Add This Beautiful LA Park To Your Bucket List For A Calm Escape From The Bustling City

Situated between East Hollywood and Echo Park is the hip neighborhood of Silver Lake, known for its boutique stores, trendy cafes, and stylish bars. But the heart of the area and inspiration behind its name is the Silver Lake Reservoir, a man-made body of water built to supply Los Angeles with emergency H2O (it has since been disconnected from the city's water supply).

Just next to the reservoir sits Silver Lake Meadows, an unlikely natural oasis right in the city, with the skyline of Downtown L.A. serving as its backdrop. Silver Lake Meadows is a 2.5-acre green space that acts as the perfect mental refresher following days spent sitting in L.A. traffic or toiling away behind a screen.

The park was mostly neglected until 2011 when Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy helped bring it to life and transform it into a relaxing hangout space. Whether you're a native of the city, a transplant, or a tourist, it's worth adding the Silver Lake leisure spot to your list of must-visit free things to do in Los Angeles.

How to spend a day at Silver Lake Meadows

Silver Lake Meadows is an ideal spot for a wholesome afternoon or leisurely weekend day. The park is incredibly family-friendly, and you'll find groups lounging on the grass and children playing in the sun while their parents watch nearby. Note, however, that Fido might have to stay home if you plan to spend a day at the park. Silver Lake Meadows is a strictly no-dogs-allowed area, though the Silver Lake Dog Park isn't far, just south of the reservoir.

The best way to spend a few hours in the calm city haven is by setting up some lawn chairs or laying out a blanket and relaxing on the grass. Grab a salad at the Whole Foods on Glendale Boulevard or order take-out from local hotspot Forage and head to the meadow for a picnic. Then, pass the time with a game of croquet or bocce right on the park lawn.

A day at Silver Lake Meadows isn't complete until you've walked the Silver Lake Reservoir Pedestrian Path, which spans over two miles around the water. A stroll along the track offers views of the lake from every angle, as well as a clear glimpse of the Hollywood sign.

The park is expected to get even better

Silver Lake Meadows is still a relatively new addition to the Los Angeles park scene, but it's set to get even better with a new makeover. In August 2023, the city council approved the Silver Lake Reservoir Complex Master Plan, a project focused on renovating Silver Lake Meadows and other grounds around the reservoir.

According to the plan, the current meadow will be expanded and outfitted with additional trees to create an even more inviting oasis for visitors. A promenade will also be built along the water's edge, as well as new walkways. Just north of Silver Lake Meadows will lie The Knoll, a hill restored with fresh plants and a nature trail.

Other areas on and around the reservoir are set to be renovated, too, though it may take time for the full project to be completed. Each phase is expected to require 18 to 24 months to build, and it's unclear which part of the project will be tackled first. In the meantime, don't be surprised if you notice some temporary construction when visiting Silver Lake Meadows.