Outdoor Trails And Parks For The Perfect Run
Los Angeles is a runner's paradise. With an endless number of running routes and trails that cross the city, there is truly something for any level of runner. The city's climate, diverse topography, and ideal running conditions make it the perfect destination for runners. While L.A.'s geography is sprawling, there are trails, paths, and roads throughout the city and in the surrounding metro areas that are perfect for running. Here is our guide to some of the best running trails and routes around L.A.
Third Street Promenade
This high end pedestrian area is perfect for shoppers looking for everything from the quirky to the posh. There are boutique shops, fine dining restaurants, and plenty of entertainment options in the area. The district attracts locals and tourists alike and it is easily accessible from Downtown Los Angeles. There's also a 26 mile bike path that runs along the waterfront. The promenade is famous for its street performers and fascinating people-watching.
Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica State Beach
The beach of Santa Monica located around the pier and heading north is technically a state park area. Visitors and locals flock here for the gorgeous sand, fun waves, and sunshine. The beach itself is quite wide, with plenty of room for everyone. It's a family-friendly area and somewhat crowded in the warmer months. Naturally, the activities on the pier bring a crowd, too. While the beach is free, you might have to pay for parking. Along the beach and within the nearby blocks are bike paths (part of The Strand), shops, restaurants, and hotels.
Santa Monica, California, 90401
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
Kenneth Hahn is a beautiful and large nature reserve that is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy L.A.'s great weather. The park has hiking trails (more than 7 miles!), a pond, a lake where you can fish, and a volleyball court. You can wander through the Baldwin Hills and enjoy the stunning view of the surrounding area. This is also the perfect place to go on a long run or wander at a leisurely pace.
South Cloverdale Avenue, Culver City, LA, California, 90008
Griffith Park sits at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains and stretches for over 4,300 acres (1,740 ha). It's one of the largest urban parks in the country. While it's technically a city park, much of the land is fairly rugged and unkept. However, in this park visitors can find a variety of attractions and activities such as the LA Zoo, Griffith Observatory, the Autry Museum of the American West, the Bronson Caves, the Hollywood Sign, various train exhibits, golf, and more. Furthermore, hiking and horseback riding on the various trails are a popular activity where visitors and locals alike can get out into nature and enjoy the views overlooking the city below.
Mount Hollywood Drive, LA, California, 90068
The Original Muscle Beach
The "Original" Muscle Beach is a park just south of the Santa Monica Pier where, in the 1930's and 1940's, the exercise and fitness boom took off. Visitors here can find a variety of exercise and strength training equipment such as ropes, rings, and bars. Then, head to the beach to show off your muscular body. (Another spot in Venice Beach also has the name "Muscle Beach", but this one was first.)
Santa Monica, California, 90401
Located just west of the Hollywood Sign, this is one of the highest peaks in the area. With spectacular 360-degree panoramic views, it's a popular spot for hikers and those looking for a great view on a clear day.
Mount Lee Drive, LA, California, 90068
Lake Hollywood Park
Lake Hollywood Park has great views of the famed Hollywood Sign and the Hollywood Reservoir. The park is great for hiking, running, and biking along the 3.3 mile paved trail which is relatively flat. There is also a small playground that the kids can enjoy and a grass field that's perfect for dogs that want to run around (but leashes are required). Picnic tables and barbecue pits are available as well, so you're likely to see families gathering on weekends to enjoy some fun time together.
3160 Canyon Lake Dr, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, 90068
Dating back to 1886, this is the oldest park in Los Angeles. It is a large space spanning about 600 acres and offering nice views of the Valley, Downtown, and the Hollywood Hills. There's a popular space in the park for dog owners to entertain their pets with balls and games. There are also baseball fields and picnic areas as well as playgrounds for the kids. During the early morning you may hear some gunshots from the nearby Police Academy during practice at the firing range. It's no reason to be alarmed.
929 Academy Road, Echo Park, Los Angeles, CA, 90012
This is a 62 acre park that has plenty of space to enjoy a peaceful outdoor setting. There are sports fields, a fitness trail, and places to run or bike. There's also a playground with a pirate ship theme that the kids will love. The Rose Bowl Aquatics Center has pools and the Kidspace Children's Museum is perfect for kids who want to play and learn.
