There’s no arguing that Los Angeles has some of the best year-round weather on the planet. And while it’s easy to stay cooped up inside, staring at Grindr on your iPhone, there are loads of outdoor activities to choose from, many of which are free.
Here’s a list of some of our favorite things to do. Check ‘em out, then gear up and get out. There’s almost always a beautiful day waiting for you in L.A.
Kayak the River
Enjoy the cold, clear water of the L.A. River. Along the way you’ll encounter wildlife and even rapids, but nothing too serious. There are a number of tour companies that can hook you up, so do your research and see what will best work for you, location-wise. (The Elysian Valley is a popular area.) Just make sure you have all your belongings waterproofed (Ziploc baggies work well), as kayak flippage is not uncommon. It’s a great way for city dwellers to enjoy a few hours of life outside of the city without having to venture too far.
There are so many places to hike in L.A., many of which are easy, even for beginners. Griffith Park is an excellent choice, seeing as how it’s so vast and has lots of awesome trails to choose from, depending on your fitness level, most of which provide unbelievable views of the Glendale and L.A. skylines. Then, of course, there’s Runyon Canyon, which is very well maintained and so easy to navigate it won’t feel like you’re hiking. Another of our favorites is the Solstice Canyon trail, which is located just north of Malibu off of PCH. Whichever path you choose, just be sure you’re prepared with good hiking shoes and some bottled water. Having to be carried back down the mountain with a sprained ankle or passing out from dehydration is so not sexy.
There are almost as many free tennis courts in Los Angeles as there are struggling actor/waiter types, making it super easy to just show up and play anytime the mood hits you. Naturally, there are also plenty of courts that require membership or an invitation. Whichever you chose, the opportunities are endless since the weather makes tennis in L.A. a year-round outdoor sport to participate in. There’s even a gay tennis league you can join, so get your balls out there and start putting them to good use.
Before you get all gay bitchy — yes, we know, galleries are inside, but you have to walk outside to get from one to another, making this an outdoor activity. It happens on the second Thursday of every month and generally runs from noon until 10:00 p.m. There’s a great mix of galleries and people, so you’ll never get bored or see the same stuff. And since the downtown area has been revitalized, there are also plenty of cafes and bars to rest in. What better way to enjoy a night than walking and taking in some art?
Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach are probably your best bet if you plan to just show up and invite yourself to join in. The sport is extremely popular at these two spots and there are usually plenty of people playing. There are also a number of Meetup groups to check out if you want something a bit more organized. Regardless, there will be plenty of tanned and toned beach volleyballers out there for you to spike — and possibly more — with.
Yes, believe it or not, there are gay men who like to golf. And there are quite a few golf courses in L.A. that are not expensive and make it relatively easy to get tee times. Check out the Los Feliz 9 hole, par 3 course, which is located right in the heart of Los Feliz. It was featured in the movie Swingers, so it has a real Hollywood feel. Fore!