Whether it is the busyness the season, the constant company of family and friends or the general merriment of the holidays, getting out in the open air during the holidays seems to clear the mind and do a body good. From Malibu to Luckily Los Angeles offers many open spaces to soothe the mind and take in the open air. Visit our list of the best open green spaces in Southern California to let your feet and mind wander.
Malibu Creek State Park
1925 Las Virgenes Rd.
Calabasas, CA 91302
Located just 30 minutes outside of the urban center of Los Angeles, Malibu Creek State Park offers 7,000 acres of open space to explore. With peaceful mountainous terrain and rolling tallgrass plains, the area is considered the recreational crown jewel of the Santa Monica Mountains. Dramatic peaks and oak savannahs will make you feel like you have entered a green paradise far from the hustle and bustle of L.A. The park was once formely owned by 20th Century Fox Studios and opened in 1976. Since then, it has welcomed millions of people hoping to see the stunning terrain.
Orange County Great Park
6950 Marine Way
Irvine, CA 92618
The goal of the Orange County Great Park is to become America’s first great metropolitan park of the 21st century. Formerly the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, the great park is centrally located in Orange County. The park spans across 1,300 acres (master plan) and 230 acres currently used, includes the Great Park Balloon, carousel, visitor center, palm courts art complex, playground, Farm + Food lab, walk able historical timeline and more. It’s a great place to visit and relax.
Bolsa Chica Wetlands
3842 Warner Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
Located in Huntington Beach, The Bolsa Chica Wetlands were once home to Native Americans as far back as 8,000 years ago. Now in the conservatorship of the Bolsa Chica Conservancy, the wetlands are remnants of a once extensive wetland system. Free public tours are offered each month by organizations where you’ll get to see beautiful foliage, open spaces and wetlands. Take the afternoon to breath in the salt air, and see a large range of bird species and other marine life.
Joshua Tree National Park
74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
Located in the Inland Empire, the Joshua Tree National Park spans across over 800,000 acres of desert perfect for hiking, climbing, camping and exploring. Whether you go for the day or a week long camping trip, the Joshua Tree National Park is the perfect place to get away from it all. The park features rock formations that are unique to the area which were formed 100 million years ago and make for a great setting from which to camp around. There are nine established campgrounds as well throughout the park which also provide water and flush toilets for your convenience.
Huntington Library, Botanical Gardens and Art Collections
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
Take in the open air and culture at the same time at the Huntington Library, Botanical Gardens and Art Collections. Founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington and containing over 8 botanical gardens sprawling over 120 acres, America’s largest and most complete research libraries and Art Collections in 3 separate galleries.
View Guide to Southern California’s Green Spaces in a full screen map