering one of the best views in Los Angeles from its outdoor deck; the Hollywood Sign; and the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens, home to 1,400 animals, including 58 endangered species. Not to be overlooked is the Travel Town Museum, with its 43 full-scale railroad engines, cars and other rolling stock. After enjoying eats al fresco, consider a hike through the park’s 53 miles of lush trails, perhaps the enchanting, shaded Ferndell Trail. Or, head to off-the-beaten-path Amir’s Garden. A tranquil oasis, its terraced, ornamental garden includes 60 varieties of trees and shrubs, including oleander, yucca, rose bushes and geraniums. Then again, you  could  always explore the Bronson Caves, the Bat Cave in the ’60s-era Batman TV series.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney are among the famous residents at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, a cemetery, funeral home, crematory and cultural events center in Hollywood. Founded in 1899, it’s L.A.’s oldest. Today, it’s also the site of movie screenings (weather-permitting), when Angelenos BYO cheese boards to sandwiches, enjoying them alongside sips and suds. It’s also where an annual Dia de los Muertos celebration is held. Emanating with mariachi music, it features costumed performers and vendors who serve authentic Mexican fare.

Point Dume State Beach

Linger over a beachfront meal at crescent-shaped Point Dume State Beach (6800 Westward Beach Rd., 310-457-8143) in Malibu, known for its rugged coastline, bluff-top nature reserve and east-side stairway that  gives way to a more isolated beach ideal for tide-pooling. Be sure to hike to the ancient coastal bluff sand dune and keep watch for grey whales during their December-March migration. On a clear day, you may even glimpse distant Catalina Island.

The Hollywood Bowl

An iconic amphitheater carved into a concave hillside, the Hollywood Bowl (2301 N Highland Ave.,, 323-850-2000) has hosted everyone from The Beatles to Billie Holiday, framed by its concentric-arched bandshell. Set in the Hollywood Hills, regulars wine and dine at 14 scenic picnic areas before catching live acts. And those who are less prepared? They enjoy boxed meals at their seats or snag a bacon-wrapped hot dogs from street side vendors on their way out.

Getty Center

Pack a picnic for two and head to the Getty Center in Westside (1200 Getty Center Dr.,TK), parking at the bottom before ascending by electric tram. Marvel at the art collection, housed in a series of travertine and metal pavilions. Then, enjoy your spread amid living sculpture at the tranquil Central Garden, designed by artist Robert Irwin and featuring a cascading stream and lush maze of pathways and hedges. Set on a hilltop overlooking the city, you’ll also find stroll-worthy courtyards and west-facing terraces with postcard-worthy sunset views.

Los Arboles Park

Offering jaw-dropping vistas of the L.A. Basin from its sky-high lawn, Los Arboles Park (colloquially “Rocketship Park,” 5101 Cll De Ricardo, Torrance, 310-328-5310) is anchored by a steel, 1960s-era rocket ship playground structure. Sure, the four-level steel rocket and lunar module replica is the highest vantage point from which to survey the Santa Monica Bay and San Gabriel Mountains, but the panoramas from the six-acre lawn are nearly as sweet.


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