While L.A. is perhaps best known for popular tourist attractions like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Sunset Boulevard and Rodeo Drive, if you look a little deeper, you’ll discover wonderful parks that enable you to escape the hustle and bustle and explore the area’s rugged and natural beauty.
The 160-acre Runyon Canyon Park, situated at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, has fantastic views and an abundance of hiking trails. Start your adventure by trekking along Runyon Canyon Road. A notable stop along this roughly 45-minute loop includes the Star Trail, with its series of railroad-tie steps. A more challenging hike in the western section of the park is Hero Trail that winds up a steep slope on the spine of the ridge. Along the way, don’t miss Indian Rock, the highest point in the park and a great vantage point to view the valley and the Hollywood Hills. The upper sections of the canyon are also home to hundreds of plant species and an abundance of wildlife such as owls, hawks, coyotes and deer.
For a more urban experience, check out the 4,500-acre Griffith Park, one of the largest municipal parks in North America. While the park’s tree-studded canyons offer more than 70 miles of rustic hiking and equestrian trails, there are also activities like golf and tennis, with two 18-hole courses and three tennis complexes. You can also take advantage of numerous athletic fields and a swimming pool.
Where to Stay
The new 15-floor, 216-room Kimpton Everly Hotel has sweeping views of the Hollywood Hills, including the iconic Hollywood sign. In addition, the Everly has 4,900 square feet of flexible indoor prefunction and event space, including two meeting rooms, a boardroom and a ballroom with high ceilings. The hotel also has a gym and offers custom bike tours. And for a true L.A. experience, you can see and be seen at the fifth-floor rooftop pool and the expansive lobby bar, which hosts live music on the weekends.