I vividly remember this movie I watched as a kid where two people fall in love and at the end of the movie they hop aboard a swan boat ride and live happily ever after. Honestly couldn’t tell you the name of the movie… maybe someone out there in internet land remembers it? Anyways, after watching the movie I was dying to ride a swan boat but my parents informed me they didn’t actually exist real life. Were they exaggerating? Yea, probably… but I grew up in Los Angeles and they definitely didn’t have any swan boats here when I was a kid. When I moved back to Los Angeles last year I was browsing the internet for fun things to do and came across the swan peddle boats at Echo Park Lake. Obviously I had to partake and fulfill my childhood dream.
They’ve actually had peddle boats at Echo Park Lake for years but only recently replaced their old fleet with a new fleet of swan boats in 2018. The swan boats really just add an extra touch of novelty to this already fun activity and perhaps a little romance as the new fleet has been fitted with LED lights, which allows the boat rental company to extend their hours and let people take the boats out at night.
The experience itself is incredibly affordable at only 11 dollars per adult and 6 dollars per kid per hour. Trust me, an hour is plenty. They have small and large boats. The large boat can fit up to 5 people. There’s a huge fountain in the middle of the lake and a picturesque view of the Los Angeles Skyline during the day. The boat rentals are open from 9am to 8pm Monday through Thursday and 9am to 9pm Friday through Sunday. The swans are quite peaceful and beautiful at night but you should be forewarned that there are a lot of bugs attracted to the lights on the boat. My boyfriend and I went at night and had a ton of fun but I would have loved to have some bug repellent. There’s street parking all around the lake. I found it easy to find parking on a weeknight but that might not be the case on the weekend when the park is busier.
Echo Park is much more than its swan boats. It has also become a very popular place for locals to picnic, hangout, and take a stroll. There’s a nice little cafe called Beacon located in the boat house serving sandwiches and other small bites but there’s also quite a few food vendors out on the weekends if you get hungry. I think it would be fun to pack your own picnic and hang out by the lake for a bit before/after your boat ride and then maybe take a stroll on the path around the lake. I love spending time outdoors when I get the chance.
This is a super fun out of the norm activity to have fun and get some fresh air (well… as fresh as we’re gonna get) in Los Angeles. I like Echo Park because its not your typical city outing full of annoying tourists (although I’m sure they’re lovely people…). Its a good place to have some fun, unwind, and relax. Thinking of trying out the swan boats? I would love to hear about your experience. Leave a comment below.