Sure, you could go to a gym to work out, but why would you when you can visit Mother Nature’s 163,696 square mile gym, California? With outdoor adventures for everyone, travelers of all fitness levels can keep in shape while experiencing and exploring the beauty of the state.
Ascend to New Heights
• Beat the crowds with an early morning three-mile ascent on Fresno’s Pincushion Mountain to enjoy views of Millerton Lake and the Sierra Nevada. For more of a challenge, explore the trails around Shaver and Huntington Lake and nearby Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park.
• A hike to Table Mountain or Red Hills in Tuolumne County will bring the senses to life. For travelers looking for even more adventure, nearby Yosemite National Park’s Tuolumne Meadows is a rock climbers dream come true.
• The Palm Springs desert offers hundreds of miles of mountain trails that make for perfect hikes from October to April. In the heat of summer, head to the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tram and enjoy hiking in temperatures 20 degrees cooler than in the valley.
• San Luis Obispo is home to a variety of trails and hills, including the popular Cerro San Luis. Looking for a challenge? Firefighter Trail to Reservoir Canyon got its name from the local firefighters who run this path for training!
Take the Plunge
• Channel Islands National Park – located off the coast of Oxnard and Santa Barbara – is an incredible fitness destination. Here, travelers can kayak, hike, snorkel, surf or get killer workout sea cave kayaking with Santa Barbara Adventure Company.
• Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach invites visitors to explore 2,400 acres of land, including 3.2 miles of beaches and tide pools. The views from the top of El Moro Canyon Loop Trail are some of the most beautiful, and might even inspire you to go scuba diving in the offshore waters.
• Explore Morro Bay’s rugged coast on a beach cruiser, ride through town on a road bike, or get dirty on miles of mountain biking trails at Valencia Peak in nearby Montana de Oro.
• When you combine great scenery and great wine you have the makings for a memorable, bucolic day biking from winery to winery in beautiful Temecula Valley Wine Country.
• Enjoy uncrowded beaches in Torrance and explore the coastline on two wheels. Torrance Beach is the starting point for The Strand, a 22-mile coastal bike path that ends in Malibu.
Ride the Wave • The famous Dana Point surf break was immortalized in the Beach Boys “Surfin’USA.” Doheny State Beach is perfect for families and beginners, and Salt Creek Beach is a great spot for more advanced surfers. Gear up at the Hobie Surf Shop, the first retail surf shop in the world which opened in 1954.
• With a sheltered location and consistent waves, Santa Monica is the ideal spot to learn to surf. Head to the end of Bay Street and sign up for private or group lessons at Aqua Surf School or Go Surf LA.
• With 70-miles of open ocean coastline, San Diego draws newbie and advanced surfers. The La Jolla Shores are perfect for learning, while Trestles or Black’s Beach are best for experienced surfers.
• Huntington Beach is an ideal active-lifestyle destination, with great weather year-round. Surfing pros and novices can stop by Toes on the Nose at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach for rentals and surf lessons.
• Costa Mesa is a great place to get steps in, with The Costa Mesa Art Walk offering up stunning sculptures for art-lovers to enjoy, and 400 acres of nature sanctuary and trails waiting to be explored at Fairview Park or Talbert Regional Park.
• There is more to Napa than wine! Downtown Napa offers up many options for an active vacation, such as exploring the Napa River by kayak or paddleboard, or catching art along the incredible Napa ARTwalk.
VisitCalifornia.com edited by YourVilla Magazine Staff