Today’s LAX post will be a bit different, since I’m parked poolside in Palm Springs for my friend Sonja’s bachelorette party. And that’s the thing. Over the last ten years, I’ve often found myself far, far away from my beloved city when Saturday morning comes.
That’s not a bad thing. One of the very best things about living in LA is how easy it is to get the hell out of town.
And not just out of town. Like, into several totally different ecosystems. It’s pretty much like living in the Biosphere. I can’t think of any other major city where you have such unfettered access to such a wide variety of terrain, weather, and outdoor activities so close to home.
For all the grief people like to give LA for being a concrete jungle, Los Angeles is dizzyingly close to nature. Within a two-hour radius, you can scramble through a desert oasis. You can camp on an uninhabited island. You can ski on a 8,000-foot peak… no, you can ski and surf in the same day—something I have yet to do!
It may seem crazy to write a post celebrating LA that’s all about leaving LA. But I think this is what completes the experience of living here. Being able to escape and recharge is important to my city experience. And actually, we really don’t even have to leave. We’ve got the largest municipal park in the country located within our borders. Situated in a verifiable urban mountain range. We can climb a mountain before breakfast.
In honor of our perfectly situated city, here are a few places I’ve found myself on the weekends over the last ten years. All of these places are less than three hours from my house. A few of these places are even within LA County!
Joshua Tree, 137 miles.
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, 86 miles.
East Fork of the San Gabriel River (part of the Bridge to Nowhere hike), 46 miles
Malibu Creek State Park (during the Bulldog 25K), 36 miles.
The Parker, Palm Springs, 104 miles
El Matador State Beach, 42 miles
Verdugo Mountain Park, Burbank, 15 miles
Believe it or not, the LA River. 0 miles.
Where’s your favorite LA-adjacent getaway?
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