The 7 Secret Parks In Southern California You've Never Heard Of But Need To Visit
With resident and tourist populations as high as they are in Southern California, beaches and parks are quite often full of people. These places are no less beautiful, but you may sometimes want to escape to a quieter space where you can enjoy
natural beauty without hoards of people. We get it. So, here are some secret parks in Southern California that remain under the radar. Shh… don’t tell anyone.
1. Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park - Carlsbad, CA
6200 Flying Leo Carrillo Ln, Carlsbad, CA 92009, USA
A secluded historic landmark,
Leo Carrillo Ranch
is tucked inside a canyon and was once a working ranch. Restored Spanish-style buildings are surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and wild peacocks that call them home.
2. Biddy Mason Memorial Park - Los Angeles, CA
331 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA
Not a typical grassy park, Biddy Mason Memorial Park is a little courtyard between buildings that memorializes Biddy "Grandma" Mason, a former slave who went on to become the first black landowner and a well-known historical figure. The park has benches, a few small trees, and a long black concrete artistic wall dedicated to the park’s namesake.
3. Medallion Apartments - Los Angeles, CA
334 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA
This multi-level park in front of the Medallion apartment building in the Old Bank District of Los Angeles was designed by M2A Architects. Its unusual shape and layout make this part look like one of those impossible multi-level illusion sketches. It also features a cool suspended metal lotus blossom.
4. Blue Ribbon Garden at The Walt Disney Concert Hall - Los Angeles, CA
111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071, USA
The Blue Ribbon Garden is a rooftop garden at the incredible Walt Disney Concert Hall, and it is a true oasis in the city. Stone paths meander through expertly landscaped areas, with chairs and tables to sit and relax. The views of both the striking concert hall architecture and downtown L.A. complete the enchanting vibe of this little hidden gem.
5. Channel Islands National Park - Ventura, CA
It may be surprising to see a national park on a list of secret parks but the truth is that many have never heard of
Channel Islands National Park
, even among California residents. It is definitely not a park you just happen upon as it is made up of five off-shore islands, so you have to take a boat to reach the park. One of the islands, Santa Cruz, is especially worth putting on your must-visit list, with fun hiking trails, pretty campgrounds, and great snorkeling.
The Japanese Garden - Van Nuys, CA
This stunning hidden park is a traditional Japanese garden and a well-kept secret located at a suburban water reclamation plant. It is designed as a strolling garden with several distinct areas and an authentic Japanese tea house.
7. Malibu Creek State Park - Calabasas, CA
1925 Las Virgenes Rd, Calabasas, CA 91302, USA
Malibu Creek State Park
is another huge space that is widely overlooked. Nestled in the mountains along a canyon between Highway 101 and the Malibu coast, this 8000-acre park has grassy plains, running streams, groves of old oak and sycamore trees, and miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
There is nothing like a serene space where you can unwind a bit away from the crowd. Have you been to any of these secret parks in Southern California? Which is your favorite? We would love to hear from you in the comments.
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