Ride the Quirky Echo Park Lake Swan Pedal Boats

In Echo Park, near Dodgers Stadium and Downtown L.A. adjacent, there’s a little lake where you can ride swans. Very large swans. These are not your typical swans, but rather pedal boats that you can ride while the Los Angeles sun shines down on you with a view of palm trees and high rises as you flutter around this lovely little lake.

To Get There

L.A. Neighborhood: Map yourself to Echo Park Lake
Admission: Adults: $11/hour
Children 17 & Under: $6/hour

Tip: Make a reservation in advance

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The History of Echo Park Lake

Echo Park Lake was once a city reservoir, but then the land was purchased by some businessmen with dreams of developing the property. After years of back and forth between the city and the owners they struck a deal. The property owners would give up some of their land that would be used as a park, and in return the city wouldn’t overflow the reservoir. This made the land they still owned more valuable because it couldn’t be flooded.

The construction of Echo Park Lake began, turning the reservoir into a city park in the late 19th century.

The lake underwent a massive cleanup and revitalization in 2011, and reopened in 2013. (Note: In 2020 this Lake has gotten a bit rundown due to COVID increasing the homeless population. I’m hoping they are cleaning it back up again, and that these people can find homes).


Swan Riding

While riding the pedal boats swan, you can see a fair share of wildlife on the lake. There are fish, turtles, geese and ducks among the colorful lili pads and tall palm trees. Our favorite was a cute little blue-billed duck that kept popping up from the water.

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The swans all have protection from the sun, and are equipped with life vests. They’re really stylish. ;)

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I think the best time to ride the swans is around sunset, but if you’re into lights, you can also do a night ride where all the swans are lit up!

Additional Tips

Make it a Bird themed night at one of these nearby restaurants

Lady Byrd Cafe

After the swan rides, drive over to Lady Byrd Cafe. This lovely restaurant has a large patio complete with greenhouses you can dine in. The greenhouses are first come first serve, a truly unique experience.

Location: 2100 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026


Ostrich Farm

This is my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles because the mushroom gnocchi is so delicious that I often think about it from across town. Their mezcal drinks are also incredibly delicious!

Location: 1525 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Have any more tips on Echo Park? Please leave them in the comments below.

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