It's easy to see why Universal City/North Hollywood is such a great place to visit, live & work. Just 45 minutes to Ski Slopes or Pacific Ocean Beaches. Whether your travel plans include business or pleasure, come enjoy the friendly hospitality & rich heritage of our people & bask in our warm year-round Mediterranean climate. Welcome to Universal City/North Hollywood, California.
THE GETAWAY: LEO CARRILLO STATE BEACH
Located in Malibu 28 miles north of Santa Monica on Pacific Coast Highway, Leo Carrillo State Park offers a beach that stretches for more than a mile, dotted with sea caves, tidepools and other beach-combing delights. The park is named after the actor and preservationist who served on the California Beach and Parks Commission for 18 years. A small visitor center offers interpretive displays, as well as guided nature walks and campfire programs. Picnic areas, campsites and RV facilities are also located in the park, so if you're looking to set up shop for a while and enjoy the scene, this might be the perfect spot.
THE HOPELESS ROMANTIC: EL MATADOR BEACH
Depending on how hard you try, you might be able to find a more romantic experience in LA, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a more romantic beach than El Matador . Located about 10 miles northwest of Malibu, this secluded pocket beach has rocky shores, robust waves and some of the clearest water in LA. But don't be deterred by the lack of facilities or the rugged path to the shore; once there, you'll find that it's the perfect place to enjoy a sunset dinner in one of the hidden coves.
THE SURF SPOT: MALIBU SURFRIDER BEACH
When it's time to get out the surfboard, apply a new coat of wax and zip on the wetsuit, there's no better place to be than Surfrider Beach in Malibu. As the waves roll in and begin to curl near the shore, surfers paddle furiously to catch those perfect waves of ocean bliss. You don't have to be an experienced surfer to appreciate the act of surfing, the cool vibe at the beach or the toned bodies of the surfers. In fact, sometimes it's better to just be a spectator when the crowds get hectic and you're fighting to catch a wave.
THE CLASSIC STRETCH OF SAND: SANTA MONICA BEACH
Located just north of the historic Santa Monica Pier, this is one of the most popular beaches in LA. At two miles long, Santa Monica Beach seems to go on forever and offers plenty of space to stretch the legs, set up for a game of volleyball, or go for a bike ride. Bring the sunscreen, a little cash for parking and a beach towel or blanket. Let the sun, sand and surf do the rest.
THE PEOPLE WATCHER: VENICE BEACH
Venice Beach is one place where it's almost as much about the people as it is about the surf or the sand. In fact, the world famous Ocean Front Walk often upstages the Pacific Ocean. As you're strolling the boardwalk, keep an eye out for Harry Perry, the turbaned guitar player on roller blades who has appeared in numerous films and TV shows. This is also the place to see bodybuilders, chainsaw jugglers and a full complement of palm readers, folk artists and other colorful characters.
At Manhattan Beach , it's all beautiful people, shiny cars, big sunglasses and little lap dogs. But that's in the trendy area of town next to the shore, where scenes from many television shows have been filmed. On the sand, you'll find beach volleyball at courts that seem to go on for miles, and bodysurfing near the pier. Check out the aquarium at the end of the pier, with its interesting sea creatures and touch pool. When it comes to getting in the water, you should know that surfing is limited to the south side of the pier and boogie boarding is confined to the water north of the pier. Swimming is prohibited in the areas immediately adjacent to the pier.
There's a certain hipster vibe at Hermosa Beach and its surrounding seaside community that you won't find at other LA beaches. You're just as likely to see people shopping and relaxing in outdoor cafes as you are the tanned and toned beach gods and goddesses that frequent the sandy shoreline. Pier Plaza is the place to hang out when you'd rather skip the sunscreen and beach towels. Once you're on the shore, a pristine expanse of sand awaits, with volleyball nets, plenty of space for sunbathing and sandcastle building, and a paved walkway for strolling or biking.
