L.A. wouldn’t be L.A. without its spectacular outdoor offerings—chances are you’ve already planned part of your trip to include a stop in one the city’s many beaches and parks. Between hitting up the landmarks and eating well at restaurants and bars, you should leave plenty of time to unwind in Mother Nature. You’ll be in good company, too, since Los Angeles’ active citizens like to stay fit with a good pre- or post-work run. Here are some of our favorite outdoor spaces:
Griffith Park

This 4,310-acre park isn’t just massive; it also offers some of the best views of the city. Overlooking Los Angeles from the hills north of the city, Griffith Park is especially beautiful at sunset, when the lights of the city begin to sparkle.

Grand Park

For a bit of greenery closer to the city center, head to Grand Park. The twelve acres that make up the park are speckled with grassy lawns perfect for picnicking and fluorescent pink benches perfect for lounging. There’s also plenty of cultural events that take place here, so if you’re lucky, you’ll get a taste of Los Angeles’ booming artistic scene as well.

Venice Beach

Perhaps no beach in California, if not the country, is as famous as Venice. Locals will argue that it’s perpetually crowded and somewhat uninspiring in appearance, but when it comes down to it, it’s still the place to go for gratuitous people-watching. Just don’t forget your sunglasses!

Zuma Beach

Boogie boarders and body surfers love Zuma Beach for its waves, but even if you’re less intent on heading out into the water, you’ll appreciate the clean, wide expanse of sand. Compared to Surfrider Beach, this Malibu beach is less trafficked by visitors, so you’ll get more space to yourself if you’re in that kind of a mood.

Hermosa Beach

Few sights are as breathtaking as the setting sun dipping into the Pacific Ocean, and in that regard, we think that Hermosa Beach tops all others. Stand on the pier to take in the view, or cozy up with a loved one on the sand; either way, you’ll be witness to one of Los Angeles’ most cherished romantic traditions.