Top 10 outdoor activities in Los Angeles

by Alice

Los Angeles, the City of Angels, is known for its year-round sunny weather, diverse landscapes, and vibrant culture. From the picturesque beaches to the scenic mountains and bustling urban parks, Los Angeles offers an array of outdoor activities for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. In this article, we explore the top 10 outdoor activities in Los Angeles that provide the perfect blend of excitement, relaxation, and natural beauty.

1. Hiking in Griffith Park

Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America, is a haven for hikers and nature lovers. Spanning over 4,310 acres, Griffith Park offers a variety of trails that cater to all skill levels, from easy walks to challenging hikes. The park’s most famous trail leads to the Griffith Observatory, offering panoramic views of Los Angeles, the Hollywood Sign, and the Pacific Ocean. Other popular trails include the Mount Hollywood Trail and the Bronson Canyon Trail, which passes through the iconic Bronson Caves.


The abundance of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, and a variety of bird species, adds to the park’s charm. Griffith Park also features the Los Angeles Zoo, the Autry Museum of the American West, and the Greek Theatre, making it a multifaceted destination for outdoor enthusiasts.


2. Biking Along the Los Angeles River

The Los Angeles River Bike Path is a scenic and leisurely way to explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods and natural landscapes. Stretching for 32 miles, the bike path runs along the Los Angeles River, from Canoga Park in the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach. The path is well-maintained and suitable for cyclists of all levels, offering a smooth ride with plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the surroundings.


Cyclists can enjoy views of lush greenery, unique art installations, and historic bridges. The revitalization of the Los Angeles River has transformed it into a vibrant recreational space, with parks, picnic areas, and community events held along the riverbanks. Biking along the Los Angeles River is not only a great workout but also an immersive way to experience the city’s evolving landscape.

3. Surfing at Venice Beach

Venice Beach is a quintessential Los Angeles destination, famous for its eclectic boardwalk, vibrant street performers, and, of course, its waves. Surfing at Venice Beach is a must for both beginners and experienced surfers. The beach’s consistent waves and relatively gentle breaks make it an ideal spot for novice surfers to learn and practice. For more advanced surfers, the Venice Breakwater offers a more challenging ride.

Venice Beach is also home to numerous surf schools and rental shops, making it easy for visitors to gear up and hit the waves. After a morning of surfing, visitors can explore the Venice Boardwalk, Muscle Beach, and the Venice Canals, which were designed to mimic the canals of Venice, Italy. The lively atmosphere and stunning ocean views make Venice Beach a prime location for a quintessential Los Angeles surfing experience.

4. Exploring Runyon Canyon

Runyon Canyon Park is a popular hiking destination located in the heart of Los Angeles. Covering 160 acres, the park offers several trails with varying degrees of difficulty, providing hikers with breathtaking views of downtown Los Angeles, the Hollywood Hills, and the Pacific Ocean. The Runyon Canyon Loop, a 3-mile trail, is particularly popular for its panoramic vistas and the chance to spot celebrities who frequent the park.

Runyon Canyon is also known for its off-leash dog policy, making it a favorite spot for dog owners. The park’s open spaces and well-maintained trails ensure a pleasant hiking experience for both humans and their furry friends. With its central location and stunning scenery, Runyon Canyon is a top choice for outdoor enthusiasts looking to enjoy Los Angeles’ natural beauty without venturing too far from the city center.

5. Kayaking in Marina del Rey

Marina del Rey, one of the largest man-made marinas in the world, offers a serene setting for kayaking. Paddling through the calm waters of the marina provides a unique perspective of Los Angeles’ coastal beauty. Kayakers can navigate through the marina’s channels, enjoying views of luxurious yachts, charming waterfront homes, and local wildlife such as sea lions and pelicans.

Several rental companies in Marina del Rey offer kayaks and guided tours, making it accessible for both beginners and experienced paddlers. For those seeking a more adventurous outing, nearby Marina Beach, also known as Mother’s Beach, provides a launch point for exploring the open waters of Santa Monica Bay. Kayaking in Marina del Rey is a peaceful and picturesque way to experience the aquatic side of Los Angeles.

