20 Best Things to Do in Echo Park, Los Angeles

Echo Park, Los Angeles
Michael Bogner / shutterstock.com

Echo Park, located in the northwest part of Downtown Los Angeles, is one of the most famous neighborhoods in the city because of its many activities that visitors of all ages can participate in.

It is nestled between Silver Lake and Chinatown, making it a haven for artists, foodies, and even sports enthusiasts.

It also features a lot of areas where you can enjoy the beautiful weather of the city, perfect for those who love spending time outdoors.

While you are here, make sure to visit Echo Park Lake so you can reconnect with nature.

If you are always on a hunt for unique things, make sure to drop by The Time Travel Mart.

Whether you are a sports fan or not, Dodger Stadium is a fun place to visit.

Those who want to immerse themselves in Echo Park's music scene can go to The Echo & Echoplex.

To know more about what this trendy neighborhood can offer you, read on for the list of the best things to do in Echo Park.

Catch a Baseball Game with the Whole Family at Dodger Stadium

Aerial view of the Dodger Stadium.
Emma_Griffiths / Shutterstock.com

Whether you are an avid sports fan or just simply love watching television, chances are you have already heard of the baseball team, Los Angeles Dodgers.

Echo Park is the home of Dodger Stadium, the baseball team’s home stadium, which is one of the oldest and most well-known major league parks in the country.

Stop by the stadium to catch some baseball game with the whole family and have some ice-cold beer and Dodger Dogs while cheering for the team.

Aerial view of the Dodger Stadium with a game going on.
Frank Romeo / Shutterstock.com

While you are here, you may also enjoy the beautiful hilltop views of Los Angeles from the stadium and the fireworks after a Friday night game to make your visit more memorable and exciting.

If you do not have plenty of time to watch the game, you can always come here to tour the stadium.

During the tour, you will learn more about the different areas of the stadium, such as the dugout, press box, and even the trophy room.

Make sure not to miss this to know more about the legendary history that this stadium holds and the athletes who have dedicated their lives to this beautiful sport.

Aerial view of the full seats at Dodger Stadium.
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Get Inspired at The Time Travel Mart

The Time Travel Mart offers various books, writing materials, and apparel that will make you travel back in time, which makes it a perfect destination for artists who want to stay inspired during their travels.

The convenience store features one-of-a-kind items related to time traveling that are sure to make guests curious.

Some of the items that you might find here are fresh dinosaur eggs, barbarian repellent, robot milk, and Viking deodorant.

However, what makes this shop really interesting are the many books you can find here.

It is also home to Barnacle & Barnacle Publishers, which specializes in books that are authored by students, so you are sure to find books that are not available elsewhere.

Best of all, when you buy in this shop you are also helping 826LA, a non-profit organization that helps kids develop their writing skills, as their sales go directly to the said organization.

In fact, when you go to the back of the store you will find the classroom that the kids use during tutoring.

Visit an Art Exhibit at Subliminal Projects

Are you passionate about the arts?

If you are, Subliminal Projects is one place that you should include in your itinerary.

Founded in 1995 by Shepard Fairey and Blaize Blouin, this multi-functional gallery was first created to introduce the skateboard culture into the art scene.

Today, it is one of the most important establishments where artists can openly discuss art, music, and activism.

While here, you may explore the different exhibits available.

If you are interested in supporting local artists, you can also buy different items such as paintings and collectibles that you can use to beautify your own homes.

Ride a Swan Boat at Echo Park Lake

Aerial view of the Echo Park Lake.
Roschetzky Photography / Shutterstock.com

A popular landmark in Echo Park since 1895 for locals and travelers alike, Echo Park Lake is a great place to visit for those who are looking for spectacular nature views and recreational activities that cater to all ages.

For a relaxing afternoon, stroll around the park to see the beautiful flowers and trees surrounding the park.

Take in the gorgeous lotus flower beds and enjoy the serenity being close to nature brings.

A large water fountain on Echo Park Lake.
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

If you happen to be visiting with your partner and are here for a romantic getaway, you can explore the lake by riding the beautiful swan boats, perfect for those who want to document their experience on their socials.

