Echo Park is a neighborhood located in central Los Angeles. In the heart of this town is Echo Park Lake, a picturesque lake surrounded by Palm Trees and a clear view of the downtown Los Angeles skyline. An interesting fact about Echo Park is that it was previously known as Edendale and it was the center for film making on the West Coast in the early 1900’s, prior to Hollywood coming into existence.
Echo Park Lake began as a reservoir for drinking water in the late 1800’s and it has become a historical gem on the east side of Los Angeles. The tranquil lake is surrounded by the busy streets and freeways of Los Angeles yet somehow it remains unbothered by the rush of the city. A walking path encircles the lake where you can find locals out for an afternoon stroll or selling their custom-made merchandise. Unfortunately, as in many other areas of Los Angeles, poverty abounds, as is evidenced by the row of makeshift homes lined along the grass in Echo Park. Honestly, this was a bit alarming to us at first but the people who live there did not threaten us in any way.
We rented the swan pedal boats online from “Wheel Fun Rentals” website. The rentals must be done in advance online, they cannot be rented on-site. The rental fee is per person and is $11.00 per person for one hour. The boats fit up to 5 passengers each. Free parking can be found around the lake as well as in the neighborhoods nearby. We chose to park around the lake because we wanted to ensure that our vehicle was in viewing distance as we were unsure of the safety of the area.
The pedal boat itself is pretty self explanatory, you and a front seat passenger pedal the boat to move it forwards or backwards and turn the nob in the middle to steer around the lake. It is not the most exhilarating adventure as you may have guessed, but it is definitely relaxing and a great setting to have conversations. The rental facility allows you to bring food and non-alcoholic beverages on the pedal boats as well, if you would like a fresh new twist on your normal afternoon picnic.
Echo Park is one of those locations in Los Angeles that you must visit at least once. Whether you take a stroll around the lake or decide to rent a pedal boat, you will be able to enjoy the nostalgic location.
“Make your heart like a lake, with a calm, still surface and great depths of kindness.” ~Lao Tzu
Take some time to slow down and have a conversation, whether with yourself or a loved one, you won’t realize how parched you have been for communicating your thoughts until you have released them.
~Kat + Alex