When it comes to recommending the best bodies of water to visit near Los Angeles, the operative word in that sentence is ‘near.’ Los Angeles is, after all, a metropolis built upon a desert. In fact, many bodies of water in deserts are actually mirages. This means deserts aren’t usually the first place you’d go to find a visit-able body of water. Yes, there are bodies of water in Los Angeles. With that said, though, many of the town’s best water bodies involve road trips to reach. That includes the biggest and beast water feature, an ocean, plus some hip little rivers and lakes.
The Pacific Ocean
When you think about Southern California, it’s impossible to ignore the region’s surf culture. This means the many beaches near the Pacific Ocean are always the first choice when it comes to recommending the best bodies of water reachable from Los Angeles. The best spots to enjoy this vast ocean include Malibu Beach, which is where the TV show Baywatch was set. Huntington Beach, which is in nearby Orange County, has been termed Surf City for all its surf activity. In fact, the city hosts an annual professional surf competition.
Big Bear Lake
630 Bartlett Road
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Big Bear Lake is a beautiful mountain lake. It’s not just a lovely body of water, but also a region perfect for outdoors camping and skiing in the winter. Los Angeles residents used to the flatland travels of city life may be put off by the winding road that leads up to this scenic country. It’s worth the trip, though. When you get out in a boat on the lake, you won’t believe you’re in smoggy Los Angeles anymore.
Silver Lake Reservoir
The Silver Lake Reservoir was named after Henry Silver, who was an important figure in the reservoir’s creation. It’s the centerpiece of the Silver Lake neighborhood. It’s also one of Los Angele’ hippest neighborhoods. It’s been home to Ryan Gosling, Christina Ricci and was even a residence of Judy Garland. It was also home to the Sunset Junction Street Fair for many years, one of SoCal’s coolest music festivals.
Los Angeles River
Although it may not fit your imagination’s stereotypical picture of a river, the Los Angeles river (sometimes also called L.A. River) begins in the Simi Hills and Santa Susana Mountains and runs through Los Angeles. It’s path includes Canoga Park on the San Fernando Valley’s western side and goes almost 48 miles where Long Beach acts as its southeast mouth.
Castaic Lake, like Silver Lake, is also a reservoir. It’s formed by the Castaic Dam and in situated on Castaic Creek. It’s located in the Sierra Pelona Mountains, and is in the northwest part of Los Angeles County and close to the town of Castaic. It’s a Los Angeles area lake you can actually swim in. It’s close to Magic Mountain, but is a much more natural thrill ride.