This is also a well-known venue for events such as Dragon Boat Race and Lotus Festival.

So, make sure to check out the latest happenings in the area during your visit to make sure that you do not miss any of these events.

Trees around the waters of Echo Park Lake.
Bart De Bruyn / Shutterstock.com

Enjoy Vegan Food at Cosmic Vinyl Café

It is no secret that Los Angeles is a haven for artists and people who are into healthy eating.

One place that you can visit when you are around Echo Park is Cosmic Vinyl Café.

This store sells vinyl, turntables, and cassettes, perfect for travelers who are passionate about music and looking for something that they can bring home with them.

They even offer their own line of clothing and accessories if you want to buy something locally made.

If you want to take a break from shopping, there is a café on the property that sells coffee and vegan cuisine.

Buy Locally Produced Goods at Cookbook, Los Angeles

If you are staying in Echo Park for a longer time, you might want to check out Cookbook, Los Angeles for some items that you can have as a snack or some ingredients that you can use to prepare a delicious meal.

This grocery store offers locally produced items such as vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish.

For those who do not have any spare time to cook, the shop also sells freshly baked bread and deliciously cooked meals.

If you live nearby, you can also drop by the store to get some brewed coffee that will go well with your breakfast.

They also sell chocolates here, perfect for those who are looking for something to munch on while touring the city.

Watch a Live Music Performance at The Echo & Echoplex

Two people playing the guitar at The Echo & Echoplex.
Justin Higuchi from Los Angeles, CA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For travelers who want to immerse themselves in the Los Angeles' music scene, The Echo & Echoplex features live performances by various artists.

This is a great place to watch well-known musicians who have been making waves on the music scene.

However, this is also a popular venue for local bands who are new in the music industry.

So if you are on a hunt for a new kind of music to binge on, this is a must-see.

Debby Ryan performing at The Echo & Echoplex.
Justin Higuchi from Los Angeles, CA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Aside from holding local music events, this is also the go-to place for people who want to go dancing and watch other touring acts.

Known as one of the top five music venues in the city, The Echo & Echoplex showcases not only emerging bands from the city but also musicians from around the world.

Best of all, you can enjoy major music events in this venue for a reasonable entry price.

Person performing at The Echo & Echoplex.
Justin Higuchi from Los Angeles, CA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Read a Good Book while Sipping Wine at Stories Books & Café

For travelers who want to unwind after a long day, Stories Books & Café features books, coffee, and snacks that you can enjoy while you lounge on their outdoor patio.

The store offers a great variety of new and secondhand books, perfect for visitors of all ages.

There is also an on-site café that offers sandwiches, salads, and other light snacks that you can eat while reading a book for a more enjoyable visit.

If you need a quick energy boost, there is a great selection of coffee drinks that you can avail.

There is also a selection of alcoholic beverages for those who are looking to relax after a long day.

For bookworms who do not have enough time to visit the store, you can also purchase a book from their online store.

Echo Park Film Center

What's great about Los Angeles is that it is filled with organizations that seek to educate the community about the arts.

One non-profit organization known for this initiative is Echo Park Film Center.

The goal of this center is to make media arts reachable for those who are part of marginalized communities.

Attend a screening at their 50-seat microcinema and watch a movie created by emerging filmmakers.

They also offer workshops for aspiring filmmakers and digital content creators.

Just make sure to check their website for the upcoming workshops so you won't miss this exciting experience.

Buy a Vintage Purse at Lemon Frog Shop Vintage Bazaar

For chic travelers who are always looking for fashionable items, Lemon Frog Shop Vintage Bazaar offers a great selection of secondhand dresses, jewelry, footwear, and purses.

This vintage shop caters to women who love to shop yet want to make a difference in the world by choosing to buy sustainable fashion.

If you are looking for one-of-a-kind items that you can use or you can give to a loved one, this store has items from the earlier years starting from the 1950s, so you are sure to find something here that will suit your taste.

What's great about this store is that they have items in all price ranges to ensure that you can stick to your budget.

