Whether you want to stroll along the shoreline or take the kids for a spin on a merry-go-round, Santa Monica parks offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy the California outdoors. So pack your picnic basket, grab your running shoes, don’t forget your dog leash, and let Travel & Tourism be your guide to all the best parks in the city of Santa Monica.
Santa Monica Parks by the Beach
Palisades Park in Santa Monica
A verdant, 26-acre park replete with palm trees and ocean views, Palisades Park is the favorite Santa Monica park for walkers, joggers, and people-watchers. With incredible views of Santa Monica Bay and the mighty Pacific Ocean, Palisades Park features palm-tree-lined paved paths, picnic areas, restrooms, and benches for soaking up the expansive ocean views. A bonus is that after strolling the shoreline at Palisades Park, it’s just a quick jaunt to neighboring Santa Monica Pier for outside dining, shopping, and amusement park rides.
Dorothy Green Park
The beachside park includes plenty of toddler-friendly play equipment as well as a beautiful alley of palm trees for perfect Instagram pictures! Formerly called Beach Park #1, this park was renamed in 2010 after Dorothy Green, an environmentalist and founder of Heal The Bay, the environmental group that is the namesake of the area’s Heal The Bay Aquarium. Needless to say, the park honors the beauty of the region that Dorothy Green worked so hard to protect.
Bernard Way Linear Park
With 3.22 acres of rolling green dotted with palm trees, Bernard Way Linear Park runs parallel to the Santa Monica shoreline. Enjoy the walking path and numerous benches that allow for uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica Pier. A bonus is that this park provides access to the beach below from two separate staircases, as well as beach-level access in certain areas. Proximity to a bike path and several volleyball courts are just other amenities this park boasts, along with picnic tables, a kids’ park, and is the setting for numerous workout classes.
Ocean View Park
This busy beachside park is well known by locals for its stellar facilities and stunning location. With a basketball court, six tennis courts, a gorgeous grassy area, and a walking path that connects to the beach, Ocean View Park is a must-visit!
Off-Leash Santa Monica Dog Parks
Memorial Park Dog Run
Bring your furry friend to the party! The dog party that is. This popular dog run is located alongside Memorial Park by the tennis courts and features an off-leash play area for large and small dogs to mingle.
Herb Katz Dog Park
Your pup will love playing at this off-leash dog park! Located inside of Joslyn Park, the 1.25 acres of fenced play-zone and off-leash area is shaded by large eucalyptus trees and includes separate areas for large and small dogs. Greater Joslyn Park also includes a kids’ park and basketball courts for the rest of the family to enjoy.
Pacific Street Dog Park
Featuring an acre of off-leash dog area, Pacific Street Dog Park has lovely, shaded benches and water fountains for both humans and dogs to cool off on a hot summer’s day, and is conveniently located centrally on Main Steet.
Airport Park Dog Park
Located inside of Airport Park, dog owners are welcome to bring their furry friends to play off-leash at this fenced dog park. The Airport Park Dog Park also includes a separate area for small dogs to frolic stress-free and is nearby a pet-friendly restaurant famous for hosting four-legged guests, The Cloverfield.
Santa Monica Playground Parks for Families
Clover Park in Santa Monica
This massive park is perfect for families and sports enthusiasts alike! Clover Park boasts 17.9 acres of lush grass and shade trees, and a wide variety of facilities including lighted ball fields, tennis courts, volleyball courts, picnic tables with BBQ grills, and two playgrounds. Circling the park is a cement path, perfect for walking, running, or learning to ride a bike or rollerblade.
North Beach Playground in Santa Monica
The North Beach Playground was designed to be interactive for both parents and kids alike, so expect to frolic with the wee ones at this Santa Monica park! Located right on the beach, the playground features artistic climbing structures, slides, swings, and even a sensory garden for young children.
South Beach Park
Next to the bike path for easy access, South Beach Park might be smaller at 1.8 acres but offers picnic tables, a children’s park playground, and a grassy area for recreation, all within a stone’s throw of the sandy beach. This park also boasts Santa Monica’s first universally accessible playground, which opened in 2013.
Memorial Park in Santa Monica
Whether the kids need to blow off some steam on the jungle gym or carve turns in a skatepark, Memorial Park in Santa Monica is the perfect place for an afternoon excursion. With two youth baseball fields, three softball infields, a soccer field, a playground, and yes, even a skatepark, Memorial Park truly has it all.
Marine Park in Santa Monica
This community park is a great spot for family fun. Marine Park offers baseball fields, tennis courts, a handball court, and even a birthday pavilion for your little one’s special day!
Christine Emerson Reed Park
Located in downtown Santa Monica, Reed Park (as it’s affectionately known) has tennis and basketball courts, plus a children’s playground complete with numerous slides and swings.
The Best of Santa Monica Parks
Douglas Park in Santa Monica
Formerly a movie studio lot, Douglas Park in Santa Monica features 10.7 acres of recreational space including a bowling green, large duck pond, reflecting pools, fly fishing area, and numerous sports facilities.
Tongva Park in Santa Monica
Named after the indigenous Tongva people, who lived in the Los Angeles area for thousands of years, Tongva Park is a true marvel. With 7 acres of lush gardens, meandering walking paths, a discovery area for children that includes a splash pad, several shaded picnic areas, and even a natural amphitheater, Tongva Park is an outdoor learning experience.
Virginia Avenue Park
Virginia Avenue Park is home to a vibrant community center, the Pico branch library, and host to a weekly farmers market. With a wide variety of facilities and 9.5 acres of lush lawn, walking paths, a playground, picnic tables, and more, this park is a Santa Monica community stronghold.
Mary Hotchkiss Park
This charming neighborhood park isn’t well known, and that’s one of the things that makes it so great! With an expansive, grassy area, quiet walking paths, and scattered picnic tables and benches, Hotchkiss Park might just be your ticket to a lazy afternoon in the sun.