When you think of Los Angeles, the first things that come to mind are probably trendy restaurants, movie stars, and sandy beaches. Angelenos are notorious for heading out in droves to hike on Saturday mornings, but did you know that you can get your daily dose of nature with one of LA’s many outdoor botanical gardens? Here are some of our favorite LA gardens to visit this weekend.
Spend a glorious Saturday at Descanso Gardens, located just north of Glendale and Pasadena. Visit the Sturt Haaga Gallery to check out the latest exhibits, stop for a bite at the Cafe Descanso, and stay for the Garden’s summer concert series. Visit Descanso Gardens year-round to experience different flora and fauna – check out their bloom calendar to see what will be in season during your visit.
Virginia Robinson Gardens
This historical landmark in Beverly Hills is by appointment only. Once on property, walk around the six-acre property’s gardens, mansion, and pool pavilion. This is the perfect place for your next photoshoot or to share a cheap date with your significant other!
Exposition Park Rose Garden
Scouting locations for your next picnic? Exposition Park is filled with seemingly endless lanes of roses, making it a wonderful escape from your laptop screen and email inbox. Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from USC’s campus and Exposition Park museums, this centrally located park is a perfect Sunday spot.
Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden
USC has the Exposition Park Rose Garden, so it’s only fair that we mention UCLA’s Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden! Over 3,000 types of plants grow across the sprawling 7.5 acre gardens. In addition to the foliage, there are also several types of environments from Mediterranean to desert.
The Japanese Garden
The Japanese Garden was created by architect Dr. Koichi Kawana, one of Japan’s premiere garden designers. Be sure to read up on the gardens ahead of time to learn about the different types of architecture. Lanterns, meanings behind trees, and the heavenly floating bridge are highlights at this gorgeous park. Tickets are only $5 for adults, $3 for adults, and free for children under 12.
Wattles Garden Park
Featuring a community garden and walking trail, Wattles Garden Park has something for everyone. Built in 1907, this 50-acre estate was recently declared an LA landmark. The mansion and formal garden are private, but the open fields are open to all! Take in views of the basin, meditate, or take a walk and recharge.
Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens
if you need to clear your mind and recenter yourself, head to the Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens. The gardens offer classes and events, though if you’re a meditation pro you can make your way quietly through the gardens on your own. Once you’re feeling zen, head over to the Labyrinth, a geometric design used for walking and mindful thinking. If you need assistance, one of the park’s docents will gladly show you how to walk a labyrinth.
If you need more quality time in the great outdoors and LA gardens, lace up your sneakers for these 8 awesome LA outdoor workouts.