Travel

Los Angeles Activities

Establishment neighborhood
Zuma Canyon
Bonsall Dr., Malibu
At Zuma, you have several (equally great) trail options, depending on what you’re looking to get out of your hike. If you want a good, efficient workout, you can take the Ocean View Trail, which is an aptly-named three-mile loop boasting ocean views at the top. If you’ve got plenty of time and want to enjoy the scenery, consider the Zuma Ridge Trail, which is considerably longer workout at about six miles and also has an ocean view payoff. There's a section of the Backbone Trail that's considerably easier and shorter than the other two, but if you’re lucky—try going after winter rains—you’ll see water flowing through Upper Zuma Falls. All trails are dog-friendly, and there's plenty of parking.
One Gun Ranch
22634 Mansie Ln., Malibu
Tucked away in the hills of Malibu, One Gun, a dreamy ranch owned by Alice Bamford and Ann Eysenring is breathtakingly beautiful, sure, but it also serves as a kind of ground zero for sustainable agriculture. Every nook and cranny reveals another Instagram-ready moment: There’s a mountainside guesthouse with its own potbellied stove, a suped-up vintage Airstream, a dressage arena, as well as alpacas, sheep, goats, chickens, and a loving donkey named Waffles who strolls the grounds, willingly accompanying Alice and Ann on foraging hikes. While the property is no longer open to visitors, the pair hosts a series of school tours for children to learn about composting and gardening at home while exploring One Gun’s own garden where they grow corn, beans, squash, and even pumpkins. For a closer look, it’s worth picking up a copy of One Gun Ranch, Malibu: Biodynamic Recipes for Vibrant Living for tips on healthy living, easy-to-follow recipes, and a closer look at environmental stewardship on the ranch.
Sandstone Peak
12896 Yerba Buena Rd., Malibu
COVID-19 update: Open for socially distant hiking although restrooms may be closed. Anyone who's done a lot of hiking in the LA area will tell you that Sandstone Peak is one of, if not the, most beautiful hikes within driving distance of the city. It's a bit of a schlep to get there, as it's on the very edge of Malibu—the turnoff is the just after Neptune's Net, and you'll drive 15 minutes up Yerba Buena Road until you get to the trailhead—but more than worth it. The hike itself is about six miles round-trip, and the entire way is filled with sweeping views of Westlake Lake and Sherwood Lake on one side and the ocean on the other, plus a section where you can see rock climbers scrambling up the Echo Cliffs. This is a really good place to come the day after a rainstorm, when the smog clears and you can see the snow on the peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains across the valley. COVID-19 disclaimer: We are working hard to keep our listings as up to date as possible (deliveries, outdoor dining, etc.), but given the evolving…
The Arboretum
301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia
The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens—The Arboretum for short—is one of those magical LA gems that feels worlds away from the craziness of the city, but takes under an hour to get to (unless you get caught in a freak traffic jam, so planning off-hours trips is best). Before you even step inside to explore the 127 acres-worth of lush, immaculately manicured grounds, you're likely to be greeted by a member of the resident peacock family, who much to the delight of visitors young and old, roam the property freely. It may seem like a lot of ground to cover at first, but the main sites—a tropical greenhouse, the famed rose garden (the fragrant, romantic Edward Huntsmen Trout-designed landscape makes for the perfect wedding ceremony site), herb garden, the allegedly haunted Queen Anne Cottage, and '50s-era library—are situated within strolling distance of each other. There's also a duck-filled lake, a packed events calendar, and several cafes on-site, meaning you can easily stay opening to closing.
The Theatre at the Ace Hotel
The Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, Downtown
Perhaps one of the most significant things to come from the Ace Hotel's renovation of the United Artists building was the restoration of the original United Artists Theatre. Built in the 1920s and extravagantly decorated with Gothic design flourishes (including thousands of tiny mirrors in the ceiling), the three-story space is one of the city's most important architectural gems. Under the art direction of the Ace, it's also become a hotspot for some of coolest cultural activities in LA; check the calendar for everything from a talk with the lawyers from Making a Murderer to indie music concerts.
Serenity Bird Sanctuary (Closed)
11301 Wilshire Blvd., Brentwood
Located in the back of the Veteran’s Garden, a 20-acre oasis that’s dedicated to rehabilitating vets with PTSD, you’ll find a sanctuary, where injured, abused, and abandoned cockatoos, parakeets, macaws, and parrots can find relief. They’re tended and nursed back to health by veterans, who apparently find a certain satisfaction in helping something so frail get back in the air. It’s open to the public, and the birds love visitors.
Surf Lessons
[email protected]
COVID-19 update: Email to arrange a one-on-one class. Surfrider, Sunset Beach, and Point Dume are probably the most talked-about swells along the Malibu coastline. Fortunately, LA is packed with surf instructors. Friends swear by Chris “Crash” Carson ([email protected]), who will swim out with you and push you in, making it an all-around fun and successful endeavor. COVID-19 disclaimer: We are working hard to keep our listings as up to date as possible (deliveries, outdoor dining, etc.), but given the evolving nature of local COVID-19 restrictions, we recommend double-checking the information in this guide with any business you plan on visiting. Also, please note that we have not vetted any businesses listed within our guides for their compliance with applicable safety regulations.
Inspiration Point Hike
1501 Will Rogers State Park Rd., Pacific Palisades
COVID-19 update: Open for socially distant hiking but be aware that restrooms may be closed. If you’ve got little ones in tow or only an hour or so to stretch your legs, this hike is your ticket: It’s under two and a half miles, and it starts and ends in the stunning Will Rogers State Park (which is also perfect for a picnic). COVID-19 disclaimer: We are working hard to keep our listings as up to date as possible (deliveries, outdoor dining, etc.), but given the evolving nature of local COVID-19 restrictions, we recommend double-checking the information in this guide with any business you plan on visiting. Also, please note that we have not vetted any businesses listed within our guides for their compliance with applicable safety regulations.