L.A.: Get outside! Our Top 5 Outdoor spots in the city

There are two things that are almost always true in Los Angeles: the grocery list of freeways are constantly congested with car traffic and the blue sky is covered in smog. Even in this ever-sunny, beach-lined city, proximity to nature can sometimes feel like more of a yearning than a reality. Whether you’re a local aching for some fresh air or simply a guest visiting for the weekend, take note of these top destinations for a close-to-nature experience.

  1.  Will Rogers State Historic Park
    {Image via

    {Image via parks.ca.gov}

    Will Rogers, one of the most famous actors in the 1930s, once owned a 186-acre ranch in the Pacific Palisades that is now a beautiful, tucked-away oasis open to the public. The property includes a large riding ring, polo field, golf course, hiking trails, and open grassy areas perfect for picnicking. This park is a hidden gem overlooking the Pacific Ocean. You could easily spend a day here lunching with friends, exploring the trails on a horse, and watching a polo match.

    Where are we going? 1501 Will Rogers Park Road
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

  2. The Getty Museum and Villa

    {Image via Wikimedia}

    {Image via Wikimedia}

    The Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu are two must-sees for city-dwellers and tourists alike. The museum is both architecturally stunning and rich with art spanning centuries. The Getty Center showcases European and American art while the Getty Villa exhibits art from ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. Both locations boast incredible views. Free entry, $15 for parking.

    Where are we going? Getty Center: 1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, California 90049
    Getty Villa: 17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, California 90272 


  3.  Huntington Botanical Gardens

    {Image via Wikipedia}

    Where are we going? 1151 Oxford Road San Marino, CA  91108

  4. MalibuZumaBeachCountyPark
    Malibu is an ideal weekend escape from the busy city. Go to Zuma Beach and watch local surfers ride waves while getting your tan on. There are a number of great seafood joints nearby, or, if you’re in the mood for a classier afternoon, vineyards for wine tasting. A Malibu beach day is always a good idea.
    Where are we going? Zuma Beach: 30000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265
  5. Joshua Tree

    R1-04339-017A (1)
    Okay, so Joshua Tree isn’t exactly in Los Angeles, but it’s definitely close enough for a weekend respite from the city. Joshua Tree is the ultimate desert destination (remember that episode ofEntourage where the boys take Ari to Joshua Tree for a much-needed repose from the movie biz?). When you hit that point where you just need a few days away from the Los Angeles scene, this isthe place to go. Filled with Dr. Seuss-like trees, the desert park’s namesake, Joshua Tree is close to 800,000 acres, filled with optimal spots for camping (and quiet reflection, if you’re anything like E).

    Where are we going? 74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

    By Sophie Pawlowski

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