Echo Park Lake is quite possibly one of LA’s best-kept secrets. First of all, there is a lake… albeit a small one… but alas, a lake, in Los Angeles. And despite its size there’s quite a bit of activity to partake in! There are swan pedal boats, hotdog carts, ice cream trucks/trolleys, and fresh fruit stands at every corner and relatively happy and nice people all around! All of them just taking a moment to enjoy the simple things in life, right in the heart of the city.
And the bonus part? It’s perfectly populated. The community this park cultivates is one of understood complacence. You’re going to do you, and as long as you aren’t totally disruptive, nobody really cares. It’s pure bliss.
Some other things I love doing at this park:
- Gather a group of friends and have a picnic. You can bring wine (as long as you’re not totally obvious about it), cheese, and games. The shaded spots move rather quickly, but it doesn’t get too hot because of the breeze. Most of the time.
- Go pedal boating! As mentioned above, it’s $10/person and you just have to return the boat by the time they close. You didn’t hear it from me, but I’ve heard it’s pretty easy to smuggle wine aboard the swan, and the boat fits up to four people so – party!
- Go at night, gaze at the moon (if you can see it through the city lights), and listen to the crickets. Maaaayyybe don’t go alone, but it’s really quite beautiful and takes you out of the LA bubble you might find yourself in.
- Exercise! There’s a bike and running path around the entirety of the lake. The view is amazing and you’ll be surrounded by people doing the same.
- Grab a blanket, a book, and a coffee from one of the multitude of cafes within walking distance (my favorite is Sage Vegan Bistro) and just read for the afternoon. It’s so meditative and a great way to find solace in alone time.
- Treat yo’self. I am telling you some of the best soft serve I’ve had in LA is from one of the ice cream trucks by the lake! As photo documented in this post. Don’t skip the sprinkles and make sure to tip your ice cream crafter.
Sometimes, it’s the places that feel like an escape that make this city so great. And for me, Echo Park Lake is definitely one of these places.