Palisades park aka Palm-studded greenspace with big views
Palisades park lures local residents to a pleasant practically all year around seascape terrace. Hanging off the cliffs in Santa Monica between Pacific Coast Highway and Ocean Ave is an ultimately unrepeated park in all of Los Angeles.
Easily accessible with ample space and free parking along streets running perpendicular to Ocean Ave it’s an ideal park by all standards. Easily navigable you can conveniently walk the entire length of the park to the 3rd street promenade or the Santa Monica Pier and back.
Clever positioning of this park (away from the Santa Monica Pier that draws all the traffic) calls for a round of applause to the urban architects.
Whoever designed this park and choose a location is a brilliant mastermind. Despite its convenient location it has very little traffic especially toward the northern end.
Palisades park in Santa Monica – a model family park
Urban park is immaculately clean, pleasant and simply surprising to find immediately adjacent to bustling the 4th street shopping center, and in proximity to overcrowded Santa Monica Pier. Little observation we made over the years is that closer you get to the north end of the park the less homeless riff raff you’ll encounter.
The narrow strip of land between the cliffs overlooking Pacific Coast highway and the Ocean Ave is well rationed with every inch planned according to population needs. You have thickly carpeted areas for families with small children, running along rows of tall Mexican Fan Palm occasionally accented with beautiful cigar shaped – Cuban Palm trees.
The park is very well maintained all year around and I highly recommend checking it out while exploring Santa Monica. It could be a pleasant meditative place to loosen up after the bustle of the 3rd street promenade and the SM pier.
Parking for Palisades park
There is ample free parking on the streets perpendicular to Ocean avenue (Best spots are on Marguerita avenue).
What to expect of Palisades park
Situated along the Ocean Ave the park overlooks the Pacific ocean and the Santa Monica beach. This is one of few places in LA where you won’t feel rushed. There are people here doing yoga, meditating, and just gazing at the deep blue ocean. We saw some dude even hang his hammock between a couple of trees and jus cocoon-it-up in the middle of the day. I
This is definitely a model park by all means and it could be your escape from the city jungle. Whether you like jogging, want to have a nice picnic with the family, or simply need some alone time. Somehow all these activities come together in a unison on a strip from San Vincente blvd to Colorado ave.
Important detail: the closer you get to Colorado ave (this is where Santa Monica Pier starts) the more homeless people there will be (and less free parking you’ll find). The majority of them keep to themselves, however as long as you stay north of California ave the more pleasant your experience will be.
The gardens spanning the North end of the Palisades park could rival some amateur arboretums and botanical gardens. Showcasing it’s variety of exotic plants it’s a composition worthy of a Private garden.
Palisades Park with kids
If you were to think of a perfect family park in all of Los Angeles that actually captures the SoCal vibe. Trashy galore of LA mixed at the third street promenade blended in with the leisurely southern California swag and you have a chill family oriented urban oasis.
With lots of trees, grass, recreational areas and million dollar view. There’s not a better park in all of Los Angles to spend time with your children.
Some of the tree varieties at Palisades Park include:
- Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa)
- Weeping Indian Laurel Fig (Ficus microcarpa)
- Rusty Fig (Ficus rubiginosa)
- Yate (Eucalyptus cornuta)
- Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis)
- Stone Pine (Pineus pinea)
- Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis)
- European Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis)
- Mexican Fan Palm (Washingtonia robusta)
- Mexican Blue Palm (Brahea armata)
- Windmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei)
- Cuban Royal Palm (Roystonea regia)
- Senegal Date Palm (Phoenix reclinata)
Parking: Free parking along Ocean ave and perpendicular streets
Trail head: 300 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90402
Length: 30-40 minutes one way