There are few greater places than L.A. for enjoying the great outdoors – the city lives and breathes for its many and varied outdoor pursuits – whether on land or water.
And whichever sports you’re into, there’s sure to be something for you in L.A. – whether it’s picking up an activity you’re already familiar with, or getting to grips with one you’ve never tried before.
Get stuck in! Here’s our rundown of the best adventurous pursuits this West coast sunshine city has to offer.
Venice Beach is the number 1 go-to spot for surfing in L.A. (where you venture inexcusably to see and be seen), but more experienced surfers may prefer the less crowded Manhattan beach where you won’t be struggling for space and 12ft waves are the order of the day. Get in! If you’re new to surfing though, head to Zuma Beach – it’s a considerably more chilled out place to learn the ropes (and the water is crystal clear too). Zuma Surf and Swim do private and group lessons from $65 per person.
Hike to your heart’s content
There are over 70 miles of trails to explore in the Point Mugu State Park, but a good day-long hike to take is the La Jolla Canyon Loop which totals a challenging, but achievable, 11.75 miles. Begin at the canyon’s mouth and walk along the Ray Miller trail, before taking the Overlook Fire Road and crossing the mountain valley towards Mugu Peak for amazing views of the ocean.
For hikes you can enjoy in just a couple of hours, try Runyon Canyon where you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of that famous Hollywood sign. If you have a rental car, Vasquez Rocks, about an hour’s drive north from Downtown L.A., is well worth a visit for it’s ‘other worldly’ landscape (parts of Star Trek were filmed here). This park may span 905 acres, but there are plenty of well-signposted hikes you can take which are 3 – 4 miles long.
Ride, ride, ride!
Calling all petrol-heads! There are many motorbike hire places dotted around the city (like Eagle Rider on La Cienega Boulevard) where you can rent classic Harleys, Triumphs and Indian Roadmasters – oh, yes. Once you’ve scored the shop sufficiently and hired your ultimate model, hit the road! For a particularly scenic ride, begin at La Canada Flintridge and cruise the 27 miles to Newcomb’s Ranch at a leisurely Los Angeles pace – you’ll wind through the lush Angeles National Forest, which is pretty spectacular, especially in the sunshine. Just awesome.
White knuckle rafting
This one’s for real thrill seekers! Whether you’re a novice or pro, we dare you to take to the wickedly exciting waters of the Lower Kern river where you can experience 20 miles of class III – IV whitewater (new rafters, that’s pretty extreme!). And the best thing about whitewater rafting is that it’s an insanely fun group activity – so convince your family, friends of fellow travellers to get involved too! The best time of year to raft is mid-May to September, when you can take 1 or 2 day experiences with companies like Kern River Outfitters. Prices start from $60.
Go on horseback
Perhaps you’re a seasoned horse rider, or maybe you’re a complete beginner – whatever your level of experience with these beautiful creatures, it’s truly amazing to explore Los Angeles on horseback. Head to Los Angeles Horseback Riding, situated on the ridge of the Santa Monica mountains, to take some of the region’s most picturesque trail rides. This company run affordable rides for people of varying abilities, all ages, and for varied amounts of time (if you’re new to horse riding – an hour or two will be plenty!). Far from being wild or fast-paced, these trails are designed for riders looking to relax and go slow…how else would you admire the views?
So, what are you waiting for? Book your Los Angeles holiday today and get active!