In the heart of Westlake and close to downtown L.A. is MacArthur Park, a popular spot for locals to play and relax. There are plenty of trees, green grass, and walking paths that crisscross throughout. The large lake takes up nearly half the park. Walking along the perimeter offers nice views of L.A.'s skyline over the water.
MacArthur Park Lake has been a feature of the city since it's founding, when this natural depression filled seasonally with water. Since then it has been hemmed and deepened and supplemented with municipal water to create a permanent lake, and the park was established around it. In the past the area developed a reputation for crime, but recent efforts by the city have made the neighborhood much more peaceful and pleasant. Kids can play safely here during the day, and walkers and joggers can enjoy the paths without hassle apart from the occasional hawker or soapbox preacher. Just as common are friendly sellers of ice cream, snacks, and souvenirs.
The park has public sports fields, picnic areas, and restrooms. As an iconic L.A. area park, it is the frequent site of concerts, events, and art exhibits. As would be expected from a crowded public space near downtown, it is not especially clean, but it remains a nice retreat for greenery and blue sky in the middle of the city.