Things to Do in Los Angeles, California

Things to Do in Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles is a massive metropolitan city and it is easy to forget that there are ample wilderness and natural beauty in the area. Whatever your interests, LA is certain to have something just for you, whether it's hiking, biking, learning, watching movies or enjoying art.

The Angeles National Forest

Whatever your favorite outdoor activity, you can be almost certain you can do it in the Angeles National Forest. Guided tours will bring you through the forested mountains and desert valleys of this massive park. Rivers and lakes are suitable for fishing, swimming and canoeing. Trails are everywhere and suitable for horse riders, hikers and bicyclists alike. In the winter, parts of the park provide opportunity for skiing and other snow activities. The Angeles National Forest is one of those magical locations that seem to put you hundreds of miles away from the nearest city, although in reality, Los Angeles remains a short distance away.

Angeles National Forest
Supervisor's Office
701 N. Santa Anita Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91006
(626) 574-5200
www.fs.fed.us/r5/angeles/

The La Brea Tar Pits

If you have ever wondered what it might be like to be a mammoth caught in a tar pit, the exhibits at the Page Museum in the La Brea Tar Pits can help answer your question. This fascinating museum picks up right were the bubbling pits of black tar outside leave off. There are recovered fossils of thousands of creatures inside, along with interesting exhibits, a stunning botanical atrium and life-sized replicas of the prehistoric animals that resided the Los Angeles area long before man. You may come here to entertain your kids, but you'll be amazed at what you learn yourself.

Page Museum:
5801 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 857-6311
www.tarpits.org

Santa Monica Mountains

If you like to blend a little Hollywood history in with your hiking or cycling, the Santa Monica Mountains are a perfect match for you. This beautiful recreation area offers an array of activities and natural scenery--between forests and rocky ocean coastlines. What makes the park unique though, is its historical use as a filming area for movies and television shows.
The area started to be used for western movies all the way back in the '20s. At one point, William Randolph Hearst purchased part of the land and built a permanent old-west-styled town using some of the sets from the films. This "ranch" is still around today and was used as recently as the '90s for the TV show "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman."

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
401 West Hillcrest Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
(805) 370-2301
www.nps.gov/samo/

LA Beach Bike Path

Southern California is blessed to have some of the most pristine beaches in the world, paired with year-round sun. There are few better ways to enjoy the waves than a bike ride along the water. Start at Marina Del Ray and go to Manhattan Beach and you will enjoy the best Los Angeles beach biking experience.

L.A. Beach Bike Path
62nd At Pacific Ave. To The Strand At Manhattan Beach Blvd.
www.labikepaths.com/SoBay.html

Art Museums

L.A. is a city well known for its art and culture. Two of the best museums in the area are the LACMA and the Getty.
In the same park as the tar pits lies the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA. This massive art museum has multiple buildings filled with exhibitions and galleries. The exhibits are constantly changing, so check the website to see if you are interested in any of the touring artwork being presented.
The Getty Museum is one of the top museums in California. Admission to the Getty is always free, so don't hesitate to stop by and explore, even if it's only for an hour or so.

LACMA
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90036
(323) 857-6000
www.lacma.org/

The Getty Museum
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 440-7300
www.getty.edu/

Article Written By Jill Harness

Jill Harness has written on a variety of subjects for more than 10 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including "San Diego City Beat," "Mental Floss," Rue The Day! and Neatorama. Harness has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from San Francisco State University.

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