Contrary to popular belief, Los Angeles isn’t scorching “hot” year round. During the winter months, the area can cool off quite a bit, limiting beach activities to strolling, jogging, and biking. Swimming is best left for the summer months when tourist season is in high gear, the beaches are packed, and watersports are aplenty. Summer also offers numerous opportunities for snorkeling and camping at places like Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu as well as scuba diving, swimming, windsurfing all along the coast, surfing, sailing, and whale watching (December through May/April).
And during every month of the year, locals and visitors alike can enjoy just about every outdoor activity you can think of such as hiking Griffith Park or the Santa Monica Mountains, biking The Strand -- the 22-mile Will Rogers State Beach to Torrance Beach paved bike path, and rock climbing at Stoney Point. Visitors will also find plenty of year round opportunities for rollerblading, camping, picnicking, and fishing, and as well as golfing at one of the two 18-hole courses at Griffith Park or the park’s 9-hole course or the 18-hole Rancho Park Golf Course, to name a few.
Other recreational activities such as horseback riding with the help of Escape on Horseback Dude Ranch and world-class skiing at Big Bear are also popular. So, fortunately there are just as many places to enjoy these recreational activities throughout L.A. and the surrounding areas, as there are activities! Read on to find out more about Los Angeles’s recreational activities and learn about a few less intense activities that are sure to help you recharge for the next leg of your of Los Angeles vacation.
Popular Los Angeles Beaches
There are more than 1,000 miles of California beaches along the coast, over 450 beaches in the state of California, and more than 118 beach cities in the state. This means that there are just too many beaches to list here. So sorry. What we can do is list a handful of the most popular beaches in and around Los Angeles. We can also provide the following link to a list of all California beaches. Enjoy!
Besides being two of the most scenic public beaches on the map the millions of visitors to Santa Monica and Venice Beach will find a variety of notable landmarks and famous boardwalks to explore. The Santa Monica Pier was built in 1906 and it is the city’s number one landmark. The 9 ½ -acre pier has starred in dozens of films and TV shows, and it has appeared in hundreds of magazines and music videos. The Santa Monica Pier has been featured in The Sting, Ruthless People, The Net, Cellular, and Fat Albert, as well as the popular TV show Baywatch. Santa Monica Beach was also voted “Best All Around Beach” by Fodor’s.
Venice Beach and adjacent Muscle Beach are as popular for odd sights as they are for sunning and swimming. People come here to stroll the famous Venice Beach Boardwalk where dozens of street vendors, and wacky performers set up shop each day to entertain the enormous crowds of tourists and locals alike. People watching is also a favorite pastime here (Venice Beach was named “Best for People-Watching by Fodor’s), so don’t be surprised if you see plenty of bikini-clad cuties rollerblading, biking, and strolling along the boardwalk or the path that connects the beaches.
Other notable beaches include Zuma Beach Park for fishing and diving, Malibu Lagoon State Beach for surfing and bird watching – more than 250 species of birds, and Hermosa Beach for boating, fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, and dining or listening to live jazz or rock music along the pier.
Los Angeles also has other recreational activities that don’t require much strength or energy – but rather a desire to relax and enjoy the scenery. Picnicking at Nicholas Canyon County Beach or “Zero Beach” is a favorite pastime here as well as exploring The Huntington Botanical Gardens, the 160-acre Descanso Gardens, and the 127-acre Los Angeles County Arboretum.
If you want more information about what’s to see and do in L.A. pick up a copy of the LA Weekly -- L.A.’s largest and most popular free weekly featuring information about art, attractions, recreation, entertainment, film, music, dining, and events in and around Los Angeles or pick up a copy of The Weekly Time Out.
Another great place to find out about everything L.A. is the entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times – L.A.’s only major metropolitan newspaper. Check out the Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal Blog for other ideas on attractions and things to do in and around L.A.
You can also find useful information about everything L.A. by visiting the following popular websites:
Excellent place to find out about events and tours around L.A. as well as information on dining, shopping, hotels, recreation, attractions, and nightlife.
Fodors.com or Frommers.com
Fodors.com and Frommers.com features summaries of places to shop, see, dine, dance, and sleep in and around L.A. If you want a quick list of the top spots in L.A., you’ll find it here!
Lonely Planet features background information and fast facts about L.A., as well as places to see, an image gallery, and travel tips.
Read reviews from people just like you that have been to the places you want to go. Expect to find raw reviews (and opinions) on just about everything from restaurants and nightlife to hotels, shopping, and attractions.