Finding Adventure in Los Angeles
When I moved to Venice Beach after living in a rural surf town, I had high hopes of keeping the dirt under my fingernails one way or another. Little did I know how accessible the adventures would be even in this concrete jungle.
For me, life is all about balance, like having lunch meetings at the farm-to-table joint down the street followed by a quick afternoon dip in the ocean for a reset. The LA coast is perfect for the modern creative wanting to work and play in the same spot without having to make the sacrifice of picking between the two. Most days when I’m home, I’ll toss on my Terradora kicks in the morning for a quick surf check, be on my feet all day editing photos from my last shoot, and then end with a sunset hike in the Topanga hills.
Here are a few ideas to keep the adventure stoke high next time you find yourself in La-La Land.
1. Venice Beach Boardwalk:
Yes, there is the tourist factor here. But for anyone creatively inclined, the boardwalk is a treasure trove of inspiration and creativity. I’ll bring my longboard to cruise the sidewalk with my camera in hand to snap street-style shots of the handball courts and muscle beach. And one of the better cups of coffee happens to be right around the corner at Menotti’s.
2. Paseo Miramar Trail:
This 5-mile roundtrip trail has one of the better views of LA, and if you hike it in the spring the trail is chock full of wild flowers and hummingbirds. My favorite time to hike it is just before sunset because the crowds have died down and the top of the trail makes for a perfect picnic spot to watch the sun set over the Pacific. Date night potential is high.
3. Rising Sun & Sostomo Loop:
For a hike that’s a bit more off the beaten trail, the 6.7-mile Rising Sun & Sostomo Loop trail has the perfect mix of views and remoteness. It’s gorgeous any time of the year, but if you hike it in the summer, try for an early start before it gets too hot. There aren’t many hikes that can give you unparalleled mountain and coastal views, plus hidden creeks and even abandoned buildings.
4. Santa Monica Farmer’s Market:
Southern California is known for its farm-fresh produce and this farmer’s market is the highlight of the week. I love riding my bike from my bungalow in Venice along the coastal bike path to Santa Monica. Just make sure you have a basket or a backpack, you’ll need it to bring home all those fresh veggies and cut flowers. This is a go-to spot for people-watching too.
5. Malibu Surfrider Beach:
It doesn't get more iconic than this point break. It’s such a treat to surf here, world-class waves within shouting distance to one of the greatest cities in the world. The trick? If the tide permits, get in the water early before the lineup gets busy. I always try and sit away from the peak to score the inside sections. Another trick? This place is the perfect location to have ‘board’ meetings for work.
When she’s not exploring her new home of Los Angeles, KEEN TrailFitTM Ambassador Meg Haywood Sullivan travels the world documenting music, culture, snow sports, and the outdoors. For more adventure inspiration, follow Meg on Instagram at @meg_haywoodsullivan.