Social Distancing Hacks- Top 5 Best Places to Walk in LA if You Miss Hiking
SEE LA THE HEALTHY WAY
TOP 5 PLACES TO WALK IN LA IF YOU MISS HIKING
UPDATED ON 10 APRIL 2020
How are you doing? It’s been a while. Hopefully you and your loved ones are safe and healthy, and practicing social distancing in a way that’s positive, productive, and protective. It’s a weird time! There’s no way around it. It’s scary, it’s uncertain, and more than anything else, we’d love to be able to unwind with a long, invigorating hike. Due to safety regulations related to COVID-19, most beach parking lots and hike trails in LA are closed– and that’s a good thing! Let’s flatten that curve, together. Click here if you’d like to read a list of all of the park closures in LA and frequently asked questions. However, our favorite cure for anything ailing us is fresh air and LA sunshine, which come in limited quantities these days. Don’t worry- while we can’t take you on our top hike tours right now, we’re working on redesigning all of our outdoor LA tours to fit the social distancing parameters so that once the regulations are lifted, we’ll be back with a fresh new program of the best tours in Los Angeles.
Where Can I Walk in LA?
So what to do now? They say “nobody walks in LA,” but we don’t buy it! Even prior to the pandemic, we’ve seen an upsurge of people trading in their cars in favor of a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Being the #1 eco-friendly tour company in Los Angeles, we are all in favor of sustainable travel and transport, and always encourage biking, hiking, running, or walking instead of driving to fully experience Hollywood. Now, more than ever, getting even a few minutes outside is the highlight of this writer’s day- but where can you get some exercise and walk in LA that isn’t closed (while also practicing appropriate social distancing?)
Let’s say this once- when you go outside, STAY 6 FEET APART FROM OTHER PEOPLE. COVER YOUR FACE. When you get back home, WASH YOUR HANDS!
Ok. Now that we have that covered, let’s talk neighborhoods.
Disclaimer: This writer hails from New York, and operates sans- car in LA. Discovering walkable neighborhoods in Los Angeles, a city known for its endless bumper-to-bumper traffic is a top priority for me, and I make sure to highlight the best places to walk in LA when I give hiking tours. There are endless options for good places to walk in the city, whether you’re looking for urban skyscrapers, a beachside stroll, or the best places to window shop. Here are 5 of my faves.
The Best Neighborhoods to Walk in LA
Koreatown, LA’s most densely populated neighborhood, has also become one of its most hip spots over the past decade. 120,000 Angelinos call Koreatown home, and its vibrant population makes it the perfect urban pocket to take a stroll. There’s a real pulse to the neighborhood and a great sense of community; Los Angeles is a massive city, but any time you turn a corner, you’re bound to hit a quiet block. Koreatown is the exemption to that rule- the outdoor markets, shopping malls, and al fresco restaurants make it a bustling hub between Downtown LA and Hollywood. Also, you can’t beat the nightlife. Koreatown is known for its late night establishments, boasting tons of dive bars, karaoke joints, dance clubs, and of course, unlimited Korean Barbecue. It also features some gorgeous architecture, particularly on Wilshire Boulevard- the classic Gaylord Apartments, Line Hotel, and the Bullocks Wilshire (featured in National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation!”) Koreatown is one of LA’s finest hidden gems, and perfect for a stroll.
Recommended Walking Blocks in Koreatown:
Wilshire Boulevard, between Western Ave and Vermont Ave
Normandie Ave, between 3rd Street and Wilshire
West 8th Street, between Western and Vermont
Hancock Park, or Beverly Hills 2.0, is a gorgeous haven in the center of Los Angeles, tucked between Koreatown on the East, and Hollywood on the West. When you step into Hancock Park, you feel like you’ve left the city streets of LA behind you, and stepped into a beautiful suburban hamlet. Known for its mansions and affluence, Hancock Park is home to many celebrities, including Antonio Banderas, Mindy Kaling, David Schwimmer, Maxine Waters, and George Takei. Hancock Park’s gorgeous mansions were designed by a swath of prolific architects, such as Wallace Neff and Frank Lloyd Wright. Take a morning or a sunset stroll- you’ll be taken by the beautiful rolling green lawns, blooming trees, and breathtaking posh homes in Hancock Park. Just make sure to keep your eyes peeled for cameras- Hancock Park is a top LA filming location!
