Top Five Friday: Best Parks for Picnic Dates and Gatherings

1. Orange County Great Park

Address: 8000 Great Park Boulevard, Irvine, CA 92618 (Orange County)
General Hours: 8am to 10pm daily

Located in the suburbs of Irvine in Orange County this great park is approximately 1,300 acres. It has plenty of grassy areas and benches for a picnic as well as a hot air balloon ride, carousel, ice rink, free WiFi, fields for soccer etc., and walking trails.

Parking: Plenty of free parking in designated parking lots with marked spaces in numerous locations around the park. Please see the parking map.

Restrooms: Yes

The Great Park Irvine
Photo: The Great Park Website

2. Heisler Park

Address: 375 Cliff Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 (Orange County)

“Stretching along the bluffs on Cliff Drive from Aster Street to Diver’s Cove, this oceanfront park has walking trails, gardens, a marine refuge with tide pools, picnic tables, barbecues, lawn bowling greens.”

Parking: Metered parking in marked spots off Cliff Drive, no far walking required. Have a car picnic! Back your car into a nearby parking space to overlook the ocean and the beautiful view.

Restrooms: Yes

Heisler Park
Photo: California Beaches

3. Crescent Bay Point Park

Address: Crescent Bay Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 (Orange County)

A very small park in a residential area of North Laguna Beach with a panoramic view of the ocean. Sit on the grassy area and lookout at the shoreline and ocean. You may not be able to sit under a tree but you can take in the beautiful view of a sunset.

Parking:  No designated parking lot. Free parking in residential neighborhood – please read signs off Crescent Bay Drive (circular street with about 14 spaces to possibly park along the curb).  Parking may be difficult when crowded. You may have to walk some distance carrying picnic materials.

Restrooms: No

Crescent Bay Point Park
Photo: Crescent Bay Point Park Website

4. Hermosa Natural Park

Park overlooking downtown Los Angeles.

Parking: Free limited parking in marked spots off N. Toluca Street north of 1st / Glendale. No far walking required. Street parking available too.

Restrooms: Yes

Hermosa Natural Park
Photo: Trip Advisor

5. Kate O. Sessions Neighborhood Park

Address: 5115 Soledad Rd San Diego, CA 92109 (San Diego)

Beautiful scenic view of San Diego from the wide expanse of grass and slope.

Parking: Free parking in marked spots off Park Drive, no far walking required.

Restrooms: Yes

Kate O. Sessions Neighborhood Park
Photo Credit: Yelp, Jelly Anne B.
Lake Hollywood Park
Lake Hollywood Park

Lake Hollywood Park

Address: 3160 Canyon Lake Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068 (Los Angeles)

Grassy areas with view of the Hollywood sign.

Parking: Free parking on street – Canyon Lake Drive. Parallel parking at a decline  (incline on opposite side of street).

Restrooms: No

Balboa Park
Photo Credit: San Diego Blog

Balboa Park

Botanical Garden Address in Balboa Park : 1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101(San Diego)

1,200-acre urban cultural park with open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens, and walking paths. Also visit nearby museums, several theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo

Parking: Numerous options. See Website

Restrooms: Yes

Huntington Beach Central Park
Photo: Wiki Commins Huntington Beach Central Park

Huntington Beach Central Park

Address: 18381 Goldenwest St, Huntington Beach, CA 92648 (Orange County)

350 acre spacious locale offering paved trails, a “secret garden”, as well as summertime shows. Bring your own picnic and find a grassy spot under numerous trees, sit at a picnic table or go to the different cafes.

Parking: Free parking in designated parking lots

Restrooms: Yes

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