Walking is an excellent form of exercise. Taking a walk gives you a way to be active and it offers quality catch-up with your partner, bestie (including your favorite four-legged pup), or kid. Walking often prompts time for personal reflection, listening to favorite tunes and just being present.
Today’s accessories like Fitbits, Apple watches, and step trackers contribute to the general philosophy that walking has many health benefits including lowering blood pressure, losing weight, and improving your mood.
The math is easy. According to The Walking Site, the average person takes 2,000 to 2,500 walking steps per mile. So, get your sneakers, put your “adventure hat” on and take a step out of your comfort zone. The landscape of Los Angeles is diverse and has much to incentivize for getting your steps in L.A.
Why not start with some of our suggestions below?
1. The Hollywood Bowl
The Hollywood Bowl (it’s also a public park during the day) gives visitors an educational and beautiful walk during the day. Take a self-guided walking tour throughout the public park outside of the amphitheater. There are 10 stations to visit where guests will acquire facts and tidbits about the history of the Bowl, Beetlemania and other great musical performances. You’ll have quiet moments to explore native habitat and wildlife, and a beautiful site for a picnic. -> Surround yourself with music and nature.
2. Lake Hollywood Trail
Lake Hollywood Trail will give you about 7,000 steps. It’s a 3.3 mile loop that takes walkers (and hikers, joggers, bikers and baby strollers) around the Hollywood Reservoir. The Reservoir aka Lake Hollywood was built in 1924 with the job of providing drinking water to the city in case of an emergency. Explore the local sites — views of the Hollywood sign and 1920s L.A. architecture. -> Find the trail here.
3. Echo Park Lake
Echo Park Lake offers steppers the opportunity to get in as many steps as they need. One loop around Echo Park lake is just under one mile or 2,000 steps. What makes Echo Park Lake super special is its beautiful lotus plants and blossoms during the spring months and the Lotus Festival event which takes place annually in mid-July. Cruise with your step counter around the lake where you’ll get to check out the 1930s sculpture by California local artist Ada Mae Sharpless, paddle boats amid the water and wildlife including ducks, turtles and geese. It’s minutes from Downtown. -> Walking the lake.
4. Exposition Park Rose Garden
Everything is coming up roses at Exposition Park Rose Garden. One loop around the garden will give you anywhere between 4,000 to 5,000 steps. This National Register of Historic Places was established in 1927 and today is home to over 200,000 rose bushes and over 200 varieties of roses. Perfect to walk anytime of the year, you may even witness a marriage proposal along the way. -> Stop and smell the roses here.
5. Encino Golf Loop
Encino Golf loop is a popular morning or late afternoon walk (almost 5 miles) that takes you around the Valley golf course. You can easily get in over 10,000 steps on this path. Much of the path is hard-packed dirt — avoid small pebbles by wearing sneakers. Also, with higher daytime temps hitting Encino, you are likely to be more comfortable in the mornings or early evenings when the sun is not in its prime. -> Walk the Valley.
6. Venice Beach
Venice Beach, known for Muscle Beach, its hippie-vibe beach culture, skateboard park, and its namesake public art graffiti walls, is one of the best beach-walking areas in Los Angeles. The loop begins and ends at Ocean Front Walk, just a minute walk down from the Venice Beach Boardwalk. You’ll gain about 4,000 steps on this paved and dog-friendly* “trail” (*don’t forget the leash). Download the AllTrails app and it will connect you to a map detailing the trail. -> Navigate the beach here.
7. Veterans Parkway
Veterans Parkway in Manhattan Beach is one of those pretty long green beltways you don’t often get to see in Southern California. You’ll reach the 15,000 step goal by walking back and forth from Manhattan Beach to Hermosa Beach along this walkway. That’s about 7 miles. Don’t worry, there is a beautiful rest stop near Ninth Street called Mariposa Pathway. You can sit under any of the shady eucalyptus trees and check out the butterfly totems (public art installation) honoring the natural habitat of the Monarch butterfly. -> Walking 15,000 steps here.
8. The Music Box Steps
The Music Box Steps are named for the 1932 Academy Award winner for Live Action Short film: “The Music Box,” starring Laurel and Hardy. The staircase where the film was shot depicts the comedic team attempting to move a piano up a flight of stairs. Located in the heart of Silver Lake, the Music Box Steps won’t disappoint your step tracker. There are several staircases, but in total, if you do all the steps, plan on climbing 2.5 miles, or 705 stairs totaling 5,500 steps. This walk is strenuous. -> Leave your piano at home.
9. Descanso Gardens
Descanso Gardens is an outdoor garden museum with peaceful walking paths that lead visitors to several natural displays including a rose garden, oak forest, Japanese garden and camellia collection. Visitors can take in the natural beauty while counting steps. And after a walk through the park, guests take a respite at Maple, the gardens’ on-site restaurant (Patina Restaurant Group) serving brunch and lunch. Membership is available. Non-members’ admission is $9 for adults; $6 for seniors and students with a school I.D.; $4 for children 5 to 12, and free for ages 4 and younger. -> Garden walking here.
10. Ikea in Burbank
The Burbank Ikea is one of the new stomping grounds for getting those steps in – an estimated 2,000 steps. The Ikea stats: 456,000 square feet (the most square footage of any Ikea), 1,700 parking spaces, a 600-seat restaurant and 50 room settings. All you need are comfy shoes, your step tracker and an appetite. Morning walkers stop into the Ikea restaurant for breakfast and a coffee and afternoon/evening walkers have the option of a salmon filet plate ($5.99 and 520 calories), the store’s famous Swedish meatballs and so much more. -> Walk and shop here.
11. The Rose Bowl
Walking around the Rose Bowl is a landmark Pasadena tradition. It’s a beautiful destination bordered by shady trees where thousands of people come together to raise awareness for a cause (National Heart Association, National MS Society, Autism Speaks to name a few). It’s where treasure hunters visit its signature Flea Market (first Sunday of the month). The Rose Bowl, which was built in 1922, is home to UCLA football, the Rose Bowl, concerts (U2 recently performed), and is a number-one spot to exercise. The loop is about 6,500 steps and it will take you about 90 minutes to walk the trail. Crowds visit to get their daily exercise in; you’ll see a whole lot of runners, bikers and training clubs. -> Walking a tradition.
12. UCLA Drake Stadium
Get your collegiate spirit on at UCLA Drake Stadium. A popular stomping ground on the UCLA campus for all athletic levels, the 9-lane track gives you the freedom to accomplish your step goals. Four times around is one mile, turning out 2,000 steps. Named for Elvin C. “Ducky” Drake, a Bruin who made a positive impact on the university as a student, track coach and trainer, Drake Stadium is a great place for working out. -> Get on track.
13. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
The view at the top of Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is worth the hike up. Whether you climb up and down the 282 stairs straight to the top or you travel the snake-like trail up along the hillside, you’ll earn more than 2,400 steps, a cardio workout and the stunning opportunity to explore the native landscape and vista of the city of Los Angeles. -> Climb to a magnificent view.
14. Mandeville Canyon Trail
Mandeville Canyon Trail in West L.A. is another big walking commitment. The 7.2 mile hike in and out of Mandeville Canyon will clock in almost 16,000 steps. This trail is a fire road and groomed throughout the year. Sitting within the Santa Monica Mountains, the Mandeville Canyon trail loop gives you the much-anticipated gift when you reach the highest point of elevation – a beautiful view of Los Angeles from the city to the beach. This walk will give you steps and a workout. -> Climb the canyon here.