Tongva Park is a marvel in urban planning

Tongva Park is located in the heart of Santa Monica city, with beach views to the west, adjacent to the major commerce center of the city (3rd Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place) on the north, and flanked by city hall and the courthouse on the east. It sits on 7 acres of land and is a marvel in urban planning.

Chances are you’ve heard of the High Line – a terrific public space on old elevated train tracks along the Hudson in NYC. Tongva Park was designed by the same team of designers and planners — James Corner and Field Operations. Its another exceptionally well-designed and thoughtfully planted urban project.

The paths cut gracefully through native plantings and benches sprinkle the park, some integrated in the curved path walls as if they grew in with the plants themselves. There are densely planted small paths and wide open grassy areas with an arena seating area carved into the lawn. Picnic benches and tables are located in two areas of the park under shaded trees.

An extensive kids playground with climbing structures, long slides and a splash pad within a boulder landscape is a definite hit with kids, young and old. Its definitely not your conventional playground with a swing set and sand box, but the play area is unique and fun to explore, even for older kids! Visually sculptural and just enough pops of color to be considered child-friendly, this playground gets a thumbs up for being integrative with nature and a place for exploring native plants and water-cycles. The splash pad and playground area are padded and there is plenty of shaded seating options throughout. The play area is, naturally, not fenced in, so keep an eye on your little escape artists!

There are a few observation decks facing the beach and elevated for a good view over the entire park.

There is metered street parking all around the park, or parking structures nearby and restaurants all around the park as well, with an abundance of options at the Santa Monica Place a few walking minutes away.

Our favorite dining option is to bring a picnic to the park. Plenty of table and benches or options to spread out a picnic blanket and plop down to enjoy the sunset etc.

Tongva Park, 1615 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Open: Every Day 6am – 11pm


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