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Parks and Gardens in Los Angeles

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Arlington Garden
Pasadena's only dedicated free public garden, Arlington Garden was built in 2005 on the former site of the historic Durand Mansion. The garden includes thousands of California-native plants such as poppies, sunflowers, cactus and succulents, orchards of orange and olive trees, and many more species. Arlington Garden also features a variety of benches and tables, birdbaths and statuary. A classical, seven-circuit Labyrinth was built at the garden in October 2010. In November 2008, 21 crepe myrtle trees were donated and permanently installed at Arlington as part of Yoko Ono's Wish Tree series. This garden is not only friendly to people and pets, but also exists as a refuge for Pasadena’s native fauna. Birds, bees and butterflies are particularly abundant and can be seen throughout the year.
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Japanese Garden Suiho-En
Authentic 6.5-acre Japanese Garden created by Dr. Koichi Kawana to provide beauty, relaxation, inspiration and a better understanding of Japanese culture using reclaimed water.
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Descanso Gardens
Located in La Cañada Flintridge, the 160-acre Descanso Gardens was originally developed in 1936 by newspaper magnate Elias Manchester Boddy, whose numerous interests included horticulture and politics. Descanso Gardens offers numerous areas for exploring, including a bird sanctuary, five-acre rosarium, Japanese tea garden, water-wise garden, Oak Woodland, California garden, and the world’s largest collection of camellia flowers.
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Exposition Park
Includes a 7.5-acre rose garden, with 15,793 rose bushes. The garden was an attraction for the 1932 Olympics. It is currently among the three major public-display rose gardens in Southern California and one of the most important in the state.
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Floral Park
The Floral Park neighborhood is a community of more than 600 vintage homes, most of which were built from the 1920s through the 1950s.
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The Getty Villa
A visit to the Getty Villa offers an experience of ancient Greek and Roman art in a setting that recreates a first-century Roman villa. Home to the J. Paul Getty Museum antiquities collection, the two-floor museum displays art that spans the 7,000 years from the end of the Stone Age to the fall of the Roman empire. The presentation of the collection focuses on the development of art among the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean. Visitors are invited to explore how and why the styles, subjects, and ways of making art resemble each other and differ across cultures and times. The Getty Villa has four gardens that blend Roman architecture with open air spaces and Mediterranean plants. In ancient times, gardens served both practical and aesthetic purposes at Roman country homes. They let fresh air and light enter the home, and also acted as gathering places to have conversations or to escape the heat.
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Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden
The Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden is a thirty-minute stroll up Avalon Canyon from town center. The Botanic Garden is the primary gateway to access one of the Island's most popular hikes, the Garden to Sky Trail. The Wrigley Memorial honors the memory of William Wrigley Jr., who lived from 1861 to 1932. Although best known as the founder of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, largest manufacturer of chewing gum in the world, he also played an instrumental role in the history of Santa Catalina Island.
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San Diego Zoo
An urban paradise for all ages, the San Diego Zoo is a must-see in Southern California, with more than 4,000 rare & fascinating animals. See giant pandas, Komodo dragons, orangutans, koalas, flamingos, polar bears, and more. With animal encounters, interactive experiences, and a lively atmosphere, it's a great place for family fun and gathering friends.
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Balboa Park
Balboa Park, originally called City Park, used to be 1,400 acres of undeveloped land. Landscaping began in 1892, followed by the construction of water systems and roads through 1910. In 1915, San Diego was to be the host of the Panama-California Exposition. Nature lovers have a lot to see in the gardens at Balboa Park in San Diego. The 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden at San Diego Balboa Park features massive cactus and succulent plants. Visitors will even find exotic African and Australian Protea plants at this area within Balboa Park San Diego. The Botanical Building and the lily pond in front of it are some of the most popular areas that are photographed in Balboa Park - and with good reason. There are over 2,100 permanent plants inside the building and a changing collection of cycads, ferns, orchids and palms. The California Native Plant Garden shows visitors thousands of plants that thrive here in their San Diego habitat. Bring your kids to the Balboa Park Carousel. This fun destination is adjacent to the San Diego Zoo and features plenty of hand-carved animals so that your kid has lots of choices. All but two of the hand-carved animals on the Balboa Park San Diego Carousel are original from 1910! While you're on the merry-go-round, you can even play the brass ring game. Balboa Park's Carousel is one of a small number around the world that still have the brass ring game for riders to play. The Balboa Park Miniature Railroad takes families on a fun journey across four acres.
