Virtual Tourist recently named their “Top 10 Most Scenic Workouts.” After reading this article, we were reminded just how picturesque the state of California is, and felt inspired to compile our own list of scenic workouts in the Golden State – especially with summer just around the corner. So here they are, our “Top 10 Most Scenic Workouts in California” (in no particular order):
1) Hiking in San Luis Obispo – the Central Coast offers a variety of hiking trails for different levels and distances. Many are included on this list: http://www.slocountyparks.com/activities/hike.htm. One of our favorites is Duna Vista – a 1178-foot summit overlook with 360-degree views that include Lopez Lake, the Pacific Ocean, Pismo Dunes and the Santa Lucia Mountains. It’s worth the “hike.”
2) Kayaking in Pismo Beach – Both Central Coast Kayaks and Pismo Beach Dive Shop offer both rentals and guided tours. You’ll paddle through caves and see the local aquatic wildlife, all while working your core, arms and back.
3) Rollerblading in Venice Beach – Perhaps the most famous place in the country for rollerblading, the Venice boardwalk is a feast for the senses. Beyond the colorful crowd and eclectic vendors lies a path that winds along the wide beach and runs adjacent to one of Southern California’s most storied cities. Take in the view while gliding like the locals.
4) Volleyball in Hermosa Beach – Known as one of the premier places to play volleyball, Hermosa Beach has produced many world-class volleyball players. With nets lined up along the sand for what seems like miles, there’s always a place to play and observe other players, as well as the active local scene. After a rigorous game, take a break and watch the dolphins swim by for an extra-scenic experience.
5) Bike riding in Pacifica - The area just south of San Francisco is littered with different trails for hiking and biking. We love Sweeny Ridge, which is an area of ridges and ravines between San Bruno and Pacifica with lots of wildlife and stellar vistas.
6) Surfing in Laguna – Laguna boasts a beautiful coastline, yet many of its beaches don’t get busy, making them perfect for surfing. Try Laguna Beach Surfing Lessons if you’re just starting out and looking for lessons. Otherwise, this site provides a list of beaches with good surfing. Either way you’ll work up a sweat doing what the locals do best – surfing in serenity.
7) Sailing in Marina del Rey – Whether you’re a seasoned pro or looking to sail for the first time, Marina del Rey offers a soothing sailing setting. Go here to find the various sailing companies in the area and enjoy the view of the mainland from the water while strengthening your arms when adjusting the boom.
8) Horseback riding in Cambria – Outback Trail Rides takes you through some of the most spectacular scenery along Highway 1 and gives you an inside glimpse at private working ranches. You’ll ride along rolling hills, among oak groves, and enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean from some of the central coast’s oldest private ranch lands, never before open to the public. Ok, it’s not a rigorous workout, but certainly you’re working a few muscles trying not to fall off your horse!
9) Beach running in Santa Barbara – While there are many running options in Santa Barbara, we like the UCSB lagoon run (just under 4 miles), which begins at the Goleta Beach Park and the Santa Barbara triathlon course (10 miles), which starts at the Cabrillo Bathhouse and winds along the coastline. Both options offer tranquil surroundings of both ocean and mountains.
10) Standup paddle boarding in San Diego – One of today’s most talked about aquatic activities is standup paddle boarding. Not only is it a great core workout, standup paddle boarding is fun and provides a nice perspective of the coastline. San Diego has several rental options and lessons available.
Did you know that Pacifica Hotels has a hotel in each of these cities? Why work up a sweat (well, even more of one) trying to find the perfect coastal hotel when we’ve got you covered. Spend the day working out and the night winding down. After all, you’ve earned it.