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If you’re living in Los Angeles, then you may have lucked out because it’s certainly one of the best cities to have a staycation in. Good weather year round, sunshine, beaches–do I need to say anything more? I’ve noticed that if you live in a city for a while you become sort of jaded. Take time on your staycation to take a step back and appreciate the fantastic place you’re living in. Try new things, go new places and uncover a whole new city that you didn’t even know was right outside your door.
1. So this number may sound a bit overwhelming, but there are 36 miles of trails for you to enjoy in Topanaga State Park! This place is so big that it is considered the biggest wildland located within a major city…so yeah, big! There are also a lot of cool things to see (if you come across them) such as earthquake faults, marine fossils and volcanic intrusions. Oh, and forgot to mention the outrageously scenic views along the way.
2. If you’re a big beer lover and are looking to try something new and innovative, than Monkish brewery is the spot for you. Their selection is definitely on the larger side and you’ll for sure be wanting to sample as many different beers as you can while you’re there. From a saison dry-flowered with hibiscus & chamomile to a Belgian-style tripel brewed with pistachios and vanilla beans, you’ll definitely be able to find something that suits your palate.
3. Perhaps you do a lot of outdoor exercise, but while you’re on your staycation it’s time to switch up your routine. Visit Vasquez Rocks in Agua Dulce and you won’t be disappointed. With over 930 acres of rock formations, you will be amazed by nature and the fact that these rocks’ history dates back to prehistoric times. If that’s not cool enough for you, how about the fact that one of California’s most famous bandits, 1874 Tiburcio Vasquez, used these rocks to hide out in when he was trying to avoid being captured.
4. Whether you’re a surfer yourself or just a fan of watching others catch some waves, you should spend a day at the Malibu Surfrider Beach and appreciate where the surf culture started. Grab some food, kick back, relax and enjoy the amazing water culture of the city that you live in.
5. I feel as if the images can speak for themselves in this situation, so just go to El Matador Beach and see for yourself! One of the prettiest beaches you’ll come across, plus there are large rocks and sea caves on the beach, which gives it its own unique beauty that you won’t want to miss. Find a quiet area and stay until sunset—you’ll definitely feel like you’re on a vacation then.
6. If you have a furry friend, you’re definitely not going to want to leave him or her home alone while you’re out sunning! Luckily for you you can hit up the Huntington Dog Beach to spend some quality time with your pooch while enjoying a nice relaxing day under the sun. Don’t have a dog? It’s still pretty fun to come here and see the pups having a grand ole’ time. Man’s best friend are allowed to frolic off leash no matter what size they are. Splashing in the water? The more the merrier!
7. So Eagle Rock Brewery may be hard to find, on the smaller size and doesn’t have a crazy huge selection of beers—but it’s a gem for sure. When this family run brewery opened it’s doors back in 2009, it became the first microbrewery to open in Los Angeles in decades. Bring some friends, stop at the food trucks outside and enjoy a cold beverage in the heart of LA.
8. They claim to be inspired by LA, and Angel City Brewery certainly is. It’s probably my most favorite part about this brewery! Besides the fun beer, the atmosphere is awesome too. Although it’s in a super industrial building, the vibes are of course very mellow and welcoming. Drink, play some games and check out the pop-up shops that are often inside. Oh, and it’s pet friendly!
9. Explore over 4 miles of woodland and coastal sage shrub in Escondido Canyon and then you reach the beautiful Escondido Falls! This 150-foot waterfall is the highest in the Santa Monica Mountains and you’ll certainly want to put aside some time to spend here.
10. The Rose Bowl Flea Market. Need I say more? Ok, so you live in LA but have you actually come here? Sunday’s are time for relaxing before your busy work week starts up again, so I can understand not wanting to spend your day wandering around a HUGE flea market looking for deals. Definitely a tiring day! But, if you’re on a staycation then you have no excuse! This flea market extraordinaire operates on the second Sunday of every month, so make sure you plan accordingly!
11. Every Sunday from 9-5 on the Fairfax high school campus you can do shopping galore at the Melrose Trading Post! If you’re not feeling up to the Rose Bowl (understandably so) you can stop by here to get your flea market fix.
12. I’m a big animal fan over here so I generally can’t say no to any activity that involves those cuties! What’s better than a zoo though? A wildlife learning center of course! Sure, the educational part of this is interesting and fun but the best part is that you get to interact with the animals. Learn something new, pet something cute—it’s a win win.
13. While we’re on the subject of animals…you should definitely visit the old LA zoo in Griffith Park if you haven’t before. The old zoo is the perfect spot for a highly instagrammable impromptu photoshoot. Show your friends how much fun you’re having on your staycation by taking selfies in an old zoo cage that’s covered in graffiti.
14. Never have time to truly appreciate the arts? Do it now! Visit the Bergamot art complex in Santa Monica and enjoy the 8 acres worth of galleries. You can find a wide range of things here from contemporary art galleries to architecture and design firms.
15. Ever been to a drive-in? Cool, me neither. But I desperately want to! Pull up to this retro spot and you’ll feel like you’re back in the days of Hollywood glamour. Come to the Electric Dusk Drive-In for a night of fun while also watching one of the best classic movies.
16. I’m a big fan of architecture and a nerd too, so learning about architecture happens to be one of my favorite things! You’ve probably seen the Disney Concert Hall from the road while stuck in traffic, but have you gone inside for a tour? Oh, the tours are also free so you have no excuse!
17. Visit one of the earliest optical inventions in Santa Monica and see the beachtown in a way that you never have before. Sure, you frequented Santa Monica quite a bit, but have you ever stopped at the senior center and been given a key to go into this private room where you can use the camera obscura? Yeah, go and check it out!
18. Need a break from your chaotic day-to-day life? Spend a sunny morning at the Lake Shrine Temple and clear your head while taking a stroll with your morning caffeinated beverage of choice. Stroll through the gardens, around the lake and near the coastal views and you’ll be happy that you did. Fan of meditation? This is the spot for you!
19. The Marvin Braude bike trail (also referred to as The Strand) is the perfect combination of outdoor fun and exercise for you on your staycation. Never get around to biking anymore? Take a ride on this 22-mile path that runs parallel to the shoreline. Stop along the way for a drink and some food and then continue on!
20. Ok, so maybe you’re sick of all of the gorgeous ocean views. Is that possible? Try out the Ballona Creek bike path if you want to enjoy some inland LA style. On this 7-mile path you’ll cruise through concrete heavy areas scattered with graffiti and end up right in Marina Del Rey.
21. Maybe this seems a bit too touristy to you, but when is a better time to pretend that you’re a visitor than when you’re on a staycation?! Go to Griffith park and do the Hollyridge trail to get some swanky views and end up right behind the Hollywood Sign. What better way to pay some homage to your glamorous city!
22. Looking for a fancy way to wind down? Take the ferry on over to Catalina Island and lounge around the Descanso Beach Club. Gather up some friends, rent a private cabana and enjoy the island like you never have had before. Have some festive tropical drinks and kick back and relax.
23. Visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art after 3 PM on a weekday and your admission is free. Take a few hours to walk around and appreciate all of the exhibits without the crowds that you would encounter on the weekend. You’ll be able to enjoy everything from ancient art to modern day works all right in your neighborhood!
24. Did you know that the Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles is the biggest in the United States? There are about 35 million specimens in this museum and if that’s not reason enough for you to go and check this place out, then I don’t know what else to tell you!
What about you? What are you favorite staycation spots in LA?