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Los Angeles Outdoors

Local Parks & Hikes

Griffith Park & Observatory
4,400 acres of parkland with Planetarium/Laserium. Open daily. The ranger and visitor center is at 4730 Crystal Spring Rd. The park contains the LA Zoo and lots of hiking trails. Great for picnicking. Also available are horseback riding, bicycle and skate rentals.  (Observatory Dr., Hollywood)

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
This 500,000 acre park contains mountain trails, bird life and nature walks. (805) 370-2301

Exposition Park
Just southwest of downtown LA. Includes the Natural History and the Aerospace Museums, the IMAX Theater, the Museum of Science and Industry, a 16,000 bush Rose Garden, the Afro-American Museum, the Coliseum (home of the ’32 and ’84 Olympics) and the Olympic Swimming Stadium.

Catalina Island

Catalina Island is only a ferry ride from LA yet has wildlife, including American Bison, bald eagles, the Catalina Fox and plenty of marine and sea life. Try scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, 4WD tours and glass bottom boats. The ferry leaves from Long Beach and costs from $33.25 each way. The visitors bureau is located on the island.

Beaches

Want to stay beachside? You will find hostels in Santa Monica, Venice, Hermosa and Huntington Beaches.

A stroll along the boardwalk in Venice Beach is a must. Here you will find street performers, locals pumping iron in outdoor gyms at Muscle Beach, outdoor basketball, beach volleyball and loads of vendors and shops that sell everything cheap. Great place to ride your bike, try your hand at rollerblading or just people watch.

Santa Monica offers great beaches, hiking, biking, boardwalks and the latest in shopping trends (go to Main St.). The Third Street Promenade is a pedestrian only 3 block shopping strip with restaurants, movie theaters and stalls. Visit the Santa Monica Pier at Colorado Blvd. and Ocean Ave. for clubs, restaurants and Pacific Park, an old, miniature amusement park on the pier.

Hermosa Beach is a happening surf suburb with a great nightlife and miles of sandy beaches with great surf, bike paths and volleyball courts.

Get away from the city to the surf town of Huntington Beach, only 20 minutes from Disneyland. Also known as “Surf City, USA”, HB is home to the Surf Museum and Surf Walk of Fame. You can surf, bodyboard, longboard, skateboard and rollerblade here or watch professional and amateur Extreme Sport events on/near the HB Pier.


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