6. Rock Climbing at Stoney Point Park

Stoney Point Park, located in the Chatsworth neighborhood of Los Angeles, is a historic and popular rock climbing destination. The park features large sandstone boulders and rock formations, offering a variety of climbing routes suitable for all skill levels. Stoney Point is particularly known for its bouldering opportunities, where climbers tackle shorter, more challenging routes without ropes.

In addition to rock climbing, Stoney Point Park offers hiking trails and equestrian paths, providing a diverse outdoor experience. The park’s unique geological features and panoramic views of the San Fernando Valley make it a scenic and exciting spot for climbers and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned climber or a novice looking to try bouldering for the first time, Stoney Point Park is a must-visit destination in Los Angeles.

7. Horseback Riding in Topanga State Park

Topanga State Park, located in the Santa Monica Mountains, is the largest state park within a major city in the United States. Covering over 11,000 acres, the park features 36 miles of trails, making it an excellent destination for horseback riding. The park’s diverse terrain includes coastal sage scrub, oak woodlands, and grasslands, offering riders a variety of scenic landscapes to explore.

Horseback riding in Topanga State Park provides an opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Los Angeles from a unique perspective. Several equestrian centers in and around the park offer guided trail rides, lessons, and horse rentals, catering to riders of all experience levels. The park’s proximity to the city, combined with its expansive wilderness, makes it a perfect getaway for those seeking a peaceful and immersive outdoor experience.

See Also: Top 10 Museums in Berlin

8. Beach Volleyball at Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica Beach is an iconic Los Angeles destination known for its wide sandy shores, vibrant pier, and stunning ocean views. The beach’s numerous volleyball courts make it a popular spot for beach volleyball enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a casual visitor looking to join a pick-up game, Santa Monica Beach offers a lively and welcoming environment for all skill levels.

The beach volleyball courts are free to use and often host local tournaments and recreational leagues, providing plenty of opportunities to participate in or watch competitive matches. After a game of volleyball, visitors can explore the Santa Monica Pier, which features an amusement park, an aquarium, and numerous dining and shopping options. The combination of athletic activity and beachside relaxation makes Santa Monica Beach a top choice for outdoor fun in Los Angeles.

9. Paragliding at Dockweiler State Beach

For those seeking an adrenaline-pumping adventure, paragliding at Dockweiler State Beach is an unforgettable experience. Located near Los Angeles International Airport, Dockweiler State Beach offers ideal conditions for paragliding, including consistent winds and an open beach area for takeoff and landing. The thrill of soaring above the Pacific Ocean and the stunning coastline views make paragliding at Dockweiler a unique and exhilarating outdoor activity.

Several paragliding schools operate at Dockweiler State Beach, offering lessons and tandem flights for beginners and advanced flyers alike. The experienced instructors ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, allowing participants to fully appreciate the beauty of Los Angeles from the sky. Paragliding at Dockweiler State Beach is a must-try activity for thrill-seekers and those looking to experience the city from a new perspective.

10. Whale Watching in the Pacific Ocean

Los Angeles’ coastal location provides excellent opportunities for whale watching, particularly during the migration seasons of gray whales, blue whales, and humpback whales. Several whale-watching tours operate out of Marina del Rey, Long Beach, and other nearby ports, offering guided excursions into the Pacific Ocean. These tours provide a chance to see these magnificent creatures up close, along with dolphins, sea lions, and various seabirds.

Whale watching is a seasonal activity, with gray whale migrations occurring from December to April and blue whale sightings more common from June to October. The knowledgeable guides on these tours offer insights into the marine life and ecosystems of the Pacific, enhancing the overall experience. Whale watching in Los Angeles is a captivating way to connect with nature and witness the majestic marine life that inhabits the nearby waters.


Los Angeles is a city that thrives on outdoor activities, thanks to its favorable climate and diverse landscapes. From hiking and biking to surfing and paragliding, the array of options ensures that there is something for everyone to enjoy. Exploring the natural beauty and recreational opportunities of Los Angeles not only provides a break from urban life but also highlights the city’s unique charm and dynamic spirit.

Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, these top 10 outdoor activities in Los Angeles offer a chance to experience the best of what the city has to offer. So pack your gear, embrace the sunshine, and embark on an adventure that showcases the remarkable outdoor diversity of Los Angeles.



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