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Kristen Balboni

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Critics love to say LA isn’t a walkable city, but real Angelenos know that’s far from the truth. It’s all about knowing the right spots — and once you’ve got the inside scoop, you know just how perfect a walk in Los Angeles can be.

These walks will have you appreciating all of LA’s best assets: the views, the water, and the great outdoors. So throw on your tennis shoes, get outside, and start enjoying all that our fine city has to offer.

There are plenty of walking and hiking trails in Griffith Park, but we like the one that leads you to the ruins of the Old Los Angeles Zoo. The old zoo was shut down in 1965, but the animal exhibits and cages are still standing. It’s a truly unique piece of LA history to explore on your next walk. And for all you Anchorman fans, the famous “Panda Watch” scene was filmed here.

This tranquil reservoir is a hidden gem, even among LA natives. The perimeter of the reservoir is about 3.2 miles and the path is flat and paved to allow for easy walking. Make sure to have your camera ready because you’ll get great views of the Hollywood Sign on your trek. And FYI: there are no dogs or cars allowed, so it truly is a walker’s paradise right in the middle of the city.

Even though the official name is the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, this incredible bike and walking path is known to everyone in LA as “The Strand”. This quintessential West Side spot is a paved path right on the ocean, from Will Rogers State Beach all the way down to Torrance. While you could walk all 22 miles—and more power to you if you do—we especially like the stretch from the Santa Monica Pier to Venice Beach.

Right off Ocean Avenue, this gorgeous and green Santa Monica park extends 1.5 miles from Colorado Avenue to Adelaide Drive. With swaying palm trees, lush green grass, and truly unbeatable ocean views, it’s impossible to take a walk in this park without feeling at peace. Take a stroll with friends or your dog, soak in the fresh air, or bring a picnic for for after your walk. And if you want to make this walk even more magical? Go at sunset. Trust us.

Echo Park Lake is a well-known oasis in the midst of the hustle and bustle of LA. The one-mile path around the lake makes for an easy and relaxing walk with some pretty epic views. From virtually every vantage point, you’ll see the giant fountain and people on pedal boats combined with the skyscrapers of downtown in the background. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Spice up your usual walking routine by adding in some culture at the La Brea Tar Pits. There’s so much to see outside of the museum, and it’s free! Start at the intersection of Wilshire and South Curson and walk the grounds from there. You’ll see (and smell) the famous tar pits, and you might even catch an active dig in progress.

Head over to Venice to enjoy a scenic two-mile stroll among beautiful houses, picturesque bridges, and peaceful canals. Start the walk at the corner of Washington and Strongs Drive, where you’ll see a little sign that says “Venice Canals Walkway”. From there, crisscross the canals at your leisure via the bridges, and let the tranquil water and beautiful homes lull you into feeling like you’re somewhere completely different — at least for a few hours.

While Runyon is probably best known for celebrity sightings, the trails here are pretty great too. There are three entrances to the park in the Hollywood Hills: on Fuller Avenue, Vista Street, and Mulholland. From there, pick your adventure — anything from sweaty, heart-pumping hikes to easy walks with your dog. No matter which path you take, you’re guaranteed to see great views and trendy people. Fitt Tip: this hot spot can get crowded, so if you’re looking for a bit more solitude, try going on a weekday.

If you’re looking to escape city life on your walk, the path around the Silver Lake Reservoir is the perfect spot. The 2.2-mile path has chirping birds, scurrying wildlife, and incredible views. While the reservoir was empty for several years, it was recently filled up again, making this walk even more beautiful.

Transport yourself back in time with a walk through Wattles Garden Park. The estate, on North Curson Avenue, is a true throwback to Old Hollywood. The Wattles Mansion isn’t open to the public, but the grounds are, and that’s really all you need. Walk your dog on one of the trails, enjoy the lush landscape, and picnic on the lawn afterward. Just don’t tell to many of your friends about it — it’s the perfect secret spot in LA.

Chock-full of things to enjoy, Franklin Canyon Park sits between Beverly Hills and the Valley. Some of the highlights include a three-acre lake, picnic grounds, a duck pond, and plenty of walking and hiking trails to choose from. Trails range from easy (Discovery Trail, 0.3 miles) to more strenuous (Hastain Trail, 2.3 miles) — you can choose what’s best for you.