Enjoy a romantic getaway without leaving the city at Echo Park Lake. This pristine spot has a secluded, peaceful vibe that will make you feel like you’re in the middle of the wilderness–not minutes from downtown Los Angeles–so take your sweetheart by the hand and be transformed.
The best way to appreciate the delicate balance this park draws between its urban and rural setting is to rent a pedal boat. These bright plastic watercraft are comfortable and easy to maneuver, allowing you to enjoy the afternoon at a leisurely pace as you float in the calm waters. Pedal to the center of the lake and pretend you’re in the middle of the ocean with no one to rely on but each other. The illusion will last until you notice the LA skyline in the distance, an inspiring counterpoint to the natural beauty that surrounds you. If you get hot, drift near the fountain in the center of the lake and feel the cool spray on your face, or just take a sip from the thermos of ice-cold punch you mixed this morning in anticipation of the heat.
If you visit on a weekend, pedal boating isn’t your only option. You could rent a Hawaiian outrigger canoe for a Polynesian-style adventure, or even enjoy a romantic ride in a Venetian-inspired gondola with your own personal gondolier who will take you and your date past the gorgeous lotus flowers growing at one end of the lake.
Then again, if you’re really going for the outdoor experience, grab some fishing poles and cast your lines into the lake for a friendly fishing competition. Loser buys cocktails later, of course.
Photograph by collectmoments