The San Fernando Valley sizzles with triple digit heat during the summer months, but Lake Balboa can offer valley-dwellers some respite from the swelter. The lake is located inside the park formerly known as Balboa (now it’s called Anthony C. Beilenson Park) and is part of the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area, which also features parks, golf courses, and other recreation activities.
Located in Van Nuys near the busy 405/101 freeway interchange, Lake Balboa is surrounded by a large grassy park. There’s a walking path with benches (some shady) around the perimeter of the lake. Bring a picnic or a blanket to relax on the grass. Ducks, swans and other birds flock to the lake and would be more than happy to share any of your snacks, although there are warnings against feeding the wildlife.
During the summer months, Balboa Lake has pedal boats for rent and there’s kayaking (although you first need to complete the Kayak Fitness Orientation). There are also hundreds of cherry blossom trees, with festive pink blooms when in season.
If you find yourself in the valley with a little time to kill (perhaps you want to wait out rush hour traffic), or just want to meet a friend for some exercise, Lake Balboa is a terrific place to visit.
Distance from LAX: 23 miles
Traffic411 Insider Tip: Golfers, bring your clubs. Balboa Lake is adjacent to two golf courses with putting greens and driving ranges.