The Best 8 Spots to Spread Out a Blanket, Crack Some Wine and Relax All Day
Today’s your day to experience that local park you’ve been meaning to check out, preferably through the pleasant tipsiness of an afternoon bottle of wine. Here’s where to spread out your blanket and where to grab some spirits and snacks on the way over. (Psst, be stealthy about that open bottle and bring along some cups.)
Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills
It’s a 12.58-acre expanse of rolling hills, fountains and majestic architecture with no admission fee. On your way over, stop at the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills and pick up a chilled bottle of Prosecco to enjoy with cheese and crackers.
905 Loma Vista Dr., Beverly Hills; greystonemansion.org
Park Lake, Echo Park
Paddleboats! Frisbee players! Joggers! And lots of shady nooks where you can doze under a palm tree and watch the world go by whilst enjoying your bottle of wine you’ve just picked up at Echo Park Market, a supermarket so O.G., it doesn’t have a website (but you can find them at 1940 Echo Park Avenue).
751 Echo Park Ave.; 213-847-0929 or laparks.org
Barnsdall Art Park, Silverlake
More of an organized event but so casual that it’s still relaxing, Barnsdall Fridays consist of over-21s lolling about on the lawn of a restored Frank Lloyd Wright house and noshing on wines and fare from chichi food trucks. You have to buy $35 tickets ($50 with a home tour thrown in), but there’s nothing to schlep in but your blanket.
4800 Hollywood Blvd.; barnsdall.org
Vista Hermosa Park, DTLA
This little green space has a killer view of the downtown skyline and is hardly ever crowded. Consider stopping by with a co-worker when you scoot out of the office early on a summer Friday, picking up a bottle or two of a reasonably priced white wine at the Arts District outpost of Silverlake Wine. Perfect way to kick off the weekend.
100 N. Toluca St.; 213-250-3578 or laparks.org
Lake Balboa, Van Nuys
Cherry trees line the mile-and-a-half footpath that surrounds the 27-acre lake, a cooling feature, which is totally necessary because summers in the Valley are hot. You can go fishing, take a paddleboat out onto the water or barbecue. Or just kick back with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc you picked out at Mission Wine and Spirits in Sherman Oaks.
6300 Balboa Blvd., Van Nuys; 818-756-8187 or laparks.org
Palisades Park, Pacific Palisades
Little ribbons of perfectly-kept green grass run along the cliffside that overlooks the Pacific, the ideal place to lay down your blanket and let the relaxing sound of swaying palms lull you. Prep with a quick trip to Gelson’s in the Pacific Palisades village to pick up a chilled bottle of rosé and a loaf of sourdough, soppressata and Swiss.
Ocean Ave., between Colorado Ave. and Adelaide Dr.; 310-458-2239 or smgov.net
Tongva Park, Santa Monica
This gorgeous oceanfront park packs a lot of natural glamour into a former parking lot. At over six acres, it’s got ocean observation decks, rolling hills and lots of drought-resistant plantings of exotic greenery. (No surprise, since it was designed by the team behind New York’s jazzy High Line.) Bring along a bottle and a selection of cheese and charcuterie from Esters Wine Shop.
1685 Main St., Santa Monica; 310-458-8310 or tongvapark.smgov.net
Grand Park, DTLA
We get it: Sometimes you’re more comfortable perching on a cute postmodern chair next to a café table with your novel, your fruit-forward Friuli and your bad self. The many clustered tables and chairs at this green space right next to City Hall are just the ticket—get whatever you’re in the mood for drink-wise at Buzz Wine Beer Shop.
200 N. Grand Ave.; 213-972-8080 or grandparkla.org