Popular among travelers and locals hitting the beach with kids in tow, Cabrillo Beach is a tranquil setting near San Pedro , with everything you need for the perfect family outing. Located on a thin peninsula near Point Fermin Park, the beach actually has two sides — one outside the breakwater that's open to the surf, and one that's open to the harbor. Depending on the activity, you can select either side and enjoy some adventure or some well-deserved relaxation. After you're finished with the beach, head to the nearby Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and enjoy the interactive exhibits, tidepool touch tanks and other unforgettable attractions.
Where to Surf
Whether you're getting on a board for the first time or you're a seasoned rider searching for LA's best breaks, there's something for everyone. Beginners can learn how to surf with mellow, consistent waves, while experts can head toward the big stuff. No matter what level you're at, you'll want to check out these legendary LA surfing spots and dive into surf culture USA.
Zuma Beach sits at the northern end of Malibu and stretches nearly two miles. Expect clear waters, significant waves and a local crowd. 3000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu.
MALIBU BEACH (SURFRIDER BEACH)
How can anyone talk about surfing in LA without talking about Malibu? The iconic Surfrider Beach is practically where LA surfing culture was born. Think long, lazy point breaks and ideal winds. It's the beach for those who say they're surfers, and want to prove it. Make these waves and you've made a point that you're a pro. 23050 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu.
For adventurous novices, the swells at Topanga Beach are a little easier to drop into and perfect for the beginner's longboard. The only catch: conditions are so ideal you might have to compete with plenty of good surfers for waves. 18700 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu.
The crowd here is known to be a little quirky, but on the other hand, the waves at Venice Beach offer mellow rides that are perfect for beginners. Plus, there's no better place to relax after surfing than Venice's famous boardwalk. 3100 to 2700 Ocean Front Walk, Venice.
One of the best beaches for winter riding, Manhattan Beach takes the cake for large surfs (and waves with fast closeouts). Expect big waves and ideal opportunities to practice your aerials. 400-500 The Strand, Manhattan Beach.
One of LA's hippest beaches, Hermosa Beach boasts some of the area's best waves, though at times the water can be colder than you'd expect for California weather (consider a wetsuit). The break is best during low tide and during the fall and winter. Hermosa Avenue and 33rd Street, Hermosa Beach.
Hiking into the hills and sparsely developed areas is one of the most popular forms of recreation in Griffith Park. Hikers are allowed to use the entire 53-mile network of trails, fire roads and bridle paths. Maps of trails and current information on trail closures and special restrictions are available at the Ranger Station, (323) 913-4688.
All trails in the park are closed at dusk. Open fires and smoking are not allowed. The most rewarding hike in the park is the trail leading from the Observatory parking lot to the summit of Mount Hollywood, the highest peak of the park. with spectacular views of the Los Angeles Basin. Hikers should approach the park with caution; Griffith Park is a wilderness area with wild quail, rodents, foxes, coyotes, rattlesnakes and deer.
There are many marked trails, fire and patrol roads are within the parks boundaries. All of the horseback riding trails are closed at sunset. You can walk, trot, or canter the horses but you must remain on the marked trails at all times. The horse stables are located near the parks northwestern and southwestern boundaries and they are privately owned.
Crystal Springs is located on Crystal Springs Dr. and you can enter at the Ranger Station.
Mineral Wells is located on Griffith Park Drive neard the Harding Golf Course.
Old Zoo is located off of Griffith Park Drive. Tables place around obsolete animal cages from the original Los Angeles Zoo.
Park Center picnic area is off of Crystal Springs Drive near the Griffith Park merry-go-round; featuring playgound equipment.
Pecan Grove picnic area is on Zoo Drive between the Victory Blvd. Bridge and the Los Angeles Zoo.
The best routes for jogging are Griffith Park Drive from the Los Feliz Blvd./Riverside Dr. entrance, Crystal Springs Dr. in Park Center to the Los Angeles Zoo and the Zoo Drive to the Travel Town Museum.