I first learned about Vista Hermosa Nature Park from this Los Angeles Times article a little over three years ago. The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority joined forces to develop this 10.5 acre space in the heart of urban Los Angeles into what is now an unbelievable, fantastical, playful, yet serene environment.
Two weeks into Spring Break found this mama and her brood traveling east from our coastal city to finally visit this green space.
All I can say is: wow.
There are modern buildings that house rooftop gardens (also referred to as the Green Roof) if you’re into that. Yes, even the architecture of the office and the restrooms are beautiful.
There is a decent nature trail for those who are looking for a place to do a quiet meditation while walking. You might even stop to admire the blooming flowers that surround you.
As we proceeded north of the trail, we suddenly happened upon this beautiful waterfall and stream. I was later told by a passerby that the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority uses this Grotto Amphitheater to host public events, such as environmental and natural history education.
There is a Children Adventure Area, where the unconventional playground jungle gyms commonly found in parks are non-existent, instead being replaced by a giant snake emerging from the ground, as well as and a giant turtle seemingly crawling out of a pile of huge boulders. Ok, there is a “safe” slide protruding out of the turtle, as well as the safety rubber flooring that modern playgrounds often have, but everything else in the surrounding environment is nature-based: the trees, the flowers, the foliage.
While resting on one of the picnic tables close to the playground, I suddenly noticed the fantastic view of the Downtown Los Angeles skyline, so I quickly grab the kids and proceeded south of the park to get a better vantage point.
There is ample green space for those who would like to kick a ball around the kiddies, or have a quiet picnic with friends.
Vista Hermosa Nature Park has something for everyone.
But don’t take my word for it; see it for yourself when you can. Admission to the park is free, it is open from dawn to dusk and there is free parking! Yes, even in the heart of Los Angeles, this can be that central meeting place for those who have been meaning to get together with friends who have since moved away from the urban landscape. Play dates for kids while the parents catch up with life’s happenings can finally be had. I’m calling you soon, long lost friends!
Vista Hermosa Nature Park
100 North Toluca Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026
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