Things to Do in LA

Things to Do in LA
Los Angeles is filled with a variety of activities for the outdoor enthusiast. While the area is best known for its metropolitan attractions, visitors are often pleasantly surprised by the array of unspoiled nature preserves. While you're in town, though, don't miss the opportunity to explore a bit of the movie-making history that has put the city on the map.

Santa Monica Mountains

The Santa Monica Mountains bring together the natural beauty of the region with movie-making history. You can enjoy hiking or biking through the many beautiful trails in the chaparral region of this park, and if you like rock climbing, you can scale the many oceanside cliffs. For an introduction to the areas you are exploring, take advantage of the parks' guided tours.
While you are in the park, take the time to stop by the Paramount Ranch, a Western-themed movie set. Long ago, the area was actually owned by Paramount, since the natural beauty made it perfect for filming westerns. Though the ranch is now owned by the National Park Service, this "Western town" is still used as a set for movies and television series.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
401 West Hillcrest Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
(805) 370-2301

Angeles National Forest

The Angeles National Forest offers all types of outdoor activities to its visitors. If you are visiting in the summer, take advantage of the natural waterways in the park and go swimming, canoeing, fishing and sailing. In the winter, try cross-country skiing or sledding in the light, powdery snow. Throughout the year you can camp, cycle, hike or rock climb while enjoying the biological diversity of the area.

Angeles National Forest
Supervisor's Office
701 N. Santa Anita Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91006
(626) 574-5200

Bike the Beach

Los Angeles has some of the finest beaches around, and there is no better way to explore these beaches than with a relaxing ride along the coast. When planning your route, consider taking the beach trail starting from Marina Del Rey and heading south to Manhattan Beach. This strip of coastline is beautiful and exceptionally cycle-friendly.
If you didn't happen to bring your bike with you, don't worry: Daniel's Bicycle Rentals in Marina Del Ray has affordable rates on a variety of cycle models.

L.A. Beach Bike Path
62nd at Pacific Avenue to the Strand at Manhattan Beach Boulevard

Daniel's Bicycle Rentals & Sales
13737 Fiji Way
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 980-4045

Universal Studios

Southern California is most famous for its theme parks and its role in the movie industry. Universal Studios is always a pleasing stop for vacationers, because it manages to seamlessly blend these two attractions together. The stage shows here have all the magical elements created by the best Hollywood special effects. The classic studio tour actually traverses a real studio while mixing elements of your favorite Hollywood films in along the way. The movie-themed rides promise all the thrills and chills you have come to expect from a world-class amusement park.

Universal Studios
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, California 91608-1085
(818) 622-3801‎

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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