Top 20 Los Angeles attractions

Echo Park Lake

free admission
Echo Park Lake

Enjoy panoramic views of the downtown LA skyline from Echo Park Lake.

Echo Park Lake is 3 miles north of downtown LA, in the neighborhood of Echo Park. This 16-acre park has lush lawns studded with palm streets, and exotic lotus plants floating on the lake's surface. 

A 1-mile pathway encircles the lake, passing a historic boathouse with a cafe and boat rentals on its eastern shore. You can't swim in this lake.

10 best things to do at Echo Park Lake

1. Stroll around the 1-mile path that encircles Echo Park Lake (bikes prohibited).  

Echo Park Lake: 10 BEST things to do Echo Park Lake: 10 BEST things to do

Echo Park Lake was constructed in the 1860s as a city reservoir, but eventually fell into decline.  However, in 2013 the 16-acre park was rehabilitated and re-opened to the public.  Check out the 14-foot Lady of the Lake statue on the north shore, commissioned in 1934 as part of a Depression-era public art program.

2. Eat breakfast or lunch at the Echo Park Lake boathouse. Check menu and hours.

3. Rent a pedal boat at Wheel Fun Rentals at the boathouse. Check rates.

Echo Park Lake: 10 BEST AttractionsEcho Park Lake: 10 BEST Attractions

4. Relax on the lawns or benches with a book or a picnic.

Echo Park Lake: #1 GuideEcho Park Lake: #1 Guide

5. Take your kids to the playground at the north end of the lake, near the picnic tables and restrooms.

6. See the lotuses in full bloom, usually in July. 

7. Walk to nearby Sunset Boulevard to see chic restaurants and cafes. 

The top choices for coffee include trendy Woodcat Coffee Bar or Triniti.  You can also enjoy a meal at Sage Plant Based Bistro and Brewery (vegan), or breakfast and lunch at Dinette with pizzas, eggs, waffles, sandwiches and salads.

8. Shop for funky accessories at Time Travel Market on Sunset Boulevard. 

Visit the Time Travel Market on Sunset Boulevard to purchase fun items like dinosaur planters, wind-up robot pets, tiny time machines, hindsight glasses, famous last words, and a Victorian ipad.  There's also a cool selection of t-shirts.  All proceeds go to the children's non profit 826LA.

9. Visit an independent bookstore.

The Stories Books and Cafe is a popular neighborhood hangout on Sunset Boulevard, and has a cosy feel, with rustic brick walls and a small cafe with a patio.

10. Explore LA's first neighborhood, Angelino Heights, directly north of Echo Park Lake. 

Angelino Heights was once connected to downtown by a cablecar, and the 1300 block of this street is on the National Register of Historic Places. The most impressive street is Carroll Avenue with gorgeous Victorian homes featured in Michael Jackon's Thriller video, and the Charmed TV series. Register here for a walking tour.

Know before you go

  • Parking:  On-street parking is available around the lake, but gets very busy on weekends.
  • Restrooms:  Northern end of the lake.
  • Biking: Not allowed.
  • Cafe and boat rentals:  yes.

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