Recommended Walking Blocks in Hancock Park:
June Street, between 3rd and Wilshire
Plymouth Street, between 3rd and Wilshire
Muirfield Street, between 3rd and Wilshire
Larchmont Boulevard, between Beverly and 3rd
Beverly Boulevard, between Rossmore and Irving
Rossmore Ave, between Clinton and Wilshire
Looking for a leafy, relaxing escape just minutes away from urban Los Angeles? Check out Los Feliz, a shrouded, tree-lined paradise on the east side of the city. Los Feliz is home to many creatives, young professionals, and celebrities looking for a low key, walkable vibe with a real neigborhood feel. Explore Vermont and Hillhurst Avenues, which are dotted with multiple al fresco cafes, thrift shops, record stores, and gorgeous mansions designed by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra. Los Feliz also has a rich film history, having been the genesis of a little studio called Disney, if you’ve ever heard of it; the neighborhood can boast being the birthplace of Mickey Mouse, first drawn in Disney’s studio on Kingswell Avenue, now occupied by a photocopy shop. Disney’s second studio was also in Los Feliz, where there is now a Gelson’s on the corner of Griffith Park Boulevard and Hyperion. And speaking of Griffith Park…that’s also in Los Feliz, if you feel like venturing up the hills into our favorite LA park. While the park’s hiking trails are currently closed, you can explore the beautiful homes and landscaping around the Griffith Hills, the foothills edging the park. And to clear up an age-old debate, click here.
Recommended Walking Blocks in Los Feliz:
Vermont Ave, between Sunset Boulevard and Commonwealth Canyon Drive*
Hillhurst Ave, between Sunset Boulevard and Commonwealth Canyon Drive*
Cromwell Ave, between Hillhurst and Cadman
New York transplants, take note: LA is not necessarily known for its pedestrian traffic or skyscrapers (up until 50 years ago, buildings couldn’t be taller than 50 feet, due to our lovely California earthquakes,) but if you want the most “New Yorky” feeling part of town, head to Downtown Los Angeles. Featuring some of the best urban architecture in the city, and two of the tallest buildings on the West Coast, Downtown LA (aka DTLA) has seen a major renaissance over the past 20 years. There are tons of hip bars, restaurants, luxury hotels, art galleries, and enough Instagram walls to flood your feed for weeks. Pop in to the Bradbury Building, LA’s first commercial office building, for a throwback to films such as “Blade Runner” and “500 Days of Summer.” Check out Grand Central Market, LA’s largest and oldest public market, home of 38 different delicious food stands. Stroll through the city’s Arts District, a mecca for artists and creatives for the last hundred years, and now home to dozens of cool murals and breweries. A glance to the south displays the formerly grand theatre marquees and storefronts of Downtown, and transports the viewer from the base of the Santa Monica Mountains to an urban epicenter.
Recommended Walking Blocks in Downtown LA:
Grand Avenue, between 1st Street and Olympic
Hill Street, between 1st Street and Olympic
Broadway, between 1st Street and Olympic
Spring Street, between 1st Street and Olympic
The Arts District: bound by East 4th Street, Alameda Street, 7th Street, and Santa Fe Ave
Finally, it wouldn’t be a Walking in LA blog without featuring a slice of Hollywood! The Melrose/Fairfax District is located smack in the heart of Hollywood, and features gorgeous homes, flat streets, and the coolest boutiques in town. This is one of the best places to window shop in LA, particularly trendy Melrose Avenue. Melrose is packed with thrift shops, designer stores, cool restaurants, and of course, that famous pink wall peppering your Instagram feed. Stroll on Melrose for several miles, people-watch some of LA’s most fashionable residents, and stop for an impromptu photo shoot- this is LA! No one looks twice. Fairfax Ave is also home to some of LA’s most delicious eats, especially Canter’s Deli, Sweet Chick, and Badmaash. When walking Fairfax, be sure to dodge the crowds lined up for the latest sneaker relase outside Fairfax’s plethora of sneaker shops, and keep your eyes peeled for James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” crew- the CBS Studio Lot is right at the corner of Fairfax and Beverly. When you’re done with all that, mosey on down to The Grove. While it’s closed right now, take a moment of quiet amidst the pretty storefronts and fountains in the center of LA’s best outdoor shopping mall. The hustle and bustle will be back eventually. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay HOME— and when you’re feeling up for some fresh air, take a little walk.
Recommended Walking Blocks in Melrose/Fairfax:
Melrose Avenue, between Highland Ave and Doheny Drive
Fairfax Avenue, between Santa Monica Blvd and West 3rd Street
La Jolla Avenue, between West 3rd Street and Santa Monica Blvd (pop by the Bikes and Hikes LA parklet and wave hello:)
It’s important to stay informed about coronavirus symptoms, updates, and news during these ever changing times. According to the top coronavirus tips from the CDC, the new, novel coronavirus (aka COVID-19) comes from a large family of viruses that may cause cold-like symptoms in people. While there are many types of coronaviruses, COVID-19 has never before been seen in humans. The virus likely originated in animals, and spread to humans via human/animal contact; either close contact, or via “respiratory droplets,” aka sneezing or coughing. Coronavirus symptoms manifest in cold or flu-like traits, or similar respiratory infections. Top coronavirus symptoms include a fever, a dry cough, tiredness, and difficulty breathing. Given the current global pandemic, it’s important to properly educate yourself on how to stay safe and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak.
*Speaking of staying healthy and informed- it’s important to make sure that you’re educating yourself with the best, most accurate, and up-to-date materials. Bikes and Hikes LA recommends constantly checking the Official CDC Website for coronavirus information and updates.
-Written by: Elizabeth Conway