The Great Outdoors

Need an excuse to get outside this summer? We've got eight.

May 11, 2016 9:00 am

Clean the garage. Take out the trash. Pick up the kids.

Life is a neverending checklist of to-dos.

Hence why you need something(s) to look forward to. Like: the eight outdoor adventures you must do this summer.

Herein: red rocks, twilit concerts, a motorcycle trip up the PCH and a forbidden channel island whose shores you can now legally breach.

Get out there.

Kayak down the L.A. River with LA River Kayak Safari

Yes. That river. LA River Kayak Safari guides tours down the Sepulveda Pass, which has been returned to its natural state with the help of the Army Corps Engineers. After a solid winter of rains, it’s packed with greenery, birds and light rapids. (May 28 – Sept 3)

Watch the world’s best soccer teams compete at COPA America

L.A. is one of 10 U.S. cities that will host our first COPA America, a 100-year old soccer tournament between the best national squads in the Americas. Sixteen teams play 32 matches in a battle royale. Here’s the bracket. (June 3-26)

Join the gang at AETHERmoto for their Central Coast Rally

Meandering drives up the PCH. Picnics. Wine. Camping in Paso Robles. Wine. Gourmet dinners. More wine. Campfires. Sleeping under the stars. A peaceful ride home. That’s AETHERmoto’s Central Coast Rally. (June 4-5)

Make your weekend run a Trail Run at Turnbull Canyon

Build your endurance with a trail run around the Turnbull Canyon trail in Puente Hills Preserve, a 4.5-mile loop that offers stunning views of downtown, the Santa Ana Mountains, the San Gabriels and the San Jacintos. Dotted with sycamores, these rolling hills are also home to the Rose Hills Buddhist Columbarium, the largest in the Western Hemisphere. Might as well meditate, too.

Watch the Independent Shakespeare Company at the Griffith Park Festival

Shakespeare performances are great to watch outside, and the Independent Shakespeare Company does modern interpretations of the Bard’s work in the Old Zoo, a creepy backdrop. This season, they’re doing Richard III and the Tempest. (June 25 – July 24; July 30 – Sept 4)

Take the Metro to a Twilight Concert at the Santa Monica Pier

They haven’t released the artists yet, but rest assured that when the Twilight Concert series kicks off on July 7th, it’ll be solid. It always is. Forgo the car this year: the Expo Line is now open and steps away, and the concert series has bike valets. (July 7 – Sept 8)

Mountain bike the trails around Red Rocks Park in Topanga Canyon

Undulating hills. Views of the Pacific. The adrenaline rush of flying downhill. Mountain biking kicks ass. Rent wheels from Topanga Creek Outpost and hit the Red Rocks Park in Topanga Canyon. The burnt sienna rocks poke out of the sagebrush and chaparral and there are enough trails to ride a different one every time you come back. They do group rides for beginners on Saturday mornings.

Sail and hike around San Miguel Island

San Miguel Island, one of the Channel Islands dotting the waters west of Ventura, is now safe to visit and open to the public. The Navy closed San Miguel Island in 2014 to remove Unexploded Ordinances and make sure the island was safe. Now it is. It’s also stunning: think crystal blue waters and remote beaches with lots of wildlife. It gets pretty windy out there, and there are orcas, whales and sharks. That’s stuff’s best viewed from a boat. We suggest taking a sailboat and then hiking around Point Bennett.

This is but only one installment of 37 Things a Man’s Gotta Do This Summer, our annual compendium of everything worth seeing, doing, eating, drinking and generally making time for in your neck of the woods between now and September


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