Southern California getaways to excite outdoor enthusiasts – Daily News
From sunny beaches to breathtaking outdoor scenery, it’s no wonder Southern Californians love spending so much time in the fresh air. Some of the country’s best parks, beaches, hiking trails, playgrounds, and even underwater landscapes are found here – and we’re highlighting 13 of our favorites. Note that some activities may be limited due to security measures related to COVID-19. Check the websites for the latest information.
Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach is commonly referred to as Surf City USA which is home to everything related to the sport.
Formerly known as Tin Can Beach, Bolsa Chica State Beach attracts bathers as well as sports enthusiasts for surfing, volleyball, and a variety of other activities. Fireplaces are also available.
The ecological reserve, home to many local animal species, is located across the Pacific Coast Highway from the beach and is overseen by the California Department of Fish and Game. It’s a wonderful place for families to learn about marine life – and there will be even more to do once the Visitor Center reopens and educational programs return. Both have been suspended due to COVID-19 protocols.
8000 Great Park Blvd., Irvine
Central Park in New York is probably the inspiration for this huge park. Under development at the site of the decommissioned Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, over 450 acres of this 1,300-acre site have been completed and the park has already become a haven for sports, agriculture, and the arts.
Attractions include the Great Park Hot Air Balloon Ride, Carousel, Farm + Food Lab Outdoor Agricultural Learning Area, Farmers Market, Playgrounds, Palm Court Arts Complex and 1.5 miles of hiking trails. hiking and biking trails.
Note that some outdoor recreational spaces and indoor facilities may be closed or have modified access, at least for the time being. Check the website for the latest information.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY
200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles
Grand Park, in the heart of Los Angeles, is said to be the quintessential urban oasis. There is a lot of fun to discover, including the restored Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain with a waterhole for wading, the performance lawn, the community patio and the grand event lawn.
While some amenities are closed for now, to ensure social distancing, others continue with some changes. On the one hand, Lunch a la Park food trucks are available for take-out lunch.
4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles
Griffith Park has appeared in numerous films, including Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts” and the 1950 classic “Sunset Boulevard”. Famous musical acts have been performed at the Greek Theater, and perhaps the crown jewel of this place is the Griffith Observatory, where planets and stars rule. The theater and the observatory both remained closed at the last check; for updates, visit the website.
The Los Angeles Zoo and the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum, dedicated to all things locomotives, are also part of the park’s more than 4,300 acres of land.
1925 Route Las Virgenes, Calabasas
A gem of over 8,000 acres, previously owned by 20th Century Fox Studios, Malibu Creek State Park has been the backdrop for many movies and some TV shows of Hollywood’s Golden Age. to the 1960s. In 1976, the State of California purchased the site, then known as Fox Ranch, and opened it to the public.
Since then, the park has hosted millions of hikers, cyclists and mountaineers who enjoy exploring its beautiful scenery and trails suitable for all skill levels, including the peaceful High Road Loop and Mott Road.
Hiking options include moderate trails like Crags Road to the ‘M * A * S * H’ Trail, Grassland Trail and Yearling Trail, and the more difficult trails of Bulldog Road and Mesa Peak Motorway.
Outside of hiking, activities include biking trails for all skill levels, rock climbing, kayaking in a rare lake in a state park, horseback riding on scenic trails, 62 campgrounds, and birding walks sponsored by the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society.
While the park is open, high density areas – including the Visitor Center, Rock Pool and Century Lake – were still closed at this time.
1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach
Polliwog Park spans over 18 acres and is South Bay’s largest park. Three lookouts are located in the park – one next to a pretty rose garden, another near the amphitheater, and the third next to the picturesque pond which can be booked for periods of two hours.
There are three separate play areas, the main one with a large lighthouse. Next to the park is the Begg swimming pool. Check website for availability.
1501 Will Rogers State Park Road, Pacific Palisades
Will Rogers was a popular actor, comedian and social commentator. He owned the land which is now Will Rogers State Historic Park, built a 31 room ranch, and invited his family and friends to come and relax. In 1941, six years after his death, his wife, Betty, donated the ranch, stable, arena, polo field, golf course, and horse trails to California State Parks for everyone can benefit from it.
The park is open from dawn to dusk and restrooms near the parking lot are available, but finally check to see if some closures have remained, including the visitor center and picnic tables.
1402 Avalon Canyon Road., Avalon, on Catalina Island
Catalina Island is known for its beauty and laid back attitude, and the Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Garden only enhances this experience. Created to pay homage to William Wrigley Jr., who founded the chewing gum company that bears his name, this park features plants native to the islands off the California coast, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. .
The park includes nearly 38 acres of beautiful and lush gardens to explore, with blue flag rocks, which are quarried on the other side of Catalina Island.
Standing near the monument, enjoy a breathtaking view of Avalon Bay.
25905 Route 243, Idyllwild
Mount San Jacinto State Park invites outdoor enthusiasts to stay overnight, within the limits of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.
Discover part of the Pacific Coast Trail, which stretches 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada. There are also eco-friendly campsites, lookout points, hiking trails, horseback riding, and even geocaching adventures to experience.
700 Tamaris Road, Palm Springs
Ruth Hardy Park spans 22 acres and features tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, picnic tables, playgrounds, and barbecue grills.
This desert oasis is fun for all ages as it is also located at the dawn of The Movie Colony, a playground for old Hollywood stars with its glamorous vintage hotels and restaurants, as well as the downtown city of Palm Springs.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY
1549 El Prado, San Diego
Originally named City Park, Balboa Park was renamed by San Diegans in honor of Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa as he prepared for the Panama-California Exposition of 1915.
Beyond its history and Spanish Renaissance architecture, the park has smaller spaces, including off-leash dog parks, bird parks, and playgrounds. Outdoor activities include tennis, swimming, golf, lawn bowling, frisbee golf, cycling, archery and dance lessons.
There are also numerous hiking trails, a 1910 Herschell-Spillman Menagerie carousel, 17 museums and cultural institutions, 10 dedicated performance spaces, the largest outdoor organ in the world, several gardens, guided tours and many places. where visitors can grab a bite to eat.
The website includes up-to-date information on closures and health security measures.
12600 N Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla
Located within the city limits of San Diego, Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve has 1,500 acres of land to explore, with a maritime chaparral, miles of beaches, a lagoon that’s home to many wildlife, and pine the rarest in the country – Pinus torreyana.
Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, be sure to sign up for guided hikes on weekends and holidays to learn more about this special place. Also check the website for the latest information on children’s programs, which are expected to return this year.
1100, boulevard de la Côte (at avenue Girard), La Jolla
This 6,000-acre park includes an ecological reserve and is home to an abundance of wildlife, including barracudas, seals, giant bass and orange garibaldi.
What makes this park unique is above all an underwater park where snorkeling is the main activity. There are also bike and kayak tours available as well as rentals for those without the equipment.