10 Fun Places to Walk in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is the land of freeways. And because so much time in Los Angeles is spent driving in a car, one of the most enjoyable activities can be walking. Yes, despite what you may have heard, you can walk in LA.
Stand up, stretch your spine, and take a deep breath – because here are ten fun places to walk in LA.
Be warned – when you take these strolls, you may help fall under Southern California’s love spell.
1. Morning Stroll on Elevado Avenue
To wake yourself up, you can enjoy a stroll – or “power walk” for fitness buffs – along the picturesque residential sidewalks through Beverly Hills Flats.
There is plenty of eye-candy for fans of beautiful homes. Park your car in the area around Elevado Avenue near Doheny. Look carefully at the street signs to make sure you’re legal.
Walk in a westerly direction toward Rodeo Drive, zig-zagging as you go:
- Your it’s-so-LA-moment: passing housekeepers as they walk their employers’ dogs.
- Photo Op: the Beverly Hills sign at Beverly Gardens Park.
2. Coffee-to-Go from Teuscher
After your stroll through Elevado Avenue, you can treat yourself to a world-famous Café Mocha from Teucher Chocolatiers.
Located on Brighton Way between Camden and Rodeo Drive, They use fine Swiss chocolate in their coffee drinks, serving beverages through the sidewalk window.
As you enjoy your coffee, you can stroll through the famous Rodeo Drive neighborhood, window-shopping as you go:
- Your Movie Moment: pop your head into one of the fancy boutiques along Rodeo and quip: “I was in here yesterday; you wouldn’t wait on me. You work on commission right? Big mistake. Big. HUGE,” a la Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
3. See the Headstones at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Some people would not be thrilled to have a cemetery as a neighbor, even if it was beautifully landscaped.
But who could have imagined the Hollywood Memorial Cemetery (opened in 1899) would become such a popular place to go (and not just for the deceased)?
Almost 100 years later in 1990 the property was renamed to Hollywood Forever Cemetery, had a major renovation and is now open to the public. For those who visit the cemetery today, they can gaze at the headstones of movie stars… and even Toto, Dorothy’s dog!
Take a long stroll through the acres of well-manicured grounds, grab a blanket for an outdoor movie projected onto the side of a mausoleum one summer eve – and you even have the option to rock out to featured musicians at the Masonic Lodge.
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4. Admire Design at Barnsdall Art Park
Does the name Frank Lloyd Wright ring a bell? Make plans to visit the architect’s first commissioned project in LA, the Hollyhock House.
Built in 1920, Hollyhock was the private residence of Aline Barnsdall, daughter of oil magnate Theodore Barnsdall. Barnsdall Art Park is not only home to the Hollyhock House but also the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Gallery Theater and the Junior Arts Center. They are all open to the public.
Eleven of the original 36 acres at Hollyhock were gifted to the City of Los Angeles and on Wednesdays the local Farmers Market sets up on a portion of the property – affording the casual shopper to stock up on locally grown organic veggies, macaroons and other fun sundries. The park is located at 4800 Hollywood Boulevard.
5. Walk Hancock Park
Located in the mid-Wilshire area of LA, Hancock Park can be an enjoyable place to walk in the early afternoon. The park itself is large enough to take a long, healthy stroll; plus, when you need some mind-enriching entertainment there is the Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art (LACMA) and the La Brea Tar Pits.
The Tar Pits are more fascinating than you might think initially. Even people who don’t consider themselves science nerds will often find themselves enthralled by the fossils of animals and humans who have become trapped within these tar pits over many thousands of years.
The Grove outdoor mall is also close by if you’re in an upscale mood.
6. Jog Around Hollywood Lake
A favorite among locals, walking the Hollywood Lake Reservoir is the perfect outdoor jaunt to awaken your lungs and get your heart pumping. It’s one of my favorite places to jog.
7. Hike Griffith Park
If you’re nearer the east side of Los Angeles, the canyons of Griffith Park will offer you the best nature hikes. The park is so large that is provides all levels of hiking – beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
8. Climb the Steps at UCLA
On early weekend mornings, the steps of a Bruins Stadium provide a perfect wake-up workout. My favorite campus stadium is Drake Track and Field. You can walk the track, or climb and descend the stadium steps. If you’re feeling particularly athletic, sprint the track and run up the steps – Rocky Balboa-style.
When you’re done with your workout, amble through the UCLA campus and gardens while the students are still sleeping-off their hangovers. Make your way over to Westwood Village for some breakfast and shopping as you admire the deco architecture of the Fox Village Theater.
To enter the ULCA campus, you can turn into Westwood Plaza off of Sunset Boulevard, then follow Charles Young Drive around to the Drake side entrance. Bring quarters for meter street parking, or park in one of the official parking structures. Either way, parking is not free within UCLA. For parking in Westwood Village, there is a structure at Broxton Avenue that allows 2-hours free parking before 6pm.
9. Workout with the Locals at the Santa Monica Steps
If you’re visiting from out of town, you might enjoy seeing how the locals do it. On the westside, a popular outdoor workout is “The Steps” in Santa Monica.
The stairs are located near Adelaide Drive and 4th Street, at the top of the Santa Monica Canyon. Please check street signs for allowed parking times.
Tip: if you’re a beginner, hug right – so that the advanced-level athletes can pass you.
10. View the Hollywood Sign Up Close
Everyone needs that quintessential Southern Californian moment. Hiking up to the Hollywood Sign on a sunny day will quench that thirst for a true Angeleno experience. Do it, then cross it off your bucket list.
- Which of these ten walking areas is your favorite?
- Which locations should I include in my next article on walking Los Angeles?
Even for those who live locally in Los Angeles. it can be enjoyable to pretend to be a tourist for one day. By seeing L.A. with fresh eyes, you can fall in love with the city of angels all over again.
A significant amount of a tourist’s time in Los Angeles is occupied with taking photos at notable locations – Rodeo Drive, Sunset Strip, or at the gates of a celebrity’s majestic Beverly Hills estate.
Can you blame them? Who doesn’t want fabulous photos to scroll through after returning home?
When traveling to other cities or foreign countries, it can be oddly fulfilling to cross-off from your list as many recognizable places as you can. However, you don’t want your visits confined only to recognizable places – that would be cliché. When visiting L.A., you’ll also want to include some insider places (the places that only locals know about) to infuse your Los Angeles experience with extra zest.
Bonus Walking Adventure: Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
This 500-foot peak offers stellar views of Los Angeles, and it's a great workout, whether you take the stairs (advanced-level), climb the trails, or simply hike up the paved road.
Located in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood near Culver City, this large piece of land used to be unsightly oil wells, but now provides restored native desert habitat and a park perfect for outdoor exercise.
At the top of the outlook, there are often fresh-air breezes and a visitors' center and museum. On a clear day you can see the Pacific Ocean, mountains, and downtown Los Angeles.