Summer is here and the memories will last a lifetime! This summer you can enjoy fun adventures for you and your entire family.
Los Angeles offers a stunning natural landscape where mountains kiss the ocean. Caving – also known as spelunking – is the recreational pastime of exploring cave systems. One of the best ways to learn about caving is to join the National Speleological Society. When you join, you'll network with other cavers, gain access to information and equipment, and participate in trips. The Southern California Grotto is the local chapter of the NSS. www.southerncaliforniagrotto.com
Before spelunking, pack a helmet with a chin strap and up to three headlamps because cave environments can be unpredictable. Local caves to check out include Bronson Caves, located in Los Angeles's Griffith Park area off of Canyon Drive. Bronson Caves are man-made caves which have made appearances in various television shows and movies. The caves open up into a canyon where you can view the Hollywood sign.
Leo Carillo State Beach, located in Malibu is a perfect destination for exploring sea caves. There are coral reefs just off the beach that you can reach on foot.
Out of all of the Channel Islands, Santa Cruz is the most famous for its caves – because not only is Santa Cruz the largest island of California, but it contains one of the most sizable (and deepest) sea caves in the world. While it's illegal to set foot inside of the caves, you can kayak your way in. Painted Cave is the most famous spot, featuring colorful rock walls, lichen, and algae. However, the entire shoreline is lined with caves, giving you lots of spaces to check out.
Hiking trails in Los Angeles are the perfect way to get outside. It's always smart to keep a few things in mind when you're planning a hike. Wear sturdy shoes, carry lots of drinking water, use sunscreen and wear sunglasses. You'll have a great time on the trails!
Runyon Canyon is the perfect hike for people-watching and celebrity sightings – it gives beginning hikers a chance to see the Hollywood Hills and the amazing views at the trail summit, also known as Cloud's Rest. This is a pleasurable hike which is highlighted by million-dollar mansions and priceless views.
Franklin Canyon Park offers up 605 acres and features over five miles of hiking trails. The park's history dates to 1914 when William Mulholland built the Upper Franklin Canyon Reservoir. This easy stroll offers a multitude of views of local birds and wildlife, as well as access to other, more strenuous trails like the Hastain Trail, which offers viewpoints from West L.A. to the Pacific.
Malibu Creek State Park has 7,000 acres of stunning scenery with 15 miles of streamside trails through oak and sycamore dotted woodlands. Malibu Creek State Park is also home to the outdoor set of the classic TV series M*A*S*H which still draws visitors from all over the world.
Los Angeles is the perfect spot for divers who aren't afraid of a little cold water. You'll discover a lush underwater world of kelp forests and beautifully colored fish.
Catalina Island is one of the most popular dive destinations. Late summer and fall bring warm water and wonderful visibility, reaching up to 80ft! Diving can be done through local dive charter boats.
Casino Point is a shore diving park in Catalina with concrete stairs that descend right into the water. It's the perfect place to combine diving with relaxing in the small harbor town of Avalon. Upon arriving, hop in a taxi with your gear for the 3-minute ride across the harbor to the dive park. Tanks, weights, and other gear rentals are readily available on site.
Veteran's Park in Redondo Beach is the ultimate spot for night dives in Los Angeles. Underwater, the water life is hustling and bustling with interesting marine animals such as octopus, nudibranchs, shrimp, crabs, and rays.
Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands in the Channel Islands can be considered the core of the Channel Islands. Charter boats depart from Ventura Harbor. These islands blend rich life with beautiful kelp forests. A couple of charter boats also offer onboard jacuzzis as a bonus.
Leo Carillo is a popular beach dive. The beautiful kelp forests, variety of sea life and stunning drive up the Malibu coastline make a day at Leo Carillo a perfect adventure.
Los Angeles offers amazing on the water experiences for any type of boating enthusiast.
The Channel Islands boasts incredible whale watching tours. The area is perfect for whale watching and marine wildlife sightings with one of the richest marine habitats in the world. Blue whale, humpback whales, orca whales, finback whales, and gray whales are easily spotted.
Pyramid Lake is the best place for an afternoon BBQ, complimentary with your very own picnic site accessible only by boat. Pyramid Lake is located along Interstate I-5 in the Angeles and Los Padres National Forest on Piru Creek. The lake offers camping, picnicking, boating, waterskiing, and swimming. Fishing is popular, where you can catch fish like large and smallmouth striped bass, trout, catfish, bluegill, and crappie. Emigrant Landing boat launch has a marina, a boat ramp, beach, and picnic areas.