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Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden
At this 135-acre outdoor, living museum, you can also explore the Hummingbird Trail to seek out the rare, elusive white hummingbird, and sniff pleasing scents of lavender, jasmine, and oregano in the fun Aroma Garden. The UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden’s rich and diverse collection contains representatives of more than 300 plant families of Mediterranean climates. The garden maintains collections of rare and threatened plants of unusual scientific interest. Particular specialties are world conifers, primitive angiosperms, and bulb-forming plant families. Large assemblages of plants from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and California natives are displayed on the grounds. Many of the species in these collections are not otherwise available for study in American botanical gardens and arboreta.
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Roaring Camp Railroads
Travel over trestles, through towering redwood groves and up a winding narrow-gauge grade to the summit of Bear Mountain as conductors narrate the history of Roaring Camp, the railroad and the forest. In the 1880s, narrow-gauge steam locomotives were used to haul giant redwood logs out of the mountains. Roaring Camp's steam engines date from 1890 and are among the oldest and most authentically preserved narrow-gauge steam engines providing regularly scheduled passenger service in America.
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Mount Hermon Adventures
Mount Hermon Adventures has grown immensely since it began and has become an internationally recognized provider of adventure experiences and team development programs. They now operate the world-famous Redwood Canopy Tours, multiple aerial adventure courses, intentional Team Building programs, and provide Mount Hermon overnight guests with mountain biking, surfing, sea kayaking, target sports, aquatic facilities, paint ball, skate park and more. Guests experience Mt. Hermon's core values of quality, authenticity and inspiration with the final goal of living a transformed life.
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Lake Cunningham Regional Skatepark
At 68,000 square feet, Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park is the largest skate park in California. Featuring the the world's largest cradle, tallest vert wall, and largest full pipe, LCRSP offers a wide variety of terrain for all skill levels to learn and enjoy.
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Happy Hollow Park and Zoo
Located in Kelley Park in San Jose, Happy Hollow Park and Zoo has been providing affordable family entertainment, education and fun since 1961. The Park is a peaceful, creative and safe place for children of all ages, with the main focus on “little ones” between the ages of 2-10. There are creative play areas, children’s rides, hand puppet and marionette shows, special events, and birthday areas. Learn about wildlife up close during daily meet-and-greets, leap like a lemur on the playground, brush and feed the goats, or take a peek inside Doc’s Critter Care building and the Ranch House. Double-H Ranch features a combination of animal exhibits, including giant anteaters and red ruffed lemurs, as well chickens and domesticated animals that are docile enough to touch.
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San Francisco Botanical Garden
Welcome to San Francisco Botanical Garden, a living museum within Golden Gate Park, offering 55 acres of both landscaped gardens and open spaces, showcasing over 8,000 different kinds of plants from around the world.
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Japanese Tea Garden
Come and relax in the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco. It is a popular tourist attraction, but it's still a peaceful and lovely place to wander.
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Aquatic Park Cove
Aquatic Park Cove has a narrow sandy beach and a grass park at the end of the Hyde Street Cable Car line on the San Francisco Waterfront. The cove is located at the north end of Hyde Street and Van Ness Avenue near Fisherman’s Wharf. Boats are allowed to anchor in the protected harbor in the cove. It is protected by a long curved municipal pier that should not be missed if you have time to walk out on it. The view from the pier includes the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the San Francisco skyline. Nearby Hyde Street Pier has historic ships to see as well. The Marine Museum sits at the center of Aquatic Park Cove near the beach. Behind that is Ghirardelli Square. Aquatic Park Cove is part of San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, a district within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The large park at Fort Mason is a short walk away up the trail to the west.
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Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park is the third most visited park in the United States. While the park is free to visit during the day, popular attractions charge admission, such as deYoung Museum, California Academy of Sciences and Conservatory of Flowers. The park is filled with gardens, museums, art, flowers, trees, lakes, birds and wildlife. There are also plenty of opportunities to participate in sports, clubs and other activities. Browse the site for information on parking, maps, weddings, hotels, permits, making reservations, transportation, contact numbers, and the history of Golden Gate Park.
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Pioneer & Military Memorial Park
The original Pioneers' Cemetery Association was formed in 1938 for the purpose of preserving the seven historic cemeteries near the State Capitol Complex. These cemeteries, which now comprise the Pioneer & Military Memorial Park, were in use from 1884 to 1914 and hold the remains of many of Phoenix's pioneering families.
