The Best California Skateparks to Visit

California, particularly Southern California, has some of the best weather for skateboarding.

To many, it’s considered the mecca of skateboarding! Nearly every city has its own skatepark and practically every skatepark is unique with its own set of features.

Whether you like riding bowls, transitions, or street obstacles, you’ll definitely love skating the California skateparks on this list!

As a Long Beach local, I was fortunate enough to live near some of the best skateparks in California. All of these skateparks are excellent in their own way, so make sure you stay with me as we go over some of the best California skateparks to visit, whether you’re from Cali or just here to visit.

If you’re more into cruiser skateboards or just cruising in general, you may also like our article: Cruisin’ California: A (Cruiser) Skateboard Travel Guide!

Before you drop in…

Before you visit one of these parks, make sure you have everything you need!

Obviously, you’re going to need a skateboard. If you don’t have one already, I suggest starting with a complete skateboard. They’re already set up to shred, so you don’t need to worry about picking out the right components. 

Also, some skateparks have unspoken rules, think of it as skatepark etiquette. If it’s your first time going to a skatepark, please read our article discussing things to know for your first time going to a skatepark

And lastly, before you drop in—you might want to have protective gear ready. Some of these parks actually require a helmet before you can skate there, so you’re going to need it to protect your head before you shred!

You can throw in some pads, too—especially for parks with big bowls and vert!

#1: Lake Cunningham Regional Skatepark, San Jose

Difficulty Level: Beginner to Expert
Address: 2305 S. White Road San Jose, CA 95148

This list doesn’t have a particular order, but I wanted to start up north in San Jose because the Lake Cunningham Regional Skatepark is the biggest in the state.

Measuring at approximately 68,000 square feet—it’s home to massive bowl and street sections. Its size and location by the shores of Lake Cunningham definitely make it unique.

But, the best thing about it is the designers, California Skateparks, did not waste a single square foot without something significant to add. 

This skatepark is four times larger than average California skateparks, and it is also four times the stoke! It features the largest cradle, the tallest vert wall, a full pipe, and various bowls for skaters of any skill level. It also has a massive street section with everything from stairs, handrails, ledges, and rails of different heights to match different skill levels as well. 

It costs $10 to skate and $6 for a parking pass. Before visiting, you will need to fill out their waiver form online. Helmets and pads are required.

This skatepark is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, important to know if you’re flying from another state or driving all the way to San Jose. 

The entry fee to this park is special. Note that most skateparks in California are free to skate. 

#2: Venice Beach Skatepark, Venice Beach

Difficulty Level: Beginner to Expert
Address: 1800 Ocean Front Walk Venice, 90291

Venice Beach Skatepark might be one of the most popular skateparks in the world.

If you’re in California—you should definitely skate this legendary park! As a skateboarder, you probably know that some of the earliest days of skateboarding started in Venice, AKA Dogtown—and just being in this city will give you the chills. 

In my opinion, Venice Beach Skatepark defines the chill Southern California skate vibe. The skatepark design is one of the best in the world, but being located by the Pacific Coast definitely makes it stand out. 

Let’s talk features. Venice Beach Skatepark features an enjoyable snake run with mild to steep transitions, making it fun for beginner to expert bowl riders. It also features a pool section and various street sections in and even outside of the park itself. 

Just a word of warning, Venice Beach Skatepark can get really crowded in the afternoon, so the best time to skate and master the features is early in the morning.

However, despite being crowded, the locals are very welcoming to visitors—allowing kids and adults of any skill level to take turns with them. 

But even without skating, just watching the locals absolutely ripping the skatepark will definitely get you stoked! 

#3: Houghton Skatepark, Long Beach

Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Expert
Address: 6301 Myrtle Ave Long Beach, CA

Houghton Skatepark is one of the closest parks I frequent on my way home from work! It features an excellent street section, but the best feature is the bowl section and the creative murals all over the park. 

The bowl has three different sections with various levels of depth. In addition, it features a vert wall that is pretty exciting to ride.

The transitions are somewhat mellow, but they can be too tall for beginners just learning how to drop in for the first time. 

The best time to skate this park is in the morning, where you can have it all to yourself, especially if you want to master its features. However, you may want to visit in the afternoon as well to get some insight into how the locals utilize the different elements. You might even get to see some pro skateboarders like David Gonzales, who skates this park regularly. 

#4: Caruthers Skatepark, Bellflower

Difficulty Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Address: 10500 Flora Vista St, Bellflower, CA

Caruthers or Bellflower Skatepark is not a very famous skatepark in LA County, so it usually doesn’t get too crowded to skate. But, I included it in the list because it is one of the best skateparks for beginners wanting to learn how to skate bowls and transitions. The street section is not that big, but it is complete with your standard features and obstacles. 

The bowl section is what makes Caruthers Skatepark hit home. It features a clover bowl section with very smooth and mellow transitions.

If you can’t drop in yet, no problem! You can just roll into the bowl and learn how to ride the transition.

It’s an excellent skatepark for learning how to carve and kick turn, but it definitely has “flow” if you are already experienced in riding bowls. 

#5: Cherry Park Skatepark, Long Beach

Difficulty Level: Beginner to Expert
Address: 2000 E 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803

The famous Cherry Park Skatepark in Long Beach is a street skateboarding mecca. It has tons of gnarly features, such as A-frames, ledges, rails, manual pads, double manual pads, and even a fire hydrant.

