Santa Monica is amazing! We all know that! You can literally go hiking in the mountains and chill on the Pacific beach, all in the same morning.
Do you like mountains, parks, and green spaces? Sometimes they may be a better bet than the beach, especially if you want to run out of the heat and the city and take a quality rest in the nature. If this sounds like you, we have a list of places in Santa Monica you should most definitely visit…
Santa Monica Mountains
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area includes hiking trails, beaches, and cultural Native American sites. It is one of the largest protected areas of the Mediterranean-type ecosystem. The local climate along with the diverse topography in the Santa Monica Mountains are the main reasons for the existence of over 1,000 different plants and approximately 500 mammal, bird, reptile, and amphibian animal species.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a coastal mountain range paralleling the Pacific Ocean. It is part of the Transverse Ranges. Because it is so close to Los Angeles County, the second most populated county in the United States, it is one of the most visited natural areas in California. In size, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is actually the largest urban national park in the United States.
A lot of reasons may bring you to Santa Monica Mountains. Some of them include the mild Mediterranean climate, truly wild places, and amazing views. There are also approximately 500 miles of trails available for hikers, runners, and bikers and multiple opportunities if you are a fan of climbing.
Just for your information, the highest peak – Sandstone Peak, also known as Mount Allen, is the highest summit in the Santa Monica Mountains with the highest point reaching 3,114 feet (949 m). It’s located near the western edge of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and provides panoramic views of Malibu, The Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica, the Conejo Valley, and four of the Channel Islands. The Sandstone Peak Trail, which leads to the top, connects to a vast trail system in the area, including the Backbone Trail.
You can find truly wild places and see wildlife like coyotes, bobcats, dolphins, and even a mountain lion, if you are lucky. You can enjoy amazing views during the day and stargazing during the night. You can explore the culture of the Native American people and how they used to live in the mountains for more than 10,000 years.
If you want to go freestyle, please, take some time to do your homework and prepare well before that. It’s worth it!
Topanga State Park
Topanga State Park is a California state park also located in the Santa Monica Mountains.
The park is located adjacent to the community of Topanga. It covers 11,000 acres (45 km²), with thirty-six miles of trails and unimproved roads. The park’s boundaries stretch from Topanga Canyon to Pacific Palisades and Mulholland Drive. There are more than 60 trail entrances. Topanga State Park is not only the largest park in the Santa Monica Mountains, but it’s also considered to be the largest park located in the limits of a city.
The word Topanga is an old Shoshonean language word meaning ‘above’ and referring to the canyon settlement being above the flood waters of Topanga Creek. The Tongva and Chumash peoples inhabited this area for thousands of years. The land of Topanga Canyon was originally inhabited by Native American groups collectively referred to as the Topanga Culture, including the Chumash and Tongva.
This 25-acre park overlooking the Pacific is a wonderful place if you want to go for a walk, a bit of biking or just to enjoy some nice views and the sunset without going too far from the city of Santa Monica. It connects with the broad Santa Monica beach which we all know from the TV’s “Baywatch” episodes.
This park is approximately 17.9 acres big. There are picnic tables with 16 BBQ grills (all reservable) so you can enjoy your weekend to the fullest. There are 2 playgrounds for the kids, a baseball diamond, softball and soccer fields, tennis and volleyball courts, all equipped with lights. A big parking lot and restrooms are also present.
Don’t forget that, in order to have enough energy, you need to have a healthy breakfast. Or let’s say a late brunch if it’s during the weekend. Here, at Bread & Porridge, we have all you need. Just pass by, charge your batteries, and go for the adventure!
See you soon!