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Aug 21, 2002 12:01 PM

where are the picnic tables?

  • s

With our excellent weather, instead of eating in a restaurant it's fun sometimes to get take-out and eat it outdoors. To that end, it would be useful to know where the picnic tables are. Some places are obvious, like in the bigger parks. But the city has whole swathes of territory without big parks, so we need a quick survey of the public picnic tables in the area. I guess they might fall into three categories:

1. Picnic tables in especially nice surroundings.
2. Picnic tables that nobody knows about.
3. Picnic tables in areas where you really need them and wouldn't expect to find them.

For example, it would be nice to have a picnic table in Marina del Rey, Pasadena, near the major Chinese places in Monterey Park, and near the major take-out-only barbeque places in south-central.

Please reveal those secret picnic tables!

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  1. These tables seem obvious but the few times we've been there, and every time we drive by, they're empty. And the setting's especially pleasant. In Santa Monica, on far north end of Ocean, overlooking the ocean. There are even well kept bathrooms nearby. Happy picnic-ing.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Louisa Chu

      Kind of a long "drive" for you these days...

      1. re: chino wayne

        Not in my imagination. ;)

        The last time I came to Paris, right before I left LA, I insisted that we stop at those very tables and feast upon a meal from Jack in the Box.

        But thanks for your concern. I know you're well-experienced in long drives. ;)

    2. Orange County, too!

      (A) There is a historical park in Costa Mesa (Adobe Park) and the original house from the mid-1800s is on-site and open every other Saturday wih a docent. (It was a family-owned adobe brick home that was the mid-point refuge for cattle herders going from San Diego to Los Angeles.) The park is very small with a few park tables and one facility structure. Its on the corner at Adams and Mesa Verde Drive (which is also Placentia Ave. as it goes toward Newport Beach.) Get it to-go from Avilla's mexican restaurant on Placentia (near Hamilton) and enjoy!

      (B) Top of the World Park in Laguna Beach. Not alot of trees for shade and when sitting you don't see the view, but if you walk a few steps, you can see the entire coastline. This is a great park for kids, too. Laguna Beach has many nice restaurants to get-it-to-go, but not alot of fast-food places.

      (C) Talbot Nature Preserve in Costa Mesa/Huntington Beach - no car access - walk-in, bike-in or horse-in. It is a flora/fauna preserve of the natural habitat (actually a reconstruction project with indigenous flora and fauna) with a great grass expanse, Matillija Poppies, and Torry Pines (as well as bunnies and lizards and squirrels). Great shade areas. Good for a game of croquet.

      (D) William Mason Park in Irvine. Quite large and yet still very private. Can accomodate individuals or up to parties of 50 under a gazebo structure. 3.5 acres with many bring-your-own coals barbeques, three kiddy playgrounds, a few man-made lakes (with ducks and geese), a few baseball backstops (on grass), and a runners course. All this and still very quaint and private. Order to-go from Jimmy-Z Grill for a truly gourmet experience. Or grab a bag from Trader Joe's in University Shopping Center (a mere mile from the park)

      (E) Noguchi Gardens (near South Coast Plaza). Replicates an arid desert with a few shaded seating areas. It is an artistic refuge built in the middle of professional highrises on Town Center Drive. Grab your "picnic" from Jerry's Deli and go contemplate the ecru- and sand-colored surroundings. (not very windy)

      There are many nice little neighborhood parks in Orange County. And, some never-going-to-tell-you-where places, too.

      1. Check out the perimeter of Griffth Park near the Greek Theater, also Ferndell in Griffith Park, which if memory serves me right is up off of Vermont Avenue, right above Los Feliz.

        Check out the county park up in the Baldwin Hills area, it is the top of the hill, I think off of La Brea, should be excellent view north across L.A. to the Hollywood Hills.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chino wayne

          Aww, darnit, CW! I was looking forward to having you share your favorite picnic spots in Chino Hills State Park, but then I remembered that perhaps you, like many of us, would rather not have to share your meal with a pushy mountain lion. There are limits to the sacrifices that even you will make in the name of Chowdom.

        2. There are picnic tables near San Antonio Winery in East downtown.

          It's nice to get some Italian food in their cafeteria-style restaurant and a split of the wine they produce there and enjoy the parklike setting for lunch.

          It's a great way to get away from it all for lunch, while not really going too far from downtown.

          1. Head for the hills! Wilderness Park in the San Gabriel Mountains above Arcadia (you need to make reservations in advance with the Arcadia Park and Recreation Dept., but you don't need to be a resident)...Monrovia Canyon Park(shaded w/ oak trees and places to hike off what you eat). Bailey Canyon Park, Sierra Madre (see below). All are can be accessed via 210 Fwy/side streets and are shown in Thomas Bros. guides.