It’s easy to forget you’re still in the city as you trek through the mix of native chaparral and landscaped paths that covers this rugged park. But take one look out from the iconic Griffith Observatory and you’ll find yourself face-to-face with the L.A. Basin as it stretches out to the ocean. Griffith’s myriad attractions and wilderness caters to all types: intrepid hikers can explore the Bronson Caves and visit Amir’s Garden; easygoing weekenders can relax in the shaded, verdant passage through Fern Dell or the picnic tables at Crystal Springs; kid-toting visitors can board the steamers at Travel Town or explore the archaic cages at the Old Zoo; and pop culture lovers can catch a show at the Greek Theatre or visit Walt’s Barn (a transplanted shed where Disney himself would tinker away with model trains).
Among the lengthy list of picturesque attractions in this city—who can resist the temptation of a hike through Runyon, an afternoon in a botanical garden or a trip to the beach?—there is a wealth of beautiful parks in Los Angeles. Whether you’re an art aficionado or a devoted dog owner, there’s a slice of nature that fits your lifestyle. For those days when you’re looking for things to do but don’t feel like climbing up all 282 steps at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, roll out a blanket or take a stroll through 25 of the best (and free) parks in Los Angeles.