Get Your Nature Fix

By: Chaton Anderson- Writer

Contributor’s Website: Fusion Integrated

In the sprawling urban Mecca of entertainment, fashion and freeway culture that we call LA, we can quickly forget that we’re blessed with some of the most beautiful spots of nature in the entire country. It’s easy to get your nature fix in a city where the mountains meet the beach, roads evolve into canyons, and shopping and dining takes place under the stars. Our gorgeous coastal and mountain areas offer the perfect haven from traffic, pollution and high-tech industrial life.

Everyone from beginners and hiking aficionados appreciate the trails of Temescal Canyon in Pacific Palisades, which provides one of the quickest ways to extract yourself from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Of moderate difficulty, this hike offers some of the most stunning views of the ocean, juxtaposed by trails through a densely wooded area, an oak-and-sycamore-shaded canyon and a picturesque waterfall. Its ridge crest is one of the most perfect places to watch the sun set offshore. 

If you love watching dolphins surf the waves or crave the quintessential romantic experience of a secluded beach, El Matador is for you. While the path may be a little rugged and steep, it’s beyond worth it when you emerge on the shore of this stunning beach. Approximately 10 miles northwest of Malibu, this exquisite location offers hidden coves, rocky shores, powerful swells and some of the clearest, bluest water in Southern California. It’s not surprising that El Matador hosts many secluded sunset dinners and models posing for photo shoots.

For those beating the pavement in downtown, there’s a perfect sanctuary that will transport you to another place—the Exposition Rose Garden.  Since its inception in 1928, this perfectly manicured urban oasis has offered respite from the daily grind, and a breathtaking location for weddings and special events. Strategically placed gazebos offer cool, shady locations to eat lunch while you’re immersed in the sweet aroma of American beauty. There are rows upon rows of roses in every imaginable color, from red, white and pink to magenta and chartreuse.

Both adrenaline junkies and nature lovers alike can find heaven just a half hour drive from downtown at Hermit Falls in the Angeles National Forest. Descend the shaded trail through a lush canyon and over a calm creek to the refreshing swimming hole above the falls. There are flat stones for sunbathing and ledges from where you can cliff jump to your heart’s content and reach another swimming hole at the bottom of the falls. The 2.6 mile round trip hike also leads you past the equally beautiful Sturtevant Falls

If wildlife is your thing and watching sub-dogs getting walked along Runyon Canyon doesn’t quite do it for you, visit the Wildlife Waystation in the Angeles National Forest. This innovative non-profit provides rescue and rehabilitation to native, wild and exotic animals ranging from lions, tigers and bears to primates, foxes, reptiles, wolves, deer and every imaginable type of bird. Within its 160 acres, this enclave provides refuge to animals from all over the world and from wide-ranging situations, with the goal of returning native wildlife to its natural habitat whenever possible. While the Wildlife Waystation is not open for regular tours until they secure a new conditional use permit, you can take advantage of its Safari Dining Experience or the special events and luncheons that are permitted as part of its ongoing fundraising efforts.

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Contributor’s Website: Fusion Integrated 
 Image Credits: (1st pic: Experiencing L.A., 2nd pic: Craig Wolf Photography; 3rd pic: Leimert Park Beat; 4th pic: Los Angeles Swimmin; 5th pic: Wildlife Waystation, 6th pic:Wildlife Waystation)
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