Trees can solve so many problems.
On the hottest of summer days, their evergreen canopies cool our homes and streets and shelter us from ultraviolet rays.
Anyone who has gotten lost in the intricate details of an ancient African Cape chestnut tree in Elysian Park or the thick bark of a coast live oak in La Cañada Flintridge knows they are magical too.
Here are a few of our favorite places to find shade in L.A. this summer. Have a favorite of your own? Let us know and we'll add it to the list. Because of the novel coronavirus, some parks and arboretums have limited hours and require timed ticketing. So call or consult websites before heading out.
1. Audubon Center at Debs Park
The urban nature center in Montecito Heights has a beautiful tree canopy consisting of mostly Southern California black walnut, toyon and coast live oak, making it a beautiful place to walk and bird watch. It's closed until June 30, so watch the website for updates. 4700 N. Griffin Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 221-2255, debspark.audubon.org
2. California Botanic Garden
Take a walk under the shade of a massive majestic oak in the Alluvial Gardens at the largest botanic garden devoted to California native plants (formerly the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden). Admission is $10, $6 seniors and students with ID, $4 children ages 3-12. Timed tickets are currently required for nonmembers. 1500 N. College Ave, Claremont, (909) 625-8767, calbg.org
3. Chavez Ravine Arboretum
Grand in scale, with approximately 140 types of trees from all over the world, the oldest arboretum in Los Angeles offers plenty of room to escape the heat while allowing for social distancing. Free. Chavez Ravine Road, Los Angeles, (213) 485-3287, laparks.org
4. Claremont Village
Claremont is home to 23,000 trees including American elms along Indian Hill Avenue and in Memorial Park and the College Avenue eucalyptus trees. Camphor trees provide further shade in the city's popular Claremont Village. thevillageclaremont.com
6. Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park
Half of the park, which features three miles of trails shaded by sycamores and coast live oaks, loops around to the base of the Verdugos, where you can find coyote and bobcat scat from the night before. 3901 Dunsmore Ave., La Crescenta, (818) 249-5940, parks.lacounty.gov
7. Descanso Gardens
There's a spectacular oak woodlands canopy here that provides a cool reprieve even on a triple-digit day. The canopy is thick enough that you can sit on a bench and enjoy the shade all day. Admission is $15 for adults, $11 for seniors and students with ID, $5 for children 5 to 12. Advance tickets are currently required for nonmembers. 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, descansogardens.org
8. El Dorado Nature Center
The 105-acre park is densely wooded and includes stocked fishing lakes, a stream and walking trails. Parking is limited and costs $5 and up, cash only. Pedestrians and cyclists enter free. 7550 E. Spring St., Long Beach, (562) 570-1745, longbeach.gov
9. Fern Dell
This 20-acre tree-shaded trail inside Griffith Park follows a trickling stream dotted with native coast live oak, Western sycamore, a huge Roxburgh fig tree and California coastal redwoods. Free. 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Feliz, laparks.org
10. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
The Huntington is re-routing foot traffic to allow for social distancing, but one of its shadiest spots — the three Montezuma cypress trees in the rose garden — is on the route. The Huntington reopens July 1, (open now for members). All visitors must reserve tickets online. Admission costs $25 midweek, $29 on weekends. 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, huntington.org
11. Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
Enjoy the shadow of a eucalyptus, sumac and oak trees inside the 308-acre recreation area, just off La Cienega Boulevard in Baldwin Hills. 4100 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, parks.ca.gov
12. Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
The tropical rain forest is a shady paradise filled with tall cypress trees, cycads, a grove of bamboo and tropical trees from around the world. Nonmembers are required to buy advance tickets online. Admission is $9 for adults, $4 for children 5 to 12. 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, arboretum.org
13. Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area
Ride your bike around the lake and through the park and you’ll find hundreds of new coast live oaks planted along the trail. While there are beautiful mature trees in this open space, it's also exciting to imagine how cool and shady this park will be in five years. Vehicle entry fee: $10. 15501 Arrow Highway, Irwindale, (626) 334-1065, parks.lacounty.gov
14. Point Fermin Park
Curl up under a giant Moreton Bay fig tree and enjoy the ocean views and coastal breeze. 807 W Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro, (310) 548-7705, laparks.org
15. Rancho Los Alamitos
Tucked away in a gated community, this historic landmark includes 4 acres of gardens, a ranch house and a restored barnyard surrounded by Canary Island palms and two enormous Moreton Bay fig trees. Free tickets are currently required. 400 E. Bixby Hill Road, Long Beach, (562) 431-3541, rancholosalamitos.com