By Megan Tran
As I strolled into Echo Park, the reflection of the downtown skyline on the glassy lake before me washed away the feeling of being in a cramped city surrounded with tall concrete skyscrapers.
I have lived in Los Angeles my entire life and I have never truly explored one of Los Angeles’ most well known areas, Echo Park. With only seeing brief scenes of Echo Park in countless movies, visiting it in person was a worthwhile experience.
Entering the park, my eyes automatically went to the iconic fountain in the middle of the lake. Its mist being blown by a light breeze made the park picturesque. Surrounding the lake, there was a walking path that snakes throughout the park. Also, Echo Park has a variety of different plants such as lotus flowers which bloom around March through June.
Walking around, there were many vendors selling foods such as fruit, tacos, churros, and ice cream. With this park located in central Los Angeles, it allows people to see the diversity and different cultures. The park also features its own cafe called the Beacon which offers a variety of breakfast and lunch foods and coffee.
Besides the multicultural food, Echo Park holds a hidden Los Angeles gem: the swan pedal boats. People can rent swan pedal boats to explore the lake and get up close to witness the aquatic nature. Though tiring, the swan pedal boats can be be rented year-round, seven days a week from 9 a.m. to sunset.
The line for renting a swan pedal boat was surprisingly short and there were many swans readily available. Hourly, it is $11 for adults and $6 for children 17 and under but an adult must to sign a waiver.
In addition, Echo Park is a great place to have a relaxing picnic or just hang out on the grass under the large areas of shade provided b its numerous trees. Echo Park is also is a dog-friendly park.
The only downsides to Echo park is that it is pretty crowded. Since this is a tourist spot and a family-friendly park, this is a go-to place for many people. Confident parallel parking skills are needed because there are only a limited amount of free street parking available.
With it only being about a 20 minute drive from San Gabriel, not during rush hours, Echo Park is a must see spot when visiting Los Angeles.