Where's a good meadow near L.A.?
July 12, 2009 7:04 PM   Subscribe

Where's a good meadow near Los Angeles?

I'm looking for your basic pleasant-for-a-picnic type of meadow. i don't want to actually have a picnic, but I want to shoot photos or video of people pretending to have a picnic.

The catch is that L.A. is in a desert, and even most places you see listed as nice picnic spots will be very un-photogenic- devoid of flowers, color, trees and even pleasant-looking grass.

I'm influenced by French new-wavey type films (thanks to a previous AskMe) and what I'm looking for is similar to the locations seen in the trailer for Le Bonheur. (in an ideal world my spot would be a little more colorful than what's in the trailer, but that film captures the spirit of what I want.)

My requirements are:
ideally within a 2-3 hour drive of L.A.
not overrun with people, but not impossible to reach carrying basic film/photo equipment.

Suggestions with photos online greatly appreciated! Thanks!
posted by drjimmy11 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: ps yes I realize I have basically asked this before, but looking for suggestions in addition to those in that old thread.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:12 PM on July 12, 2009

The "meadow" in the trailer you show is a commercial sunflower field, not a meadow with wildlflowers. Those sunflowers are about 5' tall and not great for picnicking.

There won't be many if any natural meadows with wildflowers down there this time of year so a garden, park or botanic garden that is irrigated is your best bet. Otherwise you are looking for altitude- somewhere high enough that there is still water from snow melt and there are still wildflowers in July so 7000' or so. I know where you could go in the Sierras but I don't know anywhere near LA. Maybe up by Idyllwild?
posted by fshgrl at 7:32 PM on July 12, 2009

Response by poster: It's not a real picnic; just looking for somewhere photogenic. I'm thinking it will have to be somewhere at high altitude as you said; just looking for ideas on exact spots so I don't have to spend the next month driving around...

although I will probably not be ready to shoot until Sept. or Oct. anyway if that matters...
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:40 PM on July 12, 2009

Well, LA isn't a desert. It's a Mediterranean climate; mostly grassland, and the vegetation varies a lot by season. In the spring, you can find wildflower fields up in the Antelope valley in the California poppy reserve.
posted by mr_roboto at 7:55 PM on July 12, 2009

Response by poster: That looks like a cool place, mr_roboto, thanks! Too bad it's out of season. And of course we don't even know which of our state parks will be open next year because of the budget.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:05 PM on July 12, 2009

Response by poster: ah, but a link from the Poppy Reserve page lead me to something very promising!
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:07 PM on July 12, 2009

Will Rogers Park (Pacific Palisades)? You can see on google maps that there's a huge meadow. Whenever I go there (hiking or running...there are great trails there too), I see people having picnics, either on a blanket on the grass or at the nearby picnic tables. There are two a big green fields, a cute house in the background, picturesque white fence, just super cute all around. There is also an equestrian center there, so you'll see horses being led around depending on the time of day. Not sure it is as colorful as you would like, but it is very green, almost shockingly so for LA.
posted by booksandwine at 8:15 PM on July 12, 2009

The area where the Ren Faire is held has a lot of nice picnic areas. 15501 E Arrow Hwy, Irwindale, CA‎. Santa Fe Dam Rec Area.
posted by legotech at 11:56 PM on July 12, 2009

Temescal Gateway Park, off Sunset Boulevard (at Temescal) in Pacific Palisades, should fit your bill. Sycamore Valley is a huge grassy meadow ringed with sycamore trees that is gorgeous, sunny and idyllic. Lots of dappled shade as well.
posted by laconic titan at 7:38 AM on July 13, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everyone- I will check some of these out as soon as I have time!
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:18 AM on July 13, 2009

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