Fun Things to Do in Los Angeles

Fun Things to Do in Los Angeles
Los Angeles isn't only known for Hollywood, smog or gangs. It is also home to some of the most beautiful parks, nature trails, gardens and beaches. Also, while the locals spend hours in their cars, you can take advantage of your visit and get your butt into gear by working your muscles and having fun as well in one of the most eclectic cities in the world.

Climb Every Mountain

Try walking or jogging up and down the twisted paths of Runyon Canyon, visit Griffith Park, or, if you want to venture farther away to the coast, hike the trails of Malibu Creek State Park. Check local weather reports to see what the visibility is like; if the smog is lower than usual and the marine layer isn't thick, you will be able to see a spectacular view of the city from up high.

Runyon Canyon Park
Franklin Avenue
Los Angeles, CA‎ 90028
(323) 666-5046‎

Griffith Park Observatory
2800 E. Observatory Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800
http://www.griffithobs.org

Malibu Creek State Park
Malibu Canyon Rd
Malibu, CA‎ 91302
(818) 880-0367

Bike around the city

While Los Angeles is more known for its aggressive car drivers, there are bike lanes all over the city and biking is a wonderful way to explore the place. You can also join a group of bicyclists called the Midnight Ridazz that plans group cycling events all over the city. Visit its website for a calendar of group bicycle rides.

Midnight Ridazz
http://www.midnightridazz.com/

Ride the Waves

Grab your board and hit one of Los Angeles' best surfing beaches or rent one from one of the many surf shops seen all around the coastal towns, especially near the boardwalks. Take the Pacific Coast Highway and go west until you reach Point Dume State Beach or Zuma Beach in Malibu. Or if you are in the South Bay area, west of the 405 Freeway, surf the waves off the coast of the city of Manhattan Beach. For a unique experience, try kite surfing or wind sailing at Leo Carrillo State Beach, located further west along the PCH toward Ventura County.

Zuma Beach
30000 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Malibu, CA 90265
(310) 457-9701‎

Point Dume State Beach
7103 Westward Beach Road
Malibu, CA‎ 90265
(818) 880-0350‎

Manhattan Beach Parks and Recreation Department
1400 Highland Ave.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 802-5400

Leo Carrillo State Beach
35000 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265‎
(818) 880-0350

Watch the Whales and Dolphins

The cities of Marina del Rey, located north of Los Angeles International Airport, and Redondo Beach, located further south, offer whale and dolphin excursions for a fee during the winter months.

Marina del Rey Sportfishing
13759 Fiji Way
Marina del Rey, CA‎ 90292
(310) 822-3625
http://marinadelreysportfishing.com/whalewatching

Redondo Sport Fishing
233 N. Harbor Drive
Redondo Beach, CA‎ 90277
(310) 372-2111‎
http://www.redondo.com/city/whales.html

Go Back to the 1970s and Go Roller Skating

Put on your short shorts and knee-high socks and hit the rinks, retro-style. Become a part of Los Angeles nostalgia and go roller skating. Try Moonlight Roller Way Skating Rink in Glendale, located in the eastern San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. Or go to World on Wheels, a roller skating rink in Culver City in west Los Angeles, which often hosts roller disco nights, complete with Motown and disco hits, '70s movies shown on television screens, colorful lights and a karaoke bar upstairs for when you need to unwind from all the roller action.

Moonlight Roller Way Skating Rink
5110 San Fernando Rd
Glendale, CA 91204
(818) 241-3630
http://www.moonlightrollerway.com

World on Wheels
4645 Venice Blvd
Los Angeles, CA‎ 90019
(323) 933-0365‎
http://www.wowsk8.com

Camp at the Beach

Sleeping under the stars near the ocean is a wonderful experience, especially when the weather is good, as it often is in Southern California. Leo Carrillo State Beach, located on the northwestern shore of Los Angeles County, near Malibu, allow campers to park trailers or set up tents on the beach for a fee. Dockweiler Beach, near Los Angeles International Airport, allows RVs to park there.

Dockweiler Beach RV Park
8255 Vista del Mar
Playa Del Rey, CA 90293
(800) 950-7275
http://beaches.co.la.ca.us/BandH/Beaches/DockweilerRVPark.htm

Go Skateboarding

If you're a fan of 1980s teen movies, you know that nothing says "Los Angeles" more than skateboarding. Venice Beach is a great place to bring your board and cruise down the boardwalk. Pause to see an eclectic mix of fellow skateboarding enthusiasts, street performers and tourists.

Venice Beach
1800 Ocean Front Walk
Venice, CA‎ 90291
(310) 399-2775‎
http://www.laparks.org/venice/venice.htm

Stop to Smell the Flowers

Visit a botanical garden such as the ones at the Los Angeles Zoo, the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden at the University of California, Los Angeles. Or take a trip to the Japanese Garden in Van Nuys, in the San Fernando Valley.

Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
5333 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA‎ 90027
(323) 644-4200‎
http://www.lazoo.org

Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden
777 S. Tiverton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90095
(310) 825-1260
http://www.botgard.ucla.edu

The Japanese Garden
6100 Woodley Ave
Van Nuys, CA 91406
(818) 756-8166
http://www.thejapanesegarden.com

Explore the Wildlife

Visit the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve in the San Fernando Valley and spot a variety of birds and ducks, as well as numerous species of trees and plants, right there in the middle of the city.

Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve
6350 Woodley Ave.
Van Nuys, CA 91406
(818) 756-9710
www.sepulvedabasinwildlife.org

Escape to Catalina

Take a ferry and visit Santa Catalina Island, one of the Channel islands, located more than 20 miles off the coast of Los Angeles. Take your loved one and rent a golf cart or bicycles and explore the almost 75-square-mile island, which makes a perfect romantic getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Make it a day trip or spend the night at one of its numerous hotels.

Catalina Express
http://www.catalinaexpress.com/

Article Written By C.J. Heller

C.J. Heller is a journalist from Los Angeles. She has more than eight years of experience writing and editing stories for "Reuters", "The Syracuse Post-Standard" and the English newspaper "Haaretz" in Israel. She holds a Masters degree in communications from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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