Explore: Outdoor Activities in LA

Cedric Thomas

When you need a break from city life, close the computer and try some of the incredible outdoor activities in and near LA. With perfect weather year-round, Los Angeles and its surrounding areas offer a spectacular landscape, ranging from beaches, forests, mountains, and canyons just waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a leisure lover or adrenaline junkie, you’ll find excitement from the endless outdoor activities in LA. 

Outdoor Activities 

Enjoy a Beach Day

Malibu Hikes

Let’s start with a favorite place of all Angelenos: the glorious Pacific coast beaches. Spending a day on the sand is the best way to unwind when you need to recharge your batteries. Bring a book, ride your bike, or if you’re looking for a little more adventure, try surfing!

According to TimeOut, some popular picturesque beaches are El Matador, Zuma, Surfrider, Venice, Santa Monica, and Rosie’s Dog Beach. For legendary surf, head to El Porto, which is fun for all experience levels.

Catalina Island

Explore Catalina Island

Just southwest of LA is a dreamy paradise that makes Culture Trip’s list of the best islands to visit off the coast of California. Catalina Island, which can be reached via a one-hour ferry has everything you need to feel like you are on a tropical vacation.

According to Matador Network, Catalina is home to the most diverse animal species of any Channel Island. Snorkeling, paddleboarding, ziplining, scuba diving, kayaking, and helicopter tours are all on the menu for visitors. If you’re up for a hike, try the short Garden to Sky Trail trek for spectacular views of the island.

Take a Hike

Hiking in LA is a beloved form of exercise for its residents. According to Condé Nast Traveler, some of the best trail hikes are at Runyon Canyon, Cooper Canyon Falls, TreePeople, and Griffith Park. If you are up for a challenge, drive to the bottom of Mount Baldy before hiking to the summit. The highest point in LA at 10,064 feet, Mount Baldy rewards hikers with views from the Pacific to the Mojave.

Venice Beach Canal

Stroll the Canals in Venice

You don’t need to fly to Italy to enjoy an Aperol Spritz next to a canal. You can take a quick car or bus ride to Venice, California. The buzzy historic area is equipped with scenic man-made canals built by Abbot Kinney at the turn of the century.

Today, the area is filled with beautiful homes in a mixture of architectural styles, parks, a butterfly garden, and nearby indie shops on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. TripSavvy suggests taking a self-guided tour of the six waterways to enjoy the free-spirited charm of this unique area.

Go for a Bike Ride

LA's mild weather and flat terrain make it an ideal place for cycling. There are plenty of bike paths and trails to explore, from the scenic Marvin Braude Bike Trail along the coast to the more challenging mountain trails in the Santa Monica Mountains.

If you don't have your own bike, you can rent one from a local bike shop or use one of the many bike-sharing programs available in the city. Just be sure to wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road.

Take a Trip to Joshua Tree National Park

Located about two hours east of LA, Joshua Tree National Park is a desert wonderland that's perfect for hiking, rock climbing, and stargazing. The park is home to unique geological formations, including the eponymous Joshua trees, as well as diverse plant and animal life.

Some of the park's most popular trails include the 49 Palms Oasis Trail, the Lost Palms Oasis Trail, and the Ryan Mountain Trail. If you're feeling adventurous, you can also try your hand at rock climbing on the park's granite boulders.

Enjoy a Day at the Beach

LA is famous for its beautiful beaches, and spending a day on the sand is the perfect way to relax and unwind. Whether you're looking to catch some waves or simply soak up the sun, LA's beaches offer something for everyone. Some of the most popular beaches in LA include El Matador, Zuma, Surfrider, Venice, Santa Monica, and Rosie's Dog Beach. For surfing, head to El Porto, which is ideal for surfers of all experience levels.

Explore Catalina Island

Located just southwest of LA, Catalina Island is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to escape the city's hustle and bustle. A one-hour ferry ride from LA takes you to this dreamy paradise, which feels like a tropical vacation destination. 

According to Matador Network, Catalina Island is home to the most diverse animal species of any Channel Island. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities, including snorkeling, paddleboarding, ziplining, scuba diving, kayaking, and helicopter tours. If you're up for a hike, try the short Garden to Sky Trail trek for breathtaking views of the island.

Conclusion: The activity options are endless

Whenever city life becomes too much and you need a mental break, these exciting outdoor activities in LA are your ticket to de-stress. Whether you want to relax at the beach, go for a hike on one of the many exciting trails, escape to Catalina Island, scout for a place in the area or stroll through the beautiful canals in Venice, there is something for everyone. Of course, sometimes the best places are the hidden gems you discover entirely by accident! 

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