They also make sure that they have new items for customers daily, so can be sure that you will find something that will excite you every time you come for a visit.

Climb Baxter Street Stairs

Echo Park has more than a dozen stairways, some of which existed before the advent of vehicles or even paved streets.

The Baxter Street Stairs are among the best places in Los Angeles to take in the city's spectacular scenery because of their lofty perch.

The 231-step climb from 1501 Baxter St. to 2101 Park Dr. offers breathtaking panoramas of the Los Angeles skyline, the Griffith Observatory, and the Hollywood Sign.

See the downtown skyline at sunset, which looks especially beautiful against the crimson sky.

Elysian Park is right across the street if you want to wander the city.

See Homoerotic Art at Tom of Finland House

This two-story Craftsman in Echo Park belonged to the renowned artist Tom of Finland.

He contributed to the development of erotic art in Los Angeles.

Touko Laaksonen (1920-1991), a native of rural Finland, became known as "Tom of Finland" in 1957 after being attributed with the name in Physique Pictorial, a magazine published in Los Angeles by photographer Bob Mizer.

Almost immediately, he achieved fame as an erotica for a gay artist.

Back in 1978, Laaksonen had a one-person performance in Los Angeles. Due to the program's popularity, he began making regular trips to the area.

This two-story home was his permanent abode in both Los Angeles and Finland.

It was a popular hangout for homosexual artists like John Waters and Robert Mapplethorpe to congregate at the turn-of-the-century period.

Currently, the home serves as the headquarters for the Tom of Finland Foundation, a collection dedicated to his work and homoerotic art. Tours of this cultural landmark are available by prior arrangement because of its historical significance.

Explore the beauty of the human body and love in all forms.

Take Snaps with Echo Park Murals

Throughout LA, you'll find stunning murals initiated by various organizations.

Concerned by the area's graffiti and rubbish, gallery owner Jason Ostro launched the Gabba Alley Project in 2014.

In his mind, the city's alleys might be transformed from "blight to brilliant" if only he could paint them with vibrant murals.

At first, he and the street artist Andrea LaHue collaborated on a mural (aka Random Act).

The floral mural they painted soon grew into a movement.

Since then, over a hundred and ten murals painted by more than eighty-five local and international artists have adorned Gabba Alley Project and revitalized the city.

Ostro obtains permission from property owners and businesses, then sends a volunteer muralist with free paint to decorate each wall.

At Echo Park, Gabba Alley Project has murals of several animals.

You may also locate "Eyes Open, Mind Open" and a mural of Germs' vocalist Darby Crash by Shepard Fairey in Echo Park.

Unleash Your Inner Gaming Nerd at iam8bit

Iam8bit combines a gallery showcasing visual art and a store selling retro video games and LPs.

It's a perfect example of the current trend of nerds becoming hip.

Taking a look at the artwork on display, it's evident that the gallery's curators are former video game critics and Comic-Con goers.

It is a spacious 4,500 square feet, with a welcoming and ever-changing storefront that showcases a variety of artist collaborations and iam8bit's unique creations.

The proprietors see themselves as a "creative production firm that refuses to be labeled," and their mission is to "create distinctive and unforgettable experiences" for their customers.

Grab Vintage Records at Cosmic Vinyl

If you're a fan of vintage music, check out Cosmic Vinyl.

You'll find records, cassettes, hi-fi equipment, apparel, accessories, coffee, and vegan food at Cosmic Vinyl.

Oren Pius, the shop's proprietor since October 2020, has realized his lifelong ambition of opening a coffee shop/record store hybrid by incorporating a bustling counter offering 100% vegan coffee, tea, sandwiches, and pastries.

Cosmic Vinyl features a wide variety of vinyl records for sale, from bargain bins full of records for a dollar to carefully selected examples of rare and old music.

For fans of oldies music or collectors looking for unique albums, this is a gold mine.

Other Things To Do Nearby

Ride the Rope Swing at Elysian Park

A woman on the rope swing of Elysian Park.
Michael Gordon / Shutterstock.com

Elysian Park, only 10 minutes away from Echo Park, is known as the oldest park in Los Angeles.

