Venice Canals & Waterfalls Just Part Of L.A.’s Hidden Gems
The city of Los Angeles is like that mysterious girl lurking at the back at your friend’s party. She occasionally joins the conversation and sometimes leads it, but at the same time you know she’s hiding something really cool.
No matter how up front Los Angeles is about her signature places – the Hollywood sign, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, the Rose Bowl – she always has something else behind that glistening facade.
I’ve begun to discover a few of these secrets by doing something that’s not often associated with L.A.: walking.
Twice, I have accompanied 50+ people as part of the Happy Hour Hiking Club, a group organized by the lighthearted and clever Los Angeles Times columnist Chris Erskine. I’ve also accompanied a friend for a hike to Eaton Falls; did you know there are waterfalls in Los Angeles!?
The Happy Hour Hiking Club, as the name suggests, combines walks (or hikes) around different parts of Los Angeles on a monthly basis, followed by tossing back a pint or two in a local bar.
The ones I’ve been on have both been in the same area, Venice Beach. And not the Venice Beach you think you know, but a part of it along its canals. The actual canals that Abbot Kinney envisioned when he built “the Venice of America.”
There are walking trails along the canals, all the way down to the Marina del Rey channel. There are signs posted educating people to the plants and wildlife. There are no sidewalk performers, no 3-for-1 t-shirt shops and no crazy-looking characters doing odd things on the beach and walkway.
Both times, I rode my beach cruiser bicycle for these hikes (or walks, really), an hour ride from Hermosa Beach along the coast in the ultimate California convertible
One of these days I’m going to again brave the LA freeways to go to a hike in some other part of town because, as Los Angeles continues to prove to me, there’s a lot more to this city than meets the eye.