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Things to do in Los Angeles

Fringed by long stretches of beach and divided by the Santa Monica Mountains, Los Angeles offers a wide range of outdoor activities, from hiking mountain trails and in-line skating along beachside pathways to swimming and surfing the ocean.

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South Bay Bike Trail, Los Angeles

South Bay Bike Trail, Los Angeles – Image courtesy of telegraph.co.uk


What to do in Los Angeles

In addition to catching a pro basketball, soccer, hockey or baseball game, Los Angeles offers a choice of activities for adventurous newlyweds, including…


Surfing

Choose from one of several top surf beaches, once popularised by the Beach Boys. Try Zuma, Surfrider, Topanga, Dockweiler or Redondo beaches for cool waves and friendly locals.

Rental boards, wet suits (in winter) and lessons are available almost everywhere along the coast.


Skating

Pick out a set of in-line rental skates and explore the coastline along the 35km-long South Beach Trail that stretches from Pacific Palisades to Torrance at Redondo Beach.

Note that cyclists share the trail and have the right of way. Try Spokes 'N Stuff at Marina del Rey, just one of many rental shops along Ocean Front Walk. Kneepads and wrist guards come with every rental.


Cycling

Rent a 10-speed bike and cruise one of the longest beach paths in the world. The 35km (22 mile) South Bay bike trail stretches along LA's Pacific beaches from Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades in the north through Santa Monica and Venice to Marina del Rey in the south.

The middle section from Santa Monica Beach to Venice Beach boasts a carnivalesque venue of rollerbladers, joggers and the occasional eccentric.

Kiosks along the route (especially in Santa Monica and Venice) rent bicycles and skates by the hour or the day.


Mountain biking

Head to the trails of Malibu Creek State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains between Malibu and the San Fernando Valley at Calabasas, for the best mountain biking in L.A. Choose from 24km of trails that wind up to a height of 900m.

Pick up a trail map at the park entrance, just north of Mulholland Highway. Several shops, including Spokes 'N Stuff, Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals and Hollywood Pro Bicycles, offer rentals at different locations.

Typically, every rental comes with a free tour map, a safety helmet, a bike lock and a handlebar bag for storage.


Hiking

Explore on foot the Santa Monica Mountains, a small range that stretches 80km from Griffith Park to Point Mugu, north of Malibu.

The mountains form part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a contiguous area of 350 public parks that covers 26,000ha and ranges up to 950m high.

Along the way look out for wildlife such as coyote, deer, fox, rabbit, skunk, rattlesnake and quail. Overhead you’ll probably notice hawks scouting for their next meal or just enjoying the thermals.

Just beware of poison oak, a shrub that's usually found among oak trees and produces an itch you'll never forget!

Some of the best hikes include Temescal Canyon and Santa Ynez Canyon in Pacific Palisades with stunning views over the Pacific, and Will Rogers State Historic Park, also in Pacific Palisades, with good views over L.A.'s Westside from the plateau at Inspiration Point.


Horseback riding

Several equestrian centres offer horseback riding excursions through L.A. parks and canyons.

Check out the Los Angeles Equestrian Centre at Griffith Park or Sunset Ranch at Beachwood Drive (located just beneath the huge ‘Hollywood’ sign) for guided hourly rides along an 83km-long network of trails that meanders through the hills of Griffith Park.

Head also to the Los Angeles Horseback Riding Centre for horseback rides along the 548m-high ridgeline of Topanga Canyon, with views overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Riding lessons are available and no previous experience is necessary.


Hang gliding

For a serious adrenaline rush, take a tandem flight or 1-day lesson, or rent a kite and jump off any one of several hills overlooking the ocean. Choose from several reputable operators including those at Dockweiler State Beach.


Golfing

Choose from numerous 9- and 18-hole courses in greater L.A.

Try the par-71 Rancho Park Golf Course on West Pico Boulevard, known for its tall trees and the 9-hole Roosevelt on Vermont Avenue with early morning wildlife such as deer, rabbits and raccoons.

Or tee-off from the bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Trump National Golf Club, an exclusive par-71 course located at 1 Ocean Trails Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes, with ocean views from all 18 holes.


Sailing

Charter a sailboat for a couple of hours or a week from Marina del Rey, one of the largest marinas in the world.


Sea kayaking

A great way to discover the beaches and rocky headlands around Santa Monica Bay. Several operators offer rentals and guided excursions along the coast.


Game fishing

Hook up a charter from Marina del Rey for half- or full-day fishing trips for bass, barracuda, halibut or yellowtail tuna, depending on the season. Or cast a line from one of the piers – many locals seem to prefer Redondo Beach Pier.


Segway

Try one of these weird-looking upright electronic scooters for a zip along the Santa Monica seafront to Venice Beach. A lesson is included in the 2-hour hire.


Latest update Los Angeles honeymoon destination: 7 February, 2017


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