Shortly after I started this blog some 2+ years ago, I wrote a post about the best spots in Los Angeles for winter outdoor fun. We’ve explored a lot more places since then, so I figured an updated version was in order.
BEACHES & TIDE POOLS
Beaches are overlooked (read: empty) during winter. Bring a jacket – and maybe a kite – and take advantage of having the place practically to yourself.
|Leo Carrillo State Park|
Leo Carrillo State Park
Winter is the time to head to the tide pools. And Leo Carrillo State Park is one of our favorite spots. There’s some 1.5 miles of beach, tide pools & coastal caves here – plus a kid-friendly beach that’s not too bad, either.
Malibu Lagoon State Beach
Malibu Lagoon State Beach is a great spot for sand play, tide pool exploring and bird watching. Take advantage of free family bird walks provided by the Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society every fourth Sunday of the month at 10 a.m., rain or shine.
The Paradise Cove beach is pristine, the tide pool discoveries plentiful and the views beyond magnificent. Don’t forget to enjoy a meal with a view at the Paradise Beach Café while you’re there.
Winter’s mild temps are the perfect time to hit the trails. In fact, we’ve been exploring all kinds of new places this month! (Check out 5 great places for a Christmas Day hike in Los Angeles for more inspiration.)
|Will Rogers State Historic Park|
Ernest E. Debs Regional Park
There’s lots to enjoy at the Audubon Center at Debs Park, including a children’s woodland area (translation: a nature playground) and pint-sized trails. The 280+-acre Ernest E. Debs Regional Park has plenty of other trails just waiting to be explored.
Will Rogers State Historic Park
The 3-mile Inspiration Loop Trail is our favorite hike at Will Rogers State Historic Park. But you might want to try geocaching, enjoy a picturesque picnic or fly a kite.
Nature parks and preserves are worth a visit any time of the year as the scenery changes from one season to the next.
|Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area|
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area has a number of different areas to explore – including a duck pond, a stream with waterfalls, a forest, hiking trails, toddler play structures, picnic sites and more.
Think of the 15-acre Legacy Park as a nature playground – do some bird watching, take a short “hike” around the park and play on the mosaic sculptures in the children’s area.
Temescal Gateway Park
Sure, there’s lots of great hiking here. But we go for the atmosphere. Temescal includes some 140 acres of oak and sycamore canyons, which feature streams, sticks, tree branches and other natural elements that make it a real nature playground.
The gray whale migration along the California coast takes place during the winter months. The toughest decision is choosing whether to head up the coast or down to see them!
|Malibu Bluffs Park|
Aquarium of the Pacific
Enjoy a 2 to 2.5 hour voyage out in the open Pacific. Your ticket price includes admission to the Aquarium. Tours depart daily at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., with an additional 9 a.m. departure on weekends.
Malibu Bluffs Park
If you prefer to stay on land for your whale watching, head to Malibu Bluffs Park, where there’s a perfect spot to hang out and enjoy the view. Don’t forget your binoculars!
Your turn! Where do you like to explore during the winter?