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Muir Woods
Walk among old growth coast redwoods, cooling their roots in the freshwater of Redwood Creek and lifting their crowns to reach the sun and fog. Federally protected as a National Monument since 1908, this primeval forest is both refuge and laboratory, revealing our relationship with the living landscape. Muir Woods National Monument is world renowned for its old-growth coastal redwoods, attracting over one million visitors each year. With the park’s popularity come pressures on a fragile ecosystem representing more than 380 different plants and animals. The incredible diversity of flora and fauna at Muir Woods can be daunting sometimes, elusive at other times. The redwoods themselves dominate the scene, but the Steller's jay often steals the show. Ladybugs clustering by the thousands on ancient horsetail ferns boggle the imagination, while the slimy banana slug is able to disgust and fascinate all at once. Plants adapt to low light levels on the forest floor, while whole plant and animal communities bustle in the canopy above our heads.
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Sutters Fort State Historic Park
Exploring some of the unique artifacts from Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park is just a click away! Our online exhibit highlights the reconstruction of Sutter's Fort in the 1890s and explains how the Fort's collection of pioneer and early California artifacts was formed.
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The State Capitol Museum
Open to visitors in 1869, the State Capitol features changing museum exhibits and historical rooms offering a view into California's political past while the rest of the building acts as a ''living museum''.
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Pueblo Grande Museum
Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, a section of the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, Natural Resources Division, was donated to the city in 1924 and a museum was opened on the site in 1929.
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Desert Botanical Garden
Spread across 140 acres in Papago Park, Arizona, the Desert Botanical Garden was opened in 1937 by the Arizona Cactus and Native Flora Society and established at the current site in 1939. At this amazing botanical garden you will find the best collection of arid-land or desert plants from across the world. The garden is home to more than 50,000 plants that include as many as 139 endangered or rare species.
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Grand Canyon Village
Find everything you need for a Grand Canyon adventure in Grand Canyon Village. This historic village has excellent shopping for all the hiking and camping gear you need, as well as authentic American Indian crafts and plenty of canyon souvenirs. The village also has stellar lodging options and a top-rated walking tour. Grand Canyon Village, located on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park in Northern Arizona, holds some of the best scenic overlooks in the park, including Yavapai Point. Begin your Grand Canyon tour at the visitor center. Here you can pick up a copy of the self-guided walking tour brochure for in-depth information on the canyon and its history. Highlights of the tour include Bright Angel Lodge, El Tovar Hotel Buckey O’Neill Cabin, Hopi House, Lookout Studio, and Kolb Studio. You’ll also learn how Grand Canyon Village grew up around the Santa Fe Railroad starting in 1901. Stop by the rustic Grand Canyon Railway Depot, which welcomes Grand Canyon Railway passengers to the village.
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Bear Creek Golf Complex
Chandler's Bear Creek Golf Complex is a 36-hole inland links golf facility consisting of both a championship course and an executive course. Both golf courses and practice area at Bear Creek Golf Complex were created by the Nicklaus Design Group and architect Bill O'Leary.
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Veterans Oasis Park and Environmental Education Center
Chandler unveiled another dynamic, mixed-use facility in April 2008 with the Veterans Oasis Park and Environmental Education Center located in the northeast corner of the city at the intersection of Lindsay and Chandler Heights Roads. The center includes four classrooms for wildlife preservation and environmental awareness, exhibit areas, outdoor amphitheatre, nature store and an urban fishing lake, all surrounded by more than four miles of trails. A primary purpose of the facility is to recharge reclaimed water into the ground for later use. The staff works with local schools to develop nature-oriented activities that complement their curriculum. Programs offered for residents and visitors cover topics such as birdwatching, green living, gardening, water conservation, nature photography, orienteering, alternative energy and stargazing. Entrance to the Environmental Education Center is free and visitors are welcome to view the exhibits and walk the trails around the urban fishing lake.
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Mesa Market Place Swap Meet
We’re ‘Recreational Shopping!’ 1600 shopping spaces. More than a mile of great small businesses and shops (under one roof!) you won’t find in any other mall in Arizona. Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks! Free live entertainment, FREE admission, & FREE parking.
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Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Focused on the preservation of the Sonoran Desert, The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum will turn your idea of a museum inside out. Guests will experience a quintessential Sonoran Desert experience which includes: an unforgettable fusion zoo, botanical garden, natural history museum, aquarium and art gallery.
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Colossal Cave Mountain Park
Hidden high in the southern Arizona Mountains with its endless Sonoran Desert vistas, rich history, and authentic Wild West vibe, Colossal Cave Mountain Park is a destination for the adventurous at heart.