It might be a professionally-built skatepark, but it definitely has a DIY-vibe because of these cool features. 

Cherry Park Skatepark is located in Downtown Long Beach and adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, but unlike the Venice Beach Skatepark, it has more of a downtown urban city vibe.

Whether you’re cruising around downtown or skating the park itself—it’s fun either way.

If you are looking for bowls to skate, Cherry Park is not ideal because it’s built more like a skate plaza than a traditional skatepark. So when you visit this skatepark, make sure you bring your street skating game!

#6: Stoner Skate Plaza, Los Angeles

Difficulty Level: Beginner to Expert
Address: 1835 Stoner Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90025

Another street skating masterpiece, Stoner Skate Plaza, is made by skaters for skaters.

This skate plaza started as an illegal DIY spot that now receives support from the local government of Los Angeles. And knowing that the skaters of West LA pushed hard to make their own spot—you have to respect the hard work they put into it! 

This street plaza is packed with obstacles like ledges, stairs, and manual pads for skaters of any level. If you want to up your street game, you should definitely go to this park to practice your flip tricks, grinds, and slides.

This street skatepark is one of the best in Los Angeles and California because of its size, flow, and of course, because of the movement that the locals started to get what they wanted!

#7: Encinitas Skate Park (Poods Park), Encinitas

Difficulty Level: Beginner to Expert

Address: 425 Santa Fe Dr. Encinitas, CA 92024

Now, let’s head down south to San Diego and see the Encinitas Skate Park, AKA Poods Park.

This is another street skating masterpiece, but unlike the other street-focused parks like Stoner Skate Plaza and Cherry Park—It also features a fun bowl section for transition skaters.

Poods park is a reasonably new skatepark that recently celebrated its sixth year. 

This skate plaza measures 44 acres. It definitely reflects a So-Cal vibe and aesthetic—with palm trees, plant boxes, benches, staircases, handrails, and other natural city features that you can skate without fending off security guards. However, the park’s aesthetic truly makes it unique and skating Poods Park really feels like you’re skating city streets. 

#8: Vans Skate Park, Orange

Difficulty Level: Beginner to Expert
Address: 20 City Boulevard West Orange, CA 92868

The Vans Skate Park in Orange just might be one of the best skateparks in the world.

It might not be the biggest, but it offers many cool features that you cannot find anywhere else.

This park is skated by legends and is home to the legendary Combi Pool you may have seen in videos. Aside from skating, kids can also get skate lessons and you can even have a birthday party at this park.

As a skater, I can’t think of a better place to have a birthday party! 

Good news! Skating the Vans Skatepark in Orange is now free. It used to cost $10 to skate, but even that is not bad considering all the world-class features and indoor facilities it offers. However, they do stop letting people in when it reaches maximum capacity, so I suggest visiting as soon as it opens and be prepared to show up extra early on weekends.

Knee pads, elbow pads, and a helmet are required for riders under 18, but adults over 18 are only required to wear a helmet. If you don’t have a helmet or pads, you can rent one upon checking in—you can even rent a skateboard to use if necessary!

The Vans Skate Park has a 20,000 square foot indoor street course with banks, ledges, manual pads, and more. There is also a warm-up course for beginners, which has beginner-friendly obstacles, especially good for learning.

As a transition skater, my absolute favorite feature aside from the combi bowl is the 80-foot mini ramp! You can grind and bust out tricks for days without worrying about running out of space. If you enjoy skating mini ramps, the Vans Skate Park Mini Ramp alone is worth the visit!

#9: Vans Off The Wall Skatepark, Huntington Beach

Difficulty Level: Beginner to Expert
Address: 7471 Center Avenue Huntington Beach, CA 

On the topic of Vans skateparks, Vans did it again with their latest California Skatepark—The Vans Off The Wall Skatepark in Huntington Beach. However, unlike the Vans Park in Orange, the Off The Wall Skatepark is a totally outdoor skatepark, but it’s still massive!

This skatepark has a huge Vans store where you can grab some apparel, shoes, boards, and more. Plus, it’s also free to skate!

This park has some serious flow, thanks to the directional street course with transitions and quarter pipes on almost all sides to gain speed. 

The design is also excellent for avoiding collisions, making it beginner-friendly as well. Street skaters will definitely enjoy practicing runs from start to finish. It features rollers, stairs, rails, gaps, kickers, and of course, awesome people! You might even spot some pros skating at this skatepark from time to time.

Aside from the street section, a Vans Skatepark would not be complete without a bowl or two. The Off The Wall Skatepark has three bowls!

Like the Vans park in Orange, it also has a combi bowl which is a reversed version of the one in Orange. 

Beyond the combi bowl, it features two beginner-friendly bowls with mellow transitions and roll-in sections that make them an excellent way for beginners to skate without dropping in.

Skaters are required to wear a helmet for safety and kids are required to wear elbow and knee pads. 

Keep in mind that the park is reserved for BMX riders on Wednesdays

Skate Safe and Have Fun!

California has a lot more amazing skateparks to mention than just what’s in this article. But, without going through them all, this list summarizes some of the very best that you must visit.

Make sure your board is ready for all the rad parks in Cali by getting geared up at Cruisin City!

If you want to explore some amazing skateparks outside of California, be sure to also check out these Transition Skateparks to Shred on Your Cruiser Skateboard!

Have fun skating and always skate safe! Peace!

Article written by GB Castillo

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