Zuma Beach
Live like a local

Six Ways to Stay Active Exploring LA’s Coast

August 22, 2020

California’s breath-taking coastline, and the beaches, cliffs and parks that line it, separates the vast tranquil expanse of the Pacific Ocean from the frenetic buzz of the city. Maintaining that mix of beauty and energy we look at ways to stay active exploring LA’s beautiful coast.

Point Dune Beach

Hiking up Point Dume

A scenic 1.5-mile trail, it’s an easy – and incredibly rewarding – hike up the dome-shaped headland of Point Dume. From the viewing platform, which forms part of the Point Dume Nature Preserve, you’ll enjoy sparkling Pacific panoramas and, depending on the season, might catch a glimpse of migrating whales, playful dolphins making a splash or sea lions basking on the rocks below. From here, it’s just a short hike down to the former pirate cove known as the Million Dollar Beach, a pristine stretch of white sand sheltered from the sea breeze.

Surfing the breaks at Topanga

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or looking to learn something new, Topanga Beach is a great place to try your luck. At the base of Topanga Canyon, home to a family-friendly, bohemian community, the beach is close to the city but off the usual tourist path. Framed by the Santa Monica Mountains the views are exceptional, so rent a board from Boardriders Malibu on the edge of the beach and make the most of that beautiful long right break that the local surfers love.

Surfer in water at Topanga
View of ocean and Santa Monica pier

Rollerblading in Santa Monica

The sun-kissed backdrop for countless TV shows and films, it’s easy to see why scenic Santa Monica is so popular. When not soaking up the sunshine, there’s plenty to see along this sandy stretch, and a great way to take it all in is on rollerblades. Join the locals and glide down this palm-lined, eight-mile stretch of pavement that runs along the coast passing funfairs, street performers, sunbathers and surfers on the way. Make sure to include the Venice Beach Boardwalk on your skate and you’ll get to experience the iconic Muscle Beach with its well-oiled weightlifters.

Paddle-boarding at Venice Beach

Venice Beach is a great place to stand up paddleboard (or SUP as it’s better known) both in the ocean and on the canals. The ocean’s gentle swell and sunbathing seals are a great draw, as well as the spectacular views looking back over the mountains and the city. While inland the canals that gave the region its name lead to calmer waters where boarders gently paddle underneath scenic bridges, past pastel-coloured houses jutting out over the water and a few kayakers along the way. Paddle-boarding doesn’t require a wetsuit at any time of year, either, so you’ll be working on your tan as you take in the scenery.

Venice canals
Bike Manhattan Beach

Cycling Manhattan Beach

Set in the middle of a cycle route that stretches from Santa Monica all the way down to Hermosa Beach and beyond, Manhattan Beach is the perfect place to start your cycling tour of LA’s coast.  There’s no need to worry about walkers and joggers, who have a separate sidewalk running parallel, just hop on your bike and choose a direction. Feel the cool ocean breeze in your hair as you pedal past energetic games of beach volleyball and Manhattan Beach Pier, and if you choose to go further, you can cycle all 17 miles of the Santa Monica Bay.

Running in Malibu

Malibu may be more synonymous with surfing and celebrities, but it is home to some of LA’s most beautiful trails to run. From beach to mountain there is something for every level and every intensity. Down on the shore, the four miles of paths that run alongside the picturesque Zuma Beach provide an easy entry point and an opportunity for a swim at the end. While up in the hills the Circle X Ranch’s 10-mile trail requires plenty of stamina, and the Solstice Canyon Loop Trail can be broken up with a dip in one of the pools close to a burbling waterfall.

Solstice canyon malibu blue skies green hills

However you choose to explore the Californian coast, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with its laid-back vibe and unforgettable seascapes. For more outdoor inspiration, discover our 7 best beaches in LA

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