Hardly anyone can deny that the best part of spring is watching the vibrant colors and fresh blooms emerge. Los Angeles is famous for being a big city while still having areas of sprawling greenery. Slowly but surely, the last of winter’s reach is melting away, and the scenery is being replaced with a much more colorful palette. Whether you’re up for a day trip out of town, or a quick stroll on your lunch break, here are some locations to stop and smell this year’s roses.
701 Exposition Park Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037
Right in the center of Los Angeles’ most populated attractions, this park offers a chance for neighboring students, workers and tourists to literally stop and smell the roses. The seven-acre Rose Garden, with its discreet gazebos and regal historical statues lining the gates, is a popular spot for wedding and special event photographers. Nestled between the Natural History Museum and the University of Southern California, locals can be spotted having lunch in the lovely, fragrant shade of this quiet refuge among more than 100 varieties of roses. Each spring and summer, the park features a Butterfly Pavilion with more than 50 species of butterfly and moth species, along with various species of seasonal plant life. Pack a lunch and bring the whole family to enjoy this urban oasis!
The Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Various artistic gardens complement this cliff-top art museum. The Getty has always been free to the public and nature-lovers often spend all day exploring its outdoor beauty alone. The Central Garden boasts a unique 134,000-square-foot circular pattern in the center of the most striking azalea pool in the Southland. Vines of various blooms and tree-lined walkways surround this design where Angelenos are seen picnicking, napping, and taking in the sights throughout the spring and summer months. The cactus garden, fountains and other landscaping can also be explored by guests.
4730 Crystal Springs Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Another hidden treasure of flowery delight is found among the 4,210 acres of Griffith Park. Whether you are looking to picnic, garden, hike, or go horseback riding, this garden’s steep hill is a perfect place to find your springtime haven. The gorgeous cliff-top view is often described by locals as having a “Secret Garden” feel because it sits atop naturally arid land and opens onto a lush wonderland of flowers, shade, and trees. The five-acre garden is maintained by volunteers year-round.
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
1500 N. College Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
Price: $8 adults; $6 seniors and students; $4 children 3-12
Take a day trip to Claremont to get the most natural glimpse of California flora. This garden’s 86 acres of native Californian plants and wildlife will give visitors plenty to explore. Visit the Garden’s website for a schedule of regular concerts, classes, and cultural events for people of all ages. Don’t miss the Annual Wildflower Festival March 30 to April 1 where an indoor exhibition of California wildflowers is sure to leave any naturalist with exciting insights.
Related: Claremont: Spend A Day With The Arts
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
These refreshing public garden in the midst of the urban jungle of Downtown LA is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. The Blue Ribbon garden on the structure’s rooftop may not seem like much in the wintertime, but coupled with the spectacular view of Downtown’s cultural center, the spring blooms and cherry trees are a sight to behold. The gardens located on the west edge of the building offer another stunning opportunity to forget the infamous skyscrapers just yards away. The beautiful natural setting of the gardens make both contrast and compliment the concert hall’s iconic sea of steel.
Danielle Farve is a freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.