Explore the harbor and beyond in Marina Del Rey, the premier destination for recreational boating and water sports. With six yacht clubs, 19 anchorages, and many first-class facilities, Marina's waterfront has never been more accessible. Whether you're an experienced sailor or a novice, Marina del Rey offers plenty of seagoing fun, from sailing lessons and private charters to boat clubs and deep-sea fishing. www.visitmarinadelrey.com/sailing
Castaic Lake is a beautiful state water reservoir lake that is located just north of Santa Clarita on the Interstate 5 Freeway. Castaic Lake is a wonderful place to have fun – there is something for everybody! The Upper Lake is home to motorized watercraft with two launch ramps. Boaters have a chance to experience 2,235 acres of explorable waterways and coves, and shoreline fisherman can test the 29 miles of shoreline. The swim beach on Lower Lake is now open, on weekends from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Waterskiing was invented by Ralph Samuelson in 1922. After trying to water ski with snow skis and failing, Samuelson strapped wooden boards on his feet and was able to skim over the water while being pulled behind a boat. California is a water sports paradise with over 100 wake parks, ski schools, and charter outfits ready to help make your summer truly special.
Big Bear Lake is the perfect destination for waterskiing. Designated Wakesports offers wakeboarding, waterskiing, and tubing – the best way to have a good time on Big Bear Lake. They are a charter boat service located at Pleasure Point Marina. http://designatedwakesports.com
Water skiers can also get on the water with the Lake Arrowhead Waterski Club or with Shred-it Babes! Ride Club. Farther south in San Diego, there's a diverse water sports scene from wakeboarding schools such as Mission Bay Aquatic Center and WCR Wakeboard School, to waterski boat charters and rentals such as Seaforth Boat Rentals.
Now is a good time to learn to kayak. It's warm out, it's excellent outdoor exercise, and you get incredible views.
LA Kayak River Safari is an urban-nature adventure that combines bikes, kayaks, instruction and conversation about the Los Angeles River. They discuss the past and future of the LA river and along the way you learn how to paddle and run small rapids. Pass through Elysian Valley next to the future State Park. Midday Tour: Total trip time is around 2.5 hours. (12:45 p.m – 3:30 p.m.) including a bike ride, instruction, discussion and time on the water. Sunset Safari: Total trip time around 2.5 hours. (3:45 – 6:45 p.m.) including a bike ride, instruction, discussion and time on the water. www.lariverkayaksafari.org
Rocky Point in Redondo Beach offers SUP and kayak renters the best and most diverse paddling experience. They're located on the water in Redondo Harbor allowing for easy boarding on and off the watercraft without having to fight the surf. Open ocean access is less than a 5-minute paddle away. They offer immediate on-water access, free parking and helpful, happy staff that will help make your paddling experience worth repeating. www.rockypointfun.com
Rent a kayak from Malibu Surf Shack. Once you get the hang of kayaking around, take a kayak to places like Paradise Cove and El Matador. You'll see more variation in the topography doing this, from sandy beaches to jagged cliffs and rocks. www.malibusurfshack.com
If you want a getaway without the exorbitant costs, take a daycation! Lounging by the hotel pool with a cocktail is a slice of paradise.
Located in one of the most iconic buildings in Hollywood, the Sunset Tower Hotel is a true Los Angeles landmark and one of the best places to retreat when you need some relaxation a la old Hollywood. $75 per day.
From sunrise to sunset, The Highlight Room Pool includes six private cabanas and plush chaise lounge chairs to soak in the California sun. Enjoy endless rose and kick back to the sounds of summer. Enjoy a meal of fresh California fare paired with extensive wine and cocktail offerings. https://thehighlightroom.com
Nestled right in the hustle and bustle of Studio City is the largest pool in the San Fernando Valley at Sportsmen's Lodge. Beat the heat at this legendary landmark that has been host to Katherine Hepburn and Clark Gable by diving into this urban oasis. Snacks can be ordered from the pool bar for hungry swimmers as well. Cost: $25. www.sportsmenslodge.com
Jump into quiet luxury at Westlake Village Inn, a tucked-away resort just east of Thousand Oaks. Here you will love the true vacation feel of this pool which is nestled in the middle of 17 lush acres of botanical beauty. Cost: $40 per adult, $15 for kids 12 and under. Cabana Rental: $250 for the day and comes with six glasses of water, a bowl of fruit and 4 complimentary mimosas. www.westlakevillageinn.com