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Outdoor Pursuits

Although Los Angeles's car culture is well-publicized, its bike culture is a little more under-the-radar, but that is not to say there isn't a healthy cycling scene. With seemingly endless days of summer, Angelenos love to spend time outdoors.

One of the quintessential L.A. activities is to rent an old-school beach cruiser and bike along the 22-mile-long Strand, which stretches from Santa Monica's Will Rogers State Beach to Torrance County Beach in Venice.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, don't forget to pack your hiking boots alongside your stiletto heels so that you can hike the Santa Monica Mountains. Popular routes include the Backbone Trail, a 43-mile-stretch of chaparral-covered hillsides, oak woodlands, and creeks that links Will Rogers State Historic Park to Point Mugu, anchored in the middle by Malibu Creek State Park and Topanga State Park. The highly accessible Griffith Park, just north of Hollywood, is technically part of this mountain chain as well.

For some solitude and rural terrain, visit Angeles National Forest, in the northern reaches of L.A. County. The mostly flat and shaded Gabrielino Trail along the upper Arroyo Seco is a favorite of mountain bikers, runners, birders, and horseback riders. To get there, exit the 210 Freeway at Arroyo Boulevard–Windsor Avenue in Altadena. Drive three-quarters of a mile north and look for the small parking lot just before you reach Ventura Avenue.

Updated: 2014-07-24

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