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Bryce Canyon National Park
Wind, water and time have eroded Bryce Canyon National Park's sandstone cliffs into otherworldly characters plucked from the unconscious of a mad Viking. Rows of humanoid pillars crosshatched by rock strata look almost intentional but perfectly surreal. So silent, eerie and beautiful. So improbable it has to be true! Bryce Canyon National Park is located in southern Utah near the city of Bryce (convenient, eh?), and is accessible by air or car from Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, St. George and even neighboring Zion National Park. Done hiking and looking to rest your weary head? You’ve got options. The park itself is a one-stop vacation shop. Besides camping there’s a quaint, rustic lodge at the center of the park built in the 1920s featuring cozy cabins, suites and motel rooms, plus a dining room and gift shop. If you want to take things off-site, there are plenty of accommodation options in Bryce Canyon City (just outside the park) or in nearby Tropic or Cannonville. The park is open all year (24 hours a day), giving you both winter wonderland and summer spectaculars.
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Red Butte Garden - Utah
Red Butte Garden is Utah’s Botanical Garden and part of the University of Utah. It is the largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West. Explore themed gardens, a children's garden, waterfall and pond and nearly five miles of natural area hiking trails. “Four Seasons, A Million Reasons” to visit for floral shows, outdoor concerts, camps and classes. A new 4-acre garden opened May 2017 to rave reviews and amazing views.
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Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest (UWCNF) encompasses Utah's Wasatch Mountains adjacent to the state's northern metropolitan area, and the north slope of the High Uintas Wilderness. Containing nearly 2.1 million acres of geological and ecologically-diverse landscapes, this collection of forest areas is one of the most frequently visited in the nation. Ski and summer resorts located in this forest along the Wasatch Front near Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake City and Park City provide world-renowned downhill skiing, Nordic and snowmobiling options, as well as a variety of summer activities ranging from the IMBA-certified mountain biking trails of Park City to the mountain coaster and Oktoberfest of Snowbird. Further south, American Fork Canyon and Provo Canyon offer a stunning mix of aspen and tree-covered slopes that include the zip lines, Blue Ribbon fly-fishing and singletracks of Sundance Mountain Resort, Deer Creek State Park and other destinations. Between the two canyons lies the 11,750-acre Mt. Timpanogos Wilderness.
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ABQ BioPark
Located along the Rio Grande River near downtown Albuquerque, the ABQ BioPark consists of: The ABQ BioPark Zoo, Botanic Garden, Aquarium and Tingley Beach. Welcoming more than 1.5 million visitors per year, we are the top tourist destination in the state of New Mexico. ABQ BioPark Zoo established in 1927 is home to more than 900 animals from around the world. Many of these animals have been part of successful conservation plans and captive breeding programs. Botanic Garden opened in 1996, and has grown to 32 acres of exhibits, and showcases plants from the American Southwest and around the world. The Botanic Garden’s BUGarium is one of the most elaborate exhibits dedicated to bugs and arthropods in the country. Since its opening in 1996 alongside the Botanic Garden, the ABQ BioPark Aquarium has showcased a kaleidoscope of colorful fish native to a variety of ecosystems found throughout the United States. The popular Shark Reef Café offers spectacular views into the 285,000-gallon oceanic tank, providing an unforgettable dining experience. Tingley Beach is the gateway to the Bosque. Three fishing ponds and a model boat pond offer a respite from the city. A mile-long walking trail loops around the ponds, and the nearby bike path provides access to the Rio Grande. Pedal boat rentals are available during the summer.
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Wildlife West Nature Park
Wildlife West Nature Park is a 122-acre wildlife refuge & an enhanced rescued wildlife zoo featuring over 20 species of native New Mexican animals. The zoo features cougars, wolves, bear, elk, deer, javelina, fox, raptors & more.
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Western Playland Amusement Park
The park is packed with family thrill rides and attractions, such as the popular steel roller coaster El Bandido, and Tsunami that shoots up a massive 50 feet generating an enormous 70 ft. tidal wave that refreshes onlookers! The park also offers great food, games, prizes, a low general admission fee and an unllimited ride pass.
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Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens
Created in 1936, the Centennial was the first museum in El Paso and one of the earliest buildings at the College of Mines, now UTEP. Permanent exhibits focus on the Chihuahuan Desert region, the largest desert in North America.
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Ascarate Park & lake
Ascarate Park is the largest public-use recreational park in El Paso County and is dedicated to sports, picnicking, fishing and other recreational activities. Spanning over 400 acres, Ascarate Park plays host to the Ascarate Golf Course which sits on 280 acres, and is adjacent to the 48 acre surface lake within the park. The Golf Course features an 18-hole, 72 par golf course and a 9 hole executive course called the Delta 9. With a lakeside boardwalk, Ascarate Lake allows visitors to take in the sights via canoe and pedal boat rentals. Ascarate Park allows for a variety of recreational activities including picnicking, playgrounds, basketball, tennis as well as handball. In addition, the park includes five softball fields, one baseball field and two soccer fields, available for league play or practice, please contact park personnel for rates and availability.