With San Francisco summer basically here (Karl!), we’re heading south to Los Angeles for sun and warm weather. Instead of sitting in traffic on the 405 or the 101, we’re heading outdoors to check out some of the more peaceful scenes that the City of Angels has to offer. And we’ll definitely catch a sunset or two.
Down in the South Bay of Los Angeles is Manhattan Beach Pier, a great spot for surfers of all levels. With an exposed beach break and more than 300 days of sun a year, it doesn’t matter what season it is; you’re going to catch some waves. Swells head in to shore from the southwest, creating mellow waves that are perfect for riding at sunset. Learn more.
Insider Tip: After a few hours surfing, grab a bite to eat at local favorite Fishing with Dynamite.
South of Redondo Beach is Bluff Cove, a great spot for surfing, paddle boarding, body boarding, or just hiking and taking in the views of the Pacific. Park along the Paseo del Mar and walk to the end of the street to find the trailhead out onto the bluffs. Follow the path down to the shore if you want to get closer to the water for a picnic. Learn more.
Insider Tip: Walk along the trailhead until you reach Flat Point Rock, an incredibly scenic spot to take in the sunset.
Here’s one for all the runners out there. In the Hollywood neighborhood on the east end of the Santa Monica Mountains, hikers and runners can delight in the miles of trails and 130 acres of open space that Runyon Canyon has to offer. You can do trails as short as a mile and go many miles more from there, since the park connects all the way to nearby Trebek Open Space. This is great as an early morning workout or a sunset date; either way, you’re getting some of the best views over Los Angeles. Learn more.
Insider Tip: Runyon Canyon is technically a dog park, so feel free to let your four-legged running buddy off leash.
A few miles east of Los Angeles is a hidden gem called Ascott Hills Park, a great spot for a hike, run, or just to take some photographs of the city. The gates to the park close at sunset, so if you plan on sticking around longer make sure to park on the road outside them. And sticking around is definitely worth it — after a few moderate switchbacks up to the top, you’ll have sunset views over the city and you can watch the lights start to twinkle on. Learn more.
Insider Tip: Hungry? Head to the nearby town of Alhambra to grab some incredibly tasty Chinese food before you head back into the city.
As you can probably tell, this one’s for the truly adventurous. For hiking and climbing, Saddle Peak is hard to beat. Look for the trailhead at the intersection of Stunt Road and Schueren Road and head up along the dirt trail. To hike to the summit, take the left path when the trail forks; for sport and top rope climbing, head to the right. You’ll find great climbing for lots of skill levels, from 5.5 to 5.10d. Learn more.
Insider Tip: Bring lots of sunscreen (there’s not much shade out there) and keep an eye out for rattlesnakes.