The park was founded in 1886 and has been one of the most frequented destinations for locals and travelers alike who want to take a breather and marvel at wonderful views of the city since then.

For those who want to take advantage of the beautiful weather of Los Angeles, you can go on a scenic hike here.

Sunset view at Elysian Park.
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

Enjoy the beautiful views of lush greenery as you climb the trails of this gorgeous park.

Marvel at the breathtaking views of Dodger Stadium and Hollywood Hills when you stay at this park.

This is also a great place to see for photographers who want to immortalize the amazing skyline of Downtown Los Angeles.

Another famous feature of the park that you should not miss is the rope swing that is tied to a tree, which overlooks the northeast side of Los Angeles.

A woman on the rope swing of Elysian Park.
Lisa Bronitt / Shutterstock.com

Visit Thriller House at Carroll Avenue

Famous thriller house at Carroll Ave.
Los Angeles, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Only 1.3 miles away from Echo Park, Carroll Avenue is a well-known tourist attraction because of the picturesque Victorian houses and mansions that line up its street.

Registered in the National Register of Historic Places, Carroll Avenue can be found in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Los Angeles and thus holds the highest number of 19th-century houses in the city.

Take in the gorgeous views of Victorian houses as you stroll this street.

A victorian house at Carroll Ave.
Los Angeles, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have your pictures taken with these beautiful houses as your backdrop for a memorable experience here.

Enjoy some fresh air while you visit the homes seen in movies such as Chinatown and The Fast and the Furious franchise.

Do not also forget to go to "Thriller House," the house used in the music video of Michael Jackson's popular song, Thriller.

A house with a car outside at Carroll Ave.
Los Angeles, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have a Drink with Your Friends at El Prado

Located in Sunset Blvd., only 2 minutes away from Echo Park, El Prado is the ideal place to go when you want an escape from a chaotic busy day.

The bar offers a great selection of craft beers and wines that you can drink while listening to great music played through turntables.

It features a cozy ambiance, perfect for relaxation and bonding moments with your loved ones.

For those who are looking for something to eat, they also offer food that will complement with your drinks.

Vista Hermosa Natural Park

View of the Vista Hermosa Natural Park.
Chris English, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Less than 2 miles away from Echo Park, Vista Hermosa Natural Park boasts beautiful views of lush trees and streams, great for visitors who are looking for a quiet place to rest amidst nature.

If you are traveling with your kids, there is a nature-themed playground where they can have fun with other kids.

There are also wide open spaces where you can lounge and relax with your loved ones while reading a book or listening to your favorite playlist.

For those who are planning to spend some quality time with their family, there are picnic tables that you can use where you can eat mouthwatering snacks and drink refreshing beverages.

For a more fun experience, you can also bring your pets here.

Just remember to keep them on a leash while you are here for a hassle-free visit.

Have Your Picture Taken Beside Bruce Lee’s Statue at Chinatown

Bronze statue of Bruce Lee at Chinatown.
Idealphotographer / Shutterstock.com

Chinatown, only 8 minutes away from Echo Park, is a neighborhood popular for locals and tourists who are looking for great restaurants and hip art galleries.

This neighborhood is accessible through the metro, so tourists who are not familiar with the city will not have a difficult time exploring this area.

It also has Bike Share stations for those who want to breathe in fresh air while going around the neighborhood.

A farther view of Bruce Lee's statue at Chinatown.
Idealphotographer / Shutterstock.com

For foodies who want delicious food with great value for money, this is definitely the place to visit.

The restaurants here offer different types of food from dim sums to burritos, perfect for all kinds of travelers.

You can also visit the Chinese American Museum while you are here, which is located in Garnier Building, the oldest standing building in a large city in California.

Don't forget to go to Central Plaza to take pictures of Bruce Lee's huge statue.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are looking for a place where you can relax with your family or enjoy the nightlife with your friends, Echo Park has something to offer you that will surely tickle your fancy.

With music venues, hiking trails, and trendy stores available in every corner, you and your loved ones will definitely have the best time here.

For a remarkable visit, make sure to check this list of the best things to do in Echo Park.

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