360 N Arroyo Blvd, Pasadena, CA, 91103
Runyon Canyon Park
Runyon Canyon Park is the perfect place to enjoy hiking in a stunning outdoor setting. There are beautiful views of the area including the Hollywood Sign. The park spans 160 acres and trails range in distance and difficulty from 1 to 3.5 miles. There is also the famous Rock Mandala in the park, which is a piece of public art that is made from large rocks. This is a popular spot with locals for exercising or meditating. The area is also dog-friendly with several off-leash areas available for your pets.
2000 N Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90046
Playa Del Rey & Dockweiler Beach
This stretch of beach south of Santa Monica is a California State Park. As such, you'll find a nice stretch of sand with public restrooms, picnic areas, walking and running trails, an RV park area, parking, and more. It's a family-friendly spot with a nice outdoor feel without a lot of development. In the northern area around the town of Playa Del Rey are some cafes and restaurants, too.
7313 S Marine Ave, Playa Del Rey, California, 90293
Echo Park Lake
This family-friendly park looks out on the Downtown Skyline. The park has beautiful fountains and the Lady of the Lake statue. Visitors can rent a paddle boat and float on the lake or simply take a walk along the footpath which explores the local plants of the area. You can also grab a casual bite to eat at Beacon Cafe.
751 Echo Park Ave, Echo Park, Los Angeles, CA, 90026
Alamitos Beach, Junipero Beach, and Long Beach City Beach
In the city of Long Beach, visitors can find a very nice stretch of sand and waves that are very popular in the warmer months. Plenty of activities can be found at and near these beaches including the art museum and the Aquarium of the Pacific, as well as a pier. Lifeguard stands, public bathrooms, bike and walking paths, and plenty of shops and restaurants are either right on the beach or within a few blocks. Public parking is also available.
Long Beach, California
Located right by the ocean, this park has a playground, fields, walking paths, and beautiful views of the Pacific. This park may not be as popular as Palisades Park, but that's part of the appeal. It's a quieter, more tranquil setting that is great for anyone who wants to escape the L.A. crowds.
1615 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA, 90401
This famous park in Santa Monica offers beautiful views and a lovely setting where you can enjoy a relaxing walk along palm-lined paths. This park is popular with tourists for its bluff-top trail that provides stunning views of the California coastline and the Santa Monica Mountains. You'll feel like you're wandering through a postcard.
Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA, 90401
If there's a beach that embodies that stereotypical L.A. beach, Venice Beach is it. With a wide beach and relaxing waves, along with a number of activities such as volleyball, tennis, bike riding, a kid's playground, a skateboard park, basketball courts, and more, this is a fantastic spot to enjoy both the beach and the overall atmosphere and vibe of people watching, cafes, high-end beach houses, and more. The Venice fishing pier is a nice spot for a view, or head inland a few blocks to see the canals, the marina, and shops and restaurants.
2300 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, California, 90291
Belmont Shore Beach
On the southeastern end of Long Beach, the Belmont Shore neighborhood is a family-friendly area. Here you'll find a nice beach with a nearby dog park, a public pool, public parking, bike and walking trails, public bathrooms, and more. In the Naples area where the inlet leads to the marina and the canals, visitors can also find docks for kayaks and paddle boarding, more beaches for swimming in the calm inlet waters, as well as a public playground and more bathroom facilities.
5411 E Ocean Blvd, Belmont Shores & Naples, Long Beach, California, 90803
Silver Lake Reservoir
Silver Lake Reservoir has two dog parks, a playground, and a field where everyone can run around. There's also a basketball court and a 2.2 mile trail that's great for runners and walkers. Whether you want to enjoy a picnic or spend some time with the family, this is a great park. Many running clubs meet here as well.
Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA
Lake Balboa is a beautiful, family-friendly park where you can enjoy exploring the lake on a swan boat or seeing the cherry blossoms in bloom during the spring season. There are also a number of peaceful picnic areas in the park or places where visitors can exercise in a beautiful setting. Crowds can get busy during the cherry blossom season, but you can often find a hidden area away from the biggest crowds. There's also the beautiful Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve and the Japanese Garden, which is nicely landscaped and makes a perfect retreat from the city.
El Dorado Nature Center and Regional Park
Located in nearby Long Beach, this 105 acre park serves as a plant and animal sanctuary. There's a visitor center as well as about two miles of trails that wander around the two lakes and through the forested areas. There are also sport fields and a golf course as well as playgrounds where the kids can run around for awhile.
7550 E Spring St, Long Beach, CA, 90815
How much does it cost?
Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $5 to $498. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $102. A few of the best options are below.
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