One of the great things about the city of Los Angeles is that you have tons of options for adventure, relaxation, and exploration. The best part? They are all within driving distance. If you’re flying into Los Angeles, it’s pretty simple to find the perfect accommodations for you and your party. From the shore to the mountains, footpaths to highways, here are 7 amazing things to do outside that won’t disappoint in the City of Angels.
Angler Fishing Everywhere
Find a local pier and throw a line in the water. Fishing remains one of the most popular outdoor activities in L.A. (and across the entire West Coast) for residents and visitors alike. You’ll find a surprising cross-section of sunny communities by the sea, great local eateries, and the simple, relaxed life of a day at the beach.
Dana Point, Avalon, Santa Monica, and Redondo Beach are all open 24-hours.
Pro-Tip: Check out the local calendars for more free activities for adults and children.
Take a small boat or paddle board out for a leisurely afternoon and explore the inlets and beaches of Balboa Island off Newport Beach. The Island, which is actually made up of three man-made islands, boasts some of the most expensive real estate in the country. So be prepared to ogle some impressive beachside manors.
Don’t forget to try a chocolate-covered frozen banana–the dessert was invented here!
Pro-Tip: Hop on the ferry and walk the shops instead of driving across the bridge. Parking can be a challenge if you drive all the way.
The Marvin Braude Bike Trail
If you’re a bike enthusiast looking for outdoor adventures in L.A., the Marvin Braude Trail is a must-do. Twenty-two miles of paved surface winds its way along the coast with postcard-perfect beach scenes.
The trail is also known as the Strand and goes through Venice and Santa Monica. Check out the quieter beaches like Redondo, Manhattan, or Hermosa, too. You’ll get a taste of the eclectic variety of southern L.A. towns and see the surfing and volleyball the area is known for.
Pro-Tip: Bring your own water for the bike, but food, drink, and public restrooms are plentiful along the entire trail.
Catalina Island is the perfect day-trip out of the city for you. Just an hour by boat off of the south coast, the waters around the island are a marine protected area designed to conserve the environment.
Snorkel the kelp forests and vibrant coral reefs through crystal-clear water. For the landlubbers, the town of Avalon offers shopping, beaches, hotels, camping, and a wealth of dining and entertainment options for you.
Pro-Tip: Plenty of vendors offer snorkeling rentals, so you can travel light to this L.A. activity.
Escape the stress of the city to Dockweiler Beach in Playa del Rey. It’s the only beach in all of L.A. County that allows bonfires, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing cookout at sunset.
The fact that it’s near LAX adds a little entertainment, with planes coming and going. As well, you’re sure to spot hang gliders riding the winds. Fire pits can be found all over, but arrive early to snag a spot.
Pro-Tip: Bring your own firewood!
Joshua Tree National Park
Drive out to Joshua Tree National Park for spectacular scenery in the Mojave Desert. The beautiful landscape offers hiking, bouldering, off-roading, and breathtaking vistas.
When night falls, the sky fills with an awe-inspiring canopy of stars. To enjoy a full night here, campgrounds and affordable lodging are available.
Pro-Tip: Check out more than the stars: Joshua Tree also holds a funky mix of artists, musicians, shops, and restaurants.
For a solid challenge in L.A., a hike up Mount San Antonio (known as Mount Baldy for its barren terrain) will reward you with dramatic views of the Channel Islands. At just over 10,000 feet, the peak is the tallest in LA County and is part of a ski resort.
With ice-climbing and skiing in the winter, and rock climbing and rappelling in the summer, the mountain is an all-year outdoor adventure in L.A. Hikers can enjoy a workout to the summit with an 11-mile loop up and down.
Pro-tip: If you’re pressed for time, you can take a ski-lift up the mountain and enjoy a 6.5 mile hike to the top and back
Sasha Garcia is the Performance Marketing Director at Oasis – A team of service-focused travel fanatics with a background in design, providing a new brand of hospitality. They’re dedicated to giving travelers an experience that’s off the beaten path, but doesn’t sacrifice service or comfort. By focusing on how to give people an authentic experience in a city or culture, Oasis is changing how people travel.