Designers of urban parks are faced with a task that can be difficult to solve: how to provide a quiet place for relaxation and reflection amid Orange County's asphalt jungle? Eisenhower Park in Orange is a stone's throw from the Costa Mesa Freeway and the busy shopping centers of Tustin Street, but manages to create a peaceful atmosphere that belies its location.
Sloping gently from the crest of a hill in the old neighborhood of Olive down to Lincoln Avenue, the park's 22 acres are carved into rolling hillocks that provide plenty of private places to lay down a blanket. There are no softball diamonds or soccer fields--Eisenhower Park is made for lazy Sunday picnics and leisurely strolls.
A man-made stream winds from the top of the park and tumbles down a waterfall into a large pond, where visitors can feed the ever-present ducks or--for those 15 or younger--do a little fishing. Nearby, a small zoo provides a home to a few deer and a menagerie of barnyard animals: goats, rabbits, chickens, turkey and geese. Two large playground areas, located on the eastern and northern edges of the park, offer slides, swings, tunnels, monkey bars and a play fort.
Eisenhower Park, named for the former president and opened in 1974, is shaded with trees throughout and has picnic tables with barbecues.
Location: Tustin Street and Lincoln Avenue, Orange.
Information: (714) 532-0383
Parking: Free parking lots are located off Ocean View and Bixby avenues.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Mass transit: OCTD routes 42, 42A. Call (714) 636-7433 for information.