Now working as an editor in chief, Graciela Collins (or Grace, as she prefers) is a candy-loving, eco-conscious coffee addict trying a digital-nomad lifestyle and exploring the world one step at the …See full bio
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One of the biggest perks of living in California is the abundance of places to exercise outdoors. Since the weather is temperate most of the year, you can do push-ups along the shore, in the mountains, on the streets, or at a park. And in sunny Los Angeles, exercising outside is just one of the many fun activities you can do to make the most of your time in the city, so it is no wonder the top outdoor workout spots in L.A. are frequented by tourists and locals alike. Whether you like bodybuilding, basketball, or cycling, you will definitely find your sweet (athletic) spot in the City of Angels.
In terms of national and international popularity, Muscle Beach in Venice definitely stands out. The heavy-duty lifting equipment here has attracted many famous athletes and bodybuilders, including actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. This enormous, outdoor gated gym is located near the iconic Venice Beach, along Ocean Front Walk. The site is maintained by the City of Los Angeles, but people who want to use the exercise equipment are charged a $10 entry fee. There are also weekly and annual memberships that can help regular visitors save money.
The Santa Monica Rings embody the carefree California spirit and provide a place for freestyle exercising. Located south of the famed Santa Monica Pier, this beachside gym features gymnast rings, monkey bars, rails, and ropes—making it the ideal exercise spot for various types of athletes, from amateur bodybuilders to professional gymnasts. For those who don’t necessarily want to workout, the open-air gym is so fun that you can simply sit on the sand and watch top athletes try out new tricks and moves.
Runyon Canyon is one of the best hiking destinations in L.A., drawing thousands of hikers and runners each year. But the true magic happens at the grassy field tucked away at the bottom of the canyon, where you can take a yoga class—for free. Overseen by longtime instructor Daniel Overberger, Runyon Canyon yoga is offered three to four times a day and is open to all. The only items you need to bring are a yoga mat, sunscreen (trust us, you’ll need it), and a water bottle. Although the classes themselves are complimentary, the organizers welcome donations.
Hidden away at the southern end of L.A.’s waterfront is a secret gem that only a few Angelenos visit: Angels Gate Park. While the park in San Pedro is home to the 12-foot Korean Bell of Friendship—a historic, intricately decorated bronze bell—the one-of-a-kind basketball court here provides another reason to visit. Set against the mesmerizing backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, this court is the most picturesque place to shoot hoops in the city.
Bordering the shores of Santa Monica Bay, the Marvin Braude Bike Trail (also known as “The Strand”) is a 20-mile-long paved pathway stretching from Torrance Beach to Will Rogers State Beach. The Strand is among California’s best cycling trails—and for good reason. The path leads you past the most beautiful beaches in California, where you can stop to admire the views (and further your workout by going for a quick jog or doing some push-ups). If you don’t own a bike, you can always rent one from a bike shop along the trail.
Where are some of your outdoor places to workout in Los Angeles? Tell us